San Francisco-based cab aggregator Uber, which had entered the Ahmedabad market about a year back, is planning to expand its services to other cities in Gujarat including Vaodara, Surat among others within this year.
Uber is currently present across eleven cities in the country, covering most major cities; and is now planning to set its footprint across the mini metros, tier-II and III towns across the country. Suryansh Kumar, general manager for Uber in Ahmedabad said that the wait-time for a cab is a good indicator to gauge its presence or penetration in a city, and in Ahmedabad it is around eight to nine minutes during peak traffic hours, and is as low as two to five minutes during lean periods.
"We are looking at expanding our footprint to other major cities in Gujarat, as we had a good experience of working in Ahmedabad," Kumar said who did not wish to comment about Uber's market share in the city or even its fleet size. The fleet of radio cabs is steadily increasing in cities like Ahmedabad, which have a huge auto-rickshaw population, at around 500,000.
Kumar claims that in 2014, when Uber launched in Ahmedabad in August, there were around 50,000 cabs in the city, and while no official figures were known, the numbers have easily swelled one and a half times by now. He also claimed that the company was planning several promotional activities surrounding major events like Mothers' Day etc to connect better with its customers in different cities and have a top of the mind recall.
Uber has added an "SOS" button to its app in India, following the infamous rape incident of its customer in Delhi, which basically sends a live GPS update to the local police. India is one of the first markets for Uber where it is adopting such stringent safety norms.