Times Internet, the digital arm of the Times of India Group, and Uber have entered into a strategic partnership to support Uber’s expansion in India. As per a blogpost by Uber, the deal is centered around a commercial marketing arrangement accompanied by a small investment. According to the ET, the size of the deal is somewhere around INR 150 Cr., which makes this partnership as the largest one to date for Times Global Partners, an initiative of Times Internet to support emerging global digital companies’ entrance into India.
However, FT reports that Times Internet would invest a sum “under 1bn rupees” in Uber.
Satyan Gajwani, CEO of Times Internet, said, “Having spent time with Travis and the Uber team, we are delighted to partner with the fastest growing company in the world, to help bring affordable, convenient, and safe transportation to every consumer in India, while developing a real spirit of micro-entrepreneurialism for thousands of drivers. Times Global Partners is a platform we established to help the best companies in the world succeed in India, and we’re confident that together, we can improve lives and create jobs for millions of Indians.”
India being the second largest and fastest growing market for Uber globally and Uber is investing significant resources into this market’s continued growth. The partnership with Times Internet is inline with Uber’s strategy of creating local partnerships in key markets.
Further, the partnership will also give Uber an opportunity to leverage the reach of assets owned by the Times Group, across the verticals which includes print, television and digital arms.
“As we continue building innovative and local solutions for the Uber community in India, we are excited to partner with Times Internet, whose leadership shares our vision of a world that brings people and their cities closer together with reliable transportation, everywhere and for everyone. Marketing and Distribution are a key part to our strategy for success in India and there is no better partner and platform for this than Times Internet with it’s print, radio, OOH, and digital marketing platforms that reach over 200 million Indians,” Travis Kalanick, CEO, Uber Technologies said.
Having launched in India in 2013, Uber, currently, operates in eleven cities across India these include Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune.
Uber also has similar global partnerships in other countries as well, these include Baidu in China, AmericaMovil in LatAm and American Express in the US. These partners bring a deep understanding of local markets and consumer behavior and help increase the marketing and distribution of Uber’s services.
In addition to Uber, Times Global Partners has partnered with Huffington Post, Business Insider, Gawker Media, Ziff Davis, and more.
Previously, there were also rumors that Uber was also exploring partnership with Zomato for food delivery. Interestingly, just last week Ola has launched food delivery service i.e. Ola Cafe in the country.
After being in controversy for months, Uber has been trying hard to maintain its foothold in the country, the latest Taxiforsure’s acquisitions by Ola, will definitely give Uber a big time competition, thus, getting into strategic partnerships like this will help the cab-hailing app boost its presence in the country.
Just last week, Uber had announced its plans to hire over 50,000 female drivers in India by 2020 to improve safety, in addition to the “panic button” and tracking features to its smartphone app which it had announced earlier.