Uber has launched its services in Dhaka, Bangladesh in partnership with telecom operator Grameenphone. Uber is available as both an Android and iOS app in the country and Uber rides can be paid for in cash at the end of the trip. Currently, it does not specify the ride costs for Dhaka. India was the first country where Uber started accepting cash payments, starting with Hyderabad last year, and it’s interesting to see the Dhaka launch have cash payments already enabled.
Uber has been planning to launch in Dhaka since the start of this year, and for an Internet company, it’s unusual to see it launch with a partner, in Grameenphone, a telecom operator. It’s not clear as to what role with the telecom operator play for Uber. In Bangladesh, the company is hiring for an operations and logistics manager and an operations coordinator. Both these jobs include on-boarding drivers, striking fleet management partnerships, analytics and product improvement, communications and driver training etc. According to FutureStartup, an online Bangladeshi publication, Uber will compete with Chalo, BDCabs, Toma and Runner in Bangladesh.
Uber in South Asia
This year, Uber launched in Pakistan in Lahore in March and in Karachi in August. In Pakistan, Uber accepts both cash and digital payments. Uber also launched its operations in Sri Lanka in January this year with UberGO at Rs 50 base fare, Rs 30 per km and Rs 2 per minute at a minimum fare of Rs 50. In September this year, the company started accepting cash payments in Colombo.
In India, Uber is also reportedly working on a mobile wallet because it found the RBI’s two factor authentication for payments cumbersome (and it has a third-party integration with Paytm). The company also deviated from it app only approach and built a website for Indian users in smaller cities. More recently, it also launched a transport solution for weddings and wedding related events. It has also added ride scheduling for about one month in advance.