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India is the hardest market to thrive in, according to Dara Khosrowshahi, global CEO of Uber

On Thursday, ridesharing platform Uber forged an MoU with Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) to explore integrating with the network, thereby expanding the range of mobility offerings on the Uber app. Prabhjeet Singh, president of Uber India and South Asia, expressed the company’s vision to cater to the mobility needs of all Indians, aligning with ONDC’s objective of democratizing digital commerce.

T Koshy, MD & CEO of ONDC, welcomed the collaboration, highlighting the critical role of the Mobility, Transport, and Travel (MTT) sector within the evolving Open Network. He emphasized the potential for fostering innovation and newer business models through collaborative efforts, viewing the MoU as a significant step forward towards enabling diverse mobility solutions for every Indian.

At an event in Bengaluru, Dara Khosrowshahi, global CEO of Uber, engaged in a conversation with Nandan Nilekani, chairman of Infosys, focusing on ‘Building Population Scale Technology.’ Khosrowshahi commended India’s Digital Public Infrastructure for its scale and ambition, emphasizing Uber’s interest in open-source tech stacks and the opportunities they present for innovation.

Reflecting on Uber’s turnaround, Khosrowshahi discussed the challenges the company faced upon his arrival in 2017, including cultural issues and leadership transitions. Despite the difficulties, he highlighted Uber’s exceptional talent pool and the transformative impact of its product, driving a digital transformation in mobility. Khosrowshahi emphasized the importance of making tough decisions, including prioritizing profitability and learning to say ‘no’ to less promising ventures, which ultimately strengthened the company.

Addressing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Khosrowshahi shared insights into Uber’s resilience during challenging times. Despite significant losses and a drastic reduction in volumes, Uber adapted by refocusing on its core mobility and delivery businesses. The pandemic accelerated the growth of UberEats, providing new opportunities for drivers and reshaping the company’s strategic priorities.

Discussing Uber’s presence in the Indian market, Khosrowshahi acknowledged its unique challenges and opportunities. He praised the resilience and adaptability of the Indian team, recognizing India as a gateway to global success. Khosrowshahi emphasized Uber’s commitment to expanding its offerings in India, particularly in low-cost transportation options such as three-wheelers and two-wheelers.

Looking ahead, Khosrowshahi identified extending into the low-cost segment as a strategic priority for Uber. He highlighted the company’s focus on building services for high-capacity vehicles suited for longer distances, reflecting its ongoing efforts to innovate and adapt to evolving market demands.

Sadhna B

Sadhna B

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