We have written at length about the challenges that private car hire service Uber faces in Asia — there are plenty of cheap taxi rides which means strong competition, and the local problems that each city faces across the culturally and geographically fragmented region.
However, this doesn’t mean that the US company is ready to give up — in fact it is going on a hiring spree in Asia. In a blog post, Uber says that “Bangalore, Guangzhou, Hyderabad, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Melbourne, New Delhi, Seoul, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei and Tokyo are only the beginning” — those are the cities it already has a presence in — and that it’s looking for people to help it grow and expand in the region this year.
Uber is currently hiring general managers, community managers, operations and logistics managers, and more, all over the Asia-Pacific region. We’ve known about Uber’s job listings for a while, and it looks like Bangkok, Beijing and Hong Kong are a few of the new cities in Asia that Uber will make a move into very soon.
— travis kalanick (@travisk) January 22, 2014
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick previously noted that Uber is able to push down its prices as more cars and drivers get on the road, which he says will lead to better coverage and lower pickup times, in turn resulting in better economics for drivers.
This looks to be a tactic that Uber is seeking to employ in Asia as well. Right now, the coverage doesn’t appear to be that stellar — I live in Singapore and on one occasion tried summoning an Uber to the airport, but no Uber cars were available, forcing me to hop into a taxi.
By seeking to hire more people in the region, in particular general managers, the company could very well solve these pain points and leave a bigger footprint in the cities it is targeting. We’ll have to wait and see — but it’s clear that for now at least, Uber is committing itself to Asia with such plans.
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