Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said the company’s partnership with Zomato has been a “great bet” and he is pleased about how the model has grown, continued to gain share, and its successful IPO.
Khosrowshahi said Uber is witnessing an increase in demand as cities open up after COVID-induced lockdowns, and also expects the driver shortage easing.
“The India food delivery market has been incredibly competitive and really are partnering up with Zomato was a bet on Deepinder Goyal, the founder, and CEO (Chief Executive Officer) there and I would say it has been a great bet and certainly one that we are very pleased about in terms of how the model has grown, how the model has continued to gain share, and obviously the incredibly successful IPO,” Khosrowshahi said in an interview to CNBC-TV18.
In 2020, Zomato had announced the acquisition of the Indian business of Uber Eats in an all-stock deal that gave Uber 9.99 per cent stake in the Indian food delivery and restaurant discovery platform. Talking about the ride-hailing business, the top executive said the company feels quite confident based on the patterns.
“…what we are seeing consistently now is cities are opening up, on a global basis, our mobility business continues to improve. There are many countries where mobility is actually higher than pre-pandemic levels and areas where it is lower, it is consistently moving up in the right direction,” he said. He added that while the mobility business is the profit engine of the company, it has also seen explosive growth in the delivery business.
“It is larger than our mobility business in terms of topline, the core food delivery business is now profitable. We are now investing in grocery and other categories as well. So as a company now, we are really hitting on all engines. And as the world opens up, we have a very, very strong prospect ahead of us,” he said.
Khosrowshahi noted that Uber has recently started operations in the 100th city in the country in Warangal.
“..we are going to continue to invest and open up additional cities. Whether we hit the 200 in a year or two years remains to be seen. It depends on the market dynamics,” he said.
He added that the focus on India is making sure that the Uber service is available to a higher percentage of the population and expanding service – four-wheelers, two-wheelers, three-wheelers, as well as introducing products such as rentals, and intercity transportation.
Asked about the driver shortage situation, Khosrowshahi said this is common all over the world.
“…demand is also increasing and it is increasing very fast as cities open up. So we have to increase drivers faster than we are increasing riders and that is quite a challenge. But we are getting it done right now. So you should see in Q4 next year, the driver shortage easing, more people earning on the Uber app, and the magical experience of pushing a button and getting that ride whenever wherever you want,” he added.