Uber India Systems, which provides marketing and support services to Uber has reported 442 per cent jump in its revenues for the year ended March 2016 at Rs 374 crore against Rs 69 crore in the previous year, according to its filing at the registrar of companies. The four-fold jump in the revenues took place in the third year of operations in India, which has become Uber’s second largest market after the US.
While the company hasn’t filed the latest profit numbers in its annual returns, it has reported to turn in profits in the two years after its launch. Also Uber’s rapid growth is in place with the huge scale of investments it’s been making since last two years. In fact, according to reports, the firm’s co-founder Travis Kalanick, in a visit to India in January, promised to double its pledged investment of $1billion if it sees more than five times the return.
Currently operating out of around 30 cities, Uber is concentrating on expanding in the existing locations rather than increasing the number of cities, as the former is more beneficial to the company. This also explains Uber’s addition of around seven more locations this calendar year.
It’s to be noted that the San Francisco-headquartered taxi aggregator has been lately expanding to South Asian countries like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh with operations being carried out of India offices. This explains the elevation of country head Amit Jain as its South Asian president and the crucial role India plays for Uber’s expansion. In fact after its exit from China, the taxi aggregator has reported to publicly declared its intention to increase focus on India and scale up its operations.
Last year it opened a (rider and driver) support centre in Hyderabad, thereby strengthening its physical presence in India. Having already rolled out its new app, it will add features like calendar integration, people search and advance booking to it in the coming months. It has also enabled a feature called Dial-an-Uber webpage to let users book rides outside of Uber app. The webpage which was recently launched has been optimised to work on slower networks. The India-specific innovations, which are being done out of the product and engineering centre in Bengaluru, are also being extended to other South Asian markets. For instance, Uber launched its operations in Dhaka with the cash payments feature that was started for the first time in India.
Uber currently accounts for only about one per cent of the total rides in the cities where it has operations. A bulk of the business comes from the top ten cities. Meanwhile, its direct competitor Ola, which has raised more than $1 billion in investments, operates out of 100 cities and plans to go for further expansion.