Uber Picks up Pace Nar­row­ing Gap with Ola

Taxi ag­gre­ga­tor achieves 9.4 mil­lion trips a week in July, up from 5.5 mil­lion trips in Au­gust last year

The Economic Times - - Front Page - Shash­wati.Shankar @times­group.com

Ben­galuru: While the world’s largest ride-hail­ing ser­vice was bat­tling a cri­sis at its head­quar­ters in San Fran­cisco, Uber was rid­ing a growth spurt in In­dia.

The taxi ag­gre­ga­tor, which re­cently com­pleted 500 mil­lion trips in In­dia after four years in the coun­try, said it achieved 9.4 mil­lion trips a week in July. In Au­gust last year, Uber was clock­ing 5.5 mil­lion trips a week.

With this surge in trips, Uber ap­pears to be fast nar­row­ing the gap with mar­ket leader Ola — al­though an­a­lysts es­ti­mate the In­dian com­pany with its higher av­er­age fares still has an edge in terms of rev­enue. Breaking the num­bers down fur­ther for com­par­i­son, Uber han­dled 1.3 mil­lion rides a day in July across the 29 In­dian cities it op­er­ates in, in­clud­ing its shared cab rides, se­nior com­pany ex­ec­u­tives told ET. Ola didn’t share trip num­bers.

“In the last 12 months, we as a firm have been fo­cused to­wards driv­ing ef­fi­cien­cies and im­prov­ing the over­all prod­uct ex­pe­ri­ence, while strength­en­ing our en­gage­ment with rid­ers and driver part­ners across the coun­try,” an Uber spokesper­son said by way of ex­plain­ing the com­pany’s growth in In­dia.

Uber said it has 450,000 reg­is­tered driv­ers on its plat­form — of whom 285,000 were ac­tive in July — while a spokesper­son for Ola said the com­pany had 800,000 driver part­ners.

“Ola con­tin­ues to be the mar­ket leader in the ride-shar­ing in­dus­try. We are con­stantly grow­ing our wide range of made-for-In­dia cat­e­gories… across and be­yond the 110 cities we are present in,” Ola’s spokesper­son said.

ANIR­BAN BORA

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