Stating that its 100% committed to India, ride-hailing firm Uber has dismissed report of its exit from the Indian market as “baseless speculation”. An Uber spokesperson told ET, “Our business in India is stronger than ever and we are 100% committed to serving our riders and driver partners in India.”
The talk around exit was fuelled by a report of Rajiv Misra, CEO of the SoftBank Vision Fund, which recently became Uber’s largest shareholder with the formal closing of a $9.3 Bn investment, stating that the company should focus on recovering its market share in the US and growing in key European markets, to have a faster path to profitability.
As per a Financial Times report, Rajeev Misra stated that the transportation group had a faster path to profitability if it returned to its core markets such as the US, Europe, Latin America and Australia.
Misra also added Uber exiting unprofitable countries was not solely about cutting its losses — which hit $1.5 Bn in the third quarter of 2017 — but that growth prospects were more promising in its core markets.
Interestingly, SoftBank is also the largest shareholder in Uber’s rival and market leader in India, Ola. And it is not the first time that Misra has alluded to a potential deal between the Uber and Ola. Last September too, Misra had made an interesting statement about the Japanese conglomerate’s intentions towards making peace between rivals Ola and Uber.
An unnamed Uber employee told ET, “An exit from the Indian market seems impossible since there are global rollouts of the company’s products being tested in the Indian market and Uber India has also made a return to focusing on the auto segment. These are definite indicators that the company is unlikely to exit the Indian market but still does not eliminate the likelihood of a merger in the future.”