Taxi aggregator Uber has appointed Shweta Rajpal Kohli as its public policy and Government affairs head for India, reports the Economic Times. Uber confirmed this development to MediaNama.
Kohli will report to the company’s global senior vice-president of communications and public policy Rachel Whetstone. Prior to Uber, Kohli was the Economic Affairs Editor of NDTV for over 11 years and the corporate group manager at Times Group for 2 years. She also worked as a correspondent at the Business Standard and Hindustan Times.
This hire will likely help Uber address the trouble it has been facing with regulatory authorities and state governments.
Uber troubles in India: Last month, the Delhi Government said it would make physical meters in the cab of online cab aggregators compulsory, despite the compulsory GPS installation. In April, the Karnataka government seized over 30 cars from Ola and Uber for charging their users over the government decided rate of Rs 19.5/km. The same month, it banned surge pricing as a part of its rules for online cab aggregators in the state.
In the same month, the Delhi government said that it would take “strict action, including cancellation of permit and impounding vehicles” against taxis which charged over the government prescribed rates. This was in a response to the Delhi Autorickshaw Sangh and Delhi Pradesh Taxi Union, which called off their strikes against online cab aggregators. Following these incidents, Ola and Uber suspended peak and surge pricing in Delhi NCR. And in June, Ola allegedly got an aggregator cab operating license in Karnataka.
In May, Karnataka’s transport department ordered Uber and Ola to suspend operations in the state since they had not acquired licenses to run cab services, and seized 60 vehicles belonging to both the companies. In the same month, Uber said that it would charge only government fixed rates in Delhi. In June, a cab drivers’ union asked both Ola and Uber to help them get their vehicles back.