NEW DELHI :
India is at the core of Uber's growth strategy for the next five to ten years, the company's CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said here on Tuesday.
"India is a fundamental part of Uber's growth going forward... India is among top 10 markets for us and we continue to believe in and invest in India," Khosrowshahi told reporters after launching Uber's new journey planning feature "Public Transport" in New Delhi.
"India also serves as an innovations gateway for Uber," Khosrowshahi said, adding that the company's business in the country has seen improvement.
The Uber CEO said that the company is investing in talent in India to develop products that can be launched in other markets as well.
Uber also announced that it has won a competitive bid to expand its operations across 210 Delhi Metro stations.
Under the partnership which aims to improve first and last-mile connectivity for users, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) will provide Uber dedicated pick up and drop points.
The DMRC will charge a fee from Uber for the space it is providing to the company.
Uber, which cut 350 employees across several teams in its latest round of layoffs this year, said it plans to double its headcount in India to 1,000 people.
DMRC Managing Director Mangu Singh told reporters that it plans to redesign its Metro smart cards so that users can make payments for the Uber rides with the same card.
"It will take two to three years to bring the new technology," Singh told IANS on the sidelines of the event.
Manik Gupta, Chief Product Officer, Uber, said that the company is currently on an aggressive hiring spree in India.
"Our hope is that we will go to about 1,000 people. We will almost double the size of our Uber investment both in the engineering and product side over the coming years," Gupta told IANS.
With the launch of Uber's new feature in New Delhi, riders will see "Public Transport" as an option alongside UberGo, Premier and Pool after opening the Uber app and entering a destination.
Upon selecting the public transport feature, riders will be able to see the fastest and cheapest routes, real-time schedules, as well as departure time for public transportation, including Metro and buses and walking directions, to and from nearby Metro stations and bus stops.
"We want to be the operating system of your everyday life... We want to replace your car with your phone," Khosrowshahi said.