After starting their service in India last year, Uber has launched its affordable service Uber X service in India. These cars will have a base price of Rs 50 and per kilometre charge of Rs 15 as opposed to UberBlack’s base price of Rs 90 and per kilometre charge Rs 25. It is also worth noting that the cancellation fee for Uber X is Rs 150 as opposed to Rs 200 for Uber Black.
The vehicles that will be used for Uber X service includes Maruti Swift Dzire, Toyota Etios and Nissan Sunny, while Uber Black has vehicles such as Toyota Altis, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Honda Accord.
The Uber app will now display a slider at the bottom that lets you select between the two offerings by the company. However, when we tried the service in Bangalore we couldn’t get any car. That’s one area that Uber really needs to work on. May be they have fewer cars on the road as part of this service since it just launched.
But what is Uber actually working on?
It looks like the company is planning to roll out its service in more cities across the country. As of now Uber is available in Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Chennai. The company is looking to hire operations & logistics managers, community managers, and general managers in Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Kolkata, Pune and Surat.
Community managers are the people handling Uber accounts on Twitter and they focus on keeping users happy and on getting more users to try out their service. General Managers meanwhile work on marketing strategies for Uber in each city by creating local tie-ups and manage local regulatory concerns. Operations & logistics managers are in charge of fleet management and hiring drivers.
It is also worth noting that Uber is hiring a government relation manager who will engage policy makers, design regulatory proposals, analyze existing laws to understand their impact on Uber’s business and work on projects to ensure that the market remains open for Uber. This position has been vital in some markets like US and Europe where taxi unions ganged up against services like Uber. Co-founder and CEO of Olacabs Bhavish Aggarwal, had earlier said that he spends 25% of his time engaging with the government. So such a position might be of importance to Uber’s growth in India.
Competition: Uber X will compete against companies like Olacabs, Meru and TaxiForSure among others. Olacabs has a Mini offering for which it charges Rs 13 per kilometre, making it one of the cheapest service. Similarly Meru has Genie cabs. However, there are several people who will prefer Uber X since it’s cooler and slightly more reliable.