Uber loses its Asia Pacific head Amit Jain on its way to Wall Street

Amit Jain, Uber's Asia Pacific head has resigned. BCCL
  • Uber’s India business will now come under the Europe region.
  • Uber’s Asia Pacific business head Amit Jain has resigned and will be replaced by Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, who currently heads Europe, Middle East and Africa.
  • Jain had been appointed Uber’s India head in 2015 and subsequently APAC head in 2018.
Days before the $100-billion IPO, Uber’s Asia Pacific business head Amit Jain has quit and Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty will now take over. Gore-Coty was running the company’s businesses in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

With this move, Uber’s India business will now report to Europe, instead of the current headquarters of the APAC region – Singapore.

Amit Jain had started out his journey in Uber India heading the country’s operations. “After four great years, Amit Jain will be leaving Uber at the end of May to spend time with his family before taking the next step in his career. I’m excited that Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, one of our most experienced leaders, will take responsibility for our Asia Pacific Rides business,” Barney Harford, Uber’s Chief Operating Officer, said in an official statement.

The truth is, Uber has struggled with multiple problems in India – starting from a driver being accused of rape in the National capital to nationwide protests from consumers and drivers alike.

At least one in every 10 Uber rides globally, occur in India. However, the revenue from the country is less than a percent of the company’s total global turnover. That tells the story of the tremendous challenges that the company faced in the world’s fastest growing economy, India.

While India may have been the first country where Uber introduced its pay with cash option, it took a long time to do so. It’s India rival Ola had started accepting cash and debit card payments long before Uber did. Moreover, Ola got into an expansion mode much faster than Uber did – while also offering Indians many more benefits like Ola Play (entertainment, movies on the go).

By the time UberEats hit the road, it was already behind homegrown Zomato and Swiggy.

Driver dissatisfaction has been another problem that Uber has had to deal with in India. However, this is a problem that is common to all cab aggregators in India.

“The drivers were given a great promise and that hasn't be justified in terms of the earnings they are getting and they are stuck in that rut now. One of the biggest sufferers of this lessening of incentives is the banks. There's repossessions of cars happening. But you'll find that the government will bring in more regulation for sure,” N Chandramouli, the chief executive of Mumbai-based TRA Research, a business advisory and brand insights firm said in an interview in The National, a Middle East daily.

Faced with similar challenges, Uber pulled out of China in 2016 and Southeast Asia in 2018 and decided to focus on India. In China, Uber sold its business to Chinese giant Didi Chuxing while in Southeast Asia it sold to Grab – for a 27.5% stake.

Jain had been appointed as Uber India head in 2015 and last year he went on to head the APAC business.

Harford further added that Pierre will now work with the APAC teams to unlock opportunity markets such as Japan and South Korea.

Destination: Wall Street

It’s been a busy 2019 for Uber so far, as the company filed for IPO which is reportedly set to be the biggest one seen in recent times. The expected valuation of the San Francisco-based company is set to hit $100 billion.

The company has continuously stated that its India business is crucial for them. In its IPO, Uber’s India business was mentioned plenty of times. It currently Uber runs 30 million cars in India and India was also the first country where Uber allowed consumers to pay in cash, and then followed it up with other countries.

See Also:
Uber’s IPO filing in the US cites Ola, Zomato, and Swiggy as threats to its India business
Uber IPO filing reveals it is under investigation for ‘improper payments’ in India
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