After a year of her appointment, Uber’s public policy head of India and South Asia, Shweta Rajpal Kohli-has quit the company. The company confirmed her departure with the following statement: “Shweta has been a great advocate for Uber and the development of ridesharing in India. She has contributed immensely to building our reputation in India, and we wish her every success in the future.”
According to Reuters, Kohli would be joining SaaS company Salesforce next month.
At Uber, Kohli was reporting to the company’s global senior vice-president of communications and public policy Rachel Whetstone. She was looking at Uber’s relations with policymakers, regulators, government officials, think tanks, NGOs, industry bodies, the private sector, political parties and research organizations. Her worked involved focus on creating a favourable regulatory and policy environment for the future of urban mobility.
In India, Uber had been running into difficulties with different regulators. Some of the issues it faced:
– To begin with, Uber ran afoul of the Reserve Bank of India’s regulations on entering a second factor of authentication for credit card payments in 2014. This forced the company to adopt Paytm as a wallet service to continue payments. Remember, at the time that Uber did not allow cash payments. It eventually allowed credit and debit card payments. Recently, it also integrated the UPI for payments.
– It also faced heavy criticism following the rape of a passenger during an Uber ride in Delhi, in December 2014. This led to increased scrutiny on online cab services in the country from authorities. It was also one of the reasons why it led to the ouster of former CEO Travis Kalanick and senior vice president for business Emil Michael. Michael had obtained medical records of the victim and had reportedly shared the same with Kalanick. In August, Uber appointed Expedia’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi as its new CEO, who replaced Travis Kalanick, who had to resigned following investor pressure on the basis of the company’s culture.
– Meanwhile, this year, Uber started tweaking its incentive programmes for drivers in India which hit their earnings significantly. This led to widespread protests by driver unions against Uber and its rival in India Ola.
– Uber is also dealing with state authorities which are trying to limit surge pricing in online cab aggregators which Uber says is crucial for its operations.
– In Bangalore, it ran into trouble for its ride-sharing option UberPOOL.