Uber opens its first Cen­tre of Ex­cel­lence in Asia

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

Taxi ag­gre­ga­tor Uber Tech­nolo­gies Inc. opened its first cen­tre of ex­cel­lence in Asia in Hyderabad as the San Fran­cis­cobased com­pany cen­tral­izes sev­eral of In­dia op­er­a­tions at a sin­gle lo­ca­tion in its third big­gest mar­ket. The fa­cil­ity will have staff pro­vid­ing round the clock spe­cial­ized sup­port for "crit­i­cal in­ci­dents that re­quire im­me­di­ate at­ten­tion."

Uber, the most val­ued startup on the planet, was banned in sev­eral In­dian states af­ter one of its driver-part­ners raped a fe­male pas­sen­ger in New Delhi in De­cem­ber 2014. The bans have been lifted af­ter Uber and its com­peti­tors, Ola and Tax­iForSure made im­prove­ments in tech­nol­ogy and promised to con­duct ex­ten­sive back­ground ver­i­fi­ca­tions of driv­ers. To as­suage safety con­cerns of pas­sen­gers they in­tro­duced fea­tures to al­low pre­s­e­lected friends and fam­ily mem­bers to track a rider's lo­ca­tion

"Safety is very, very im­por­tant to us," Amit Jain, pres­i­dent of Uber In­dia, said at a me­dia con­fer­ence to mark the in­au­gu­ra­tion of the fa­cil­ity. "We think about safety in three ways - be­fore the ride, dur­ing the ride and af­ter the ride… We con­tinue to in­no­vate and in­vest in safety fea­tures." Even­tu­ally 500 cus­tomer ser­vice spe­cial­ists speak­ing mul­ti­ple lo­cal lan­guages will pro­vide 24X7 as­sis­tance to rid­ers and driv­ers over phone, email and so­cial me­dia to ad­dress is­sues from across the coun­try.

Uber op­er­ates in 26 cities in In­dia. The Hyderabad fa­cil­ity will be Uber's fifth cen­tre of ex­cel­lence glob­ally. It op­er­ates two CoEs in the US-in Chicago and Phoenix, and two in Europe-Lim­er­ick (Ire­land) and Krakow (Poland). This is its first in Asia, home to its se­cond and third big­gest mar­kets, China and In­dia re­spec­tively. Started in 2009, Uber has op­er­a­tions in 361 cities in 66 coun­tries.

Uber has re­cruited 30% of the work- force, or 150 em­ploy­ees, for the Hyderabad CoE over the last four months. A to­tal of 500 jobs will be cre­ated at the fa­cil­ity by the end of 2017, ex­ec­u­tives said. Uber, which has com­mit­ted to in­vest $1 bil­lion in In­dia, trails do­mes­tic player Ola (op­er­ated by ANI Tech­nolo­gies Pvt. Ltd.) in the In­dian mar­ket. Jain said Uber has 40% mar­ket share in the taxi ag­gre­ga­tor space in the coun­try.

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