Ride hailing company Uber’s India unit has reiterated its plans to double its investment in Bengaluru and Hyderabad in terms of headcount, especially in the engineering division. According to reports, the company is looking to increase the total number of employees to 1,000 in both the centres within the next 12 months.
The US-based company is taking this step as a part of its plan to make India the base for building and experimenting with new products and export them to international markets such as Latin America and Africa. India is the company’s only base in Southeast Asia region after it sold-off some of its operations to Singapore-based Grab and its China operations to rival Didi Chuxing in 2016.
According to former Google executive Manik Gupta who is now serving as Uber’s chief product officer, India will prove to be a great place for experimenting owing to the increasing rates of internet usage, data consumption and smartphone penetration.
“India is sort of a laboratory for us and we’re excited to see what can come out of here, learn from it and launch globally,” Manik Gupta told ET.
The company reported 19X increase in its revenue from Uber India Technology, recording $3.05 Mn (INR 21.5 Cr) in the fiscal ending March 2018 as compared to $137.6K (INR 97 Lakh) in the previous year. In December 2018, data from an internal company email showed that India accounts for 11% of the total trips received by the platform from across the world.
In the same month, the global ride-sharing company had also filed its paperwork for an initial public offering (IPO). Since then, the company has been focusing on increasing its employee count as it looks to hire talent from campus placements in the country along with lateral hiring in the areas of data science, distributed systems, mobile, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.
Earlier in February 2018, During his visit to India, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said that the company is serious about its business in the Indian market and that the country is part of its core business domain.
In June 2018, Uber had launched its lightweight application Uber Lite. The application which was built in India for the domestic market has now been rolled out to 16 other countries.
Further, in a bid to tackle its Indian rival Ola, which is now looking to expand globally, the company had launched three more new features in India, namely, ‘Request for a guest’, ‘Call to ride’, and an AI-enabled offline search facility.
[The development was reported by ET]