Indian roads are not the same as those in the US in many senses, Travis Kalanick knows it.
So Uber, Kalanick’s San Francisco-based company that has championed the “gig” or “sharing” economy in the west, has charted a different path in its fastest-growing market.
For one, drivers associated with this cab-aggregator don’t just perform gigs—short-term contracts—and assets aren’t literally shared peer-to-peer. After all, car-ownership patterns vary in India. Consumer perception of Uber and other ride-hailing services, too, are different in India. Kalanick’s dream of making car ownership a thing of the past, thus, may not materialise in Asia’s third-largest economy.
India is, however, key to Uber’s future, especially at a time when the firm is bleeding billions of dollars globally, and growth in the US is tapering. “India is a global priority market for Uber and our second-largest after the US in terms of (the number of) trips,” an Uber spokesperson told Quartz in an email.
Thus, to grow in the country, the world’s most-valued tech startup has also had to introduce a number of India-specific initiatives, making Uber India a very different animal. The sharing economy
Uber in the US is part of the sharing economy, “an economic model in which individuals […]