Bengaluru: Uber Technologies Inc. has elevated Pradeep Parameswaran as its new India and South Asia head, at a time when the world’s largest cab-hailing service is looking to double down on its investments in the country, as it looks to grab market share from local rival Ola.

Parameswaran takes over from Amit Jain, who has been tasked with heading Uber’s entire Asia Pacific business, including areas such as Australia, New Zealand and North Asia. Jain’s elevation was part of a broader strategy that indicated Uber’s intention to focus on markets such as Australia and take on Ola, which also recently launched its service in that country.

Parameswaran, a former McKinsey executive, joined Uber India in January last year and was head of operations.

Earlier in June, in an interview with Mint, Uber chief operating officer Barney Harford had said that the company was considering both internal and external candidates for the role of India head.

Harford had also said that Uber would continue to invest heavily in India, the ride-hailing company’s most important market outside the US, for an indefinite period rather than focus on cutting the firm’s massive losses in India.

“Uber is one of the most exciting, innovative and mission-driven companies in the world and I’m thrilled to lead our business in this critical global market as we work to bring the benefits of ridesharing to even more riders, drivers, and cities. After 20 years building businesses and leading through change across Asia and the US, I am excited to shape how the region moves over the next 20," Parameswaran said.

Parameswaran’s appointment comes at a time when Uber is engaged in market share battles in the Asia Pacific region against local rivals such as Ola, which is backed by Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp, a common investor in both start-ups.