Uber Technologies Inc., which runs a ride-hailing app, has roped in Amit Jain from Rent.com as president of Uber India with an eye on making further inroads into what has already become the company’s largest market outside the US.
In a press statement, Uber said that Jain will be running business strategy, operations and will be responsible for growth in India which is a market of ‘global strategic importance for the company.’
“Amit embodies the entrepreneurial spirit and culture at Uber. His experience as an operator, building and scaling world-class teams will be invaluable as we enter the next phase of Uber India’s growth, ” Travis Kalanick, Uber CEO said in the statement.
A software engineer from IIT Delhi and Stanford MBA grad, Jain was serving as the president of US-based Rent.com, an online listing venture for apartments on rent, since January 2013. During his tenure at US-based Rent.com, Jain led all operational facets and achieved a successful turnaround of the organisation.
Prior to that, he held numerous executive positions at TPG Capital, Nexeo Solutions and McKinsey & Company.
He comes in at a time when Uber is facing a huge challenge from local giant Ola (formerly Ola Cabs). Ola had acquired TaxiForSure early this year to create a huge lead in terms of its network and reach across the country in the nascent but fast growing online cab booking and hailing business. Ola recently raised $400 million from DST Global, SoftBank, Tiger Global among others to further strengthen its position in India.
The taxi business in the country is highly fragmented but the online cab aggregators have been aggressive in bringing standalone cabbies under their networks.
Uber was launched in India about 19 months ago at Bangalore. It operates through a network headed by city-based general managers.
Last December, Uber was hit by regulatory clamps after a passenger who booked a cab through it was allegedly sexually assaulted by the driver. It has been facing ban calls and regulatory uncertainty in some cities. Earlier it came under the RBI scanner over its payment system which automatically debited a user's credit card after a ride.
Known for its cashless payment functionality, Uber later brought in Paytm wallet as a payment option and is now experimenting with cash payments in India. The cab hailing app has launched a pilot programme testing cash payments in Hyderabad.
According to a Goldman Sachs report titled ‘India’s rising internet,’ the domestic online car rental market is expected to reach $1.4 billion in revenue by 2030.