Uber India to keep spending its 20% share on drivers: Amit Jain

Photo: Reuters
Taxi hailing app Uber on Thursday said it was not inclined to take its 20% share in customer fare in India until the earnings of driver partners become sustainable, either by a possible increase in fares or through an improved efficiency.

"We have not taken our share in the last 3 years. The key factor we are looking at is that the earnings of the driver partners will have to be sustainable. Either the rates have to go up by 20-25% from the present level or we should be able to improve the efficiency of operations (to achieve that goal)," Amit Jain, president, Uber India and South Asia told reporters.

Reacting to the questions centred around the financial distress among Uber drivers as well as the surge pricing, Jain maintained that all their efforts were directed at achieving an equilibrium on both sides of the market and so far they have been giving the money back to drivers even in times of lower earnings.

When asked how long the company would like to continue to operate without taking its share, Jain said India was a core market for the company and they have a long-term commitment to this market.

Earlier, a group of cab drivers tried to disrupt the event that was organised to announce the partnership between Uber and Hyderabad Metro Rail. The taxi hailing app plans to open kiosks in 25 metro stations in the city for providing last mile connectivity as part of this collaboration.

Uber's chief operating officer Barney Harford had to leave the venue after the drivers association members stormed the place while protesting against low earnings and incentives.  

Uber India president said that the headcount at Hyderabad Development Center would be increased 2-3 times from the present 150 employees in the course of next couple of years as they continue to invest in India operations.