Uber may be exiting some international markets — but when it comes to India, the ride-hailing company is staying put.
Citing an email penned by Uber’s India head Pradeep Parameswaran, CNBC reported he told executives — including chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi and CFO Nelson Chai — that Uber India had an annualized bookings rate of $1.64 billion in the third quarter. The executive said in the email obtained by CNBC that Uber is closing the year in India in its “strongest position ever” and has emerged as the ride-sharing leader in India. During the third quarter, the executive said the company doubled its engineering team and plans to do so again during the next year in Bangalore and Hyderabad. India now represents 11 percent of the worldwide trips on Uber. The executive didn’t provide details on revenue in the email, noted CNBC. Parameswaran also wrote in the email that it added 1.5 million new users via Uber Lite, its barebones app that saves space and bandwidth for customers in emerging markets, and said Uber Eats increased sevenfold during the course of the last four months. It now has close to 20 percent of the Indian market in around 18 months.
India represents the last country in Asia where Uber remains a player. In 2016 it sold its China business to Didi Chuxing, getting a 20 percent stake in the Chinese ride-hailing company, and in March it sold its Southeast Asia operations to Grab, holding on to a 27.5 percent stake in Grab. In 2017 it merged its Russian unit with Yandex. While it hasn’t always been smooth sailing in India, Uber appears to be determined to stay in the market, noted CNBC. CNBC pointed to comments Khosrowshahi made earlier this year to local media in India in which he said it was one of the company’s healthiest markets and said: “we believe in controlling our own destiny in India.” In a statement to CNBC, Uber said that “India remains a globally strategic market.” The company plans “to invest heavily in our people and our products in India, and we’re excited about what’s ahead.”