Speaking on a range on issues including regulatory bottlenecks in India which are proving obstacle to his taxi-aggregators company Uber, Travis Kalanick said that he is even ready to take up Indian citizenship if it helps and gets the company to get over the hump.
Both Uber and Ola have raised so much of capital that “a majority of my company and a majority of Ola is foreign owned; now it’s about whether I am personally an Indian or not”, he said.
In a chat with Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant in Delhi on Thursday, Kalanick said that Uber and Ola are both majority foreign-owned and have raised enormous overseas capital.
Taking a jibe at Ola’s Bhavish Aggarwal on the issue of nationalism in Indian startups, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said that he will apply for Indian citizenship if it comes to it. “I will apply for Indian citizenship if it this gets over the top,” Kalanick joked in a fire-side chat session with NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant. “Ola has raised lots of investment.
A vast majority of Ola and Uber is foreign-owned. At the end of the day we respect team Ola and will continue to do so,” he added.
Recently, Ola’s Bhavish Aggarwal argued that it’s much easier for non-Indian companies to raise capital because they have profitable markets elsewhere.
“You might call it capital dumping, predatory pricing or anti-WTO but it’s a very unfair playing field for Indian startups,” Aggarwal said. Ironically, Ola has been funded by Japan’s Softbank is what Kalanick said.
Seeing profitability in India
Even though ride-hailing company is facing stiff competition in India, Kalanick sees a path to profitability in India. “We are losing in India but we see a path towards profitability. We are optimistic that we will be here for the long run. The bigger thing about India is car ownership. Uber is so reliable that you don’t want to own a car. There are categories like ride-sharing,” he said. He also ruled out a merger with another company in India after the firm folded its China business into local rival Didi Chuxing. Speaking on the occasion, Kant said “There is so much of disruption taking place that regulation will always be far behind technology. Indian political system must become far more open and receptive to radical changes taking place in the world. You need to make our rules and regulations as disruption as so innovation can take place in India. The mind set must change.”
More jobs for India
Earlier in the day, Kalanick met Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to discuss opportunities in spreading digital literacy, Swachh Bharat campaign and others. “We are very excited about future of Uber in India. With hundreds-thousands of driver opportunity and jobs we have come here with, we couldn’t be more excited to serve India and to work with sons and daughters of India who run Indian operations,” he said after the meeting, adding that Uber has made amazing progress in India. India is the largest market for Uber outside the United States and accounts for 12 percent of all trips globally. It runs cab-hailing service in 29 cities across the country.
Source: AFP and IANS