Uber’s new chief Dara Khosrowshahi has pledged that the ride-hailing giant will continue to invest heavily in Southeast Asia despite mounting losses. Khosrowshahi’s disclosure came while talking to the press in Indian capital city of New Delhi, where he is scheduled to attend a business summit and will also meet several high ranking government officials.
“We expect to lose money in Southeast Asia and expect to invest aggressively in terms of marketing, subsidies etc,” Uber’s newly appointed CEO told media reporters, adding that the region still offers huge potential for growth.
Khosrowshahi’s comment on Southeast Asian markets comes amid media reports that SoftBank (Uber’s largest investor) is pushing Uber to sell large part of its Asian business to its competitor Grab. SoftBank owns a substantial stake in the Singapore based firm Grab, which offers ride-hailing services in many Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, and Cambodia.
According to sources, SoftBank is making such a push because it wants Uber to focus more on the U.S, European and Latin American market and not Asia, where it has supposedly lost more money owing to intense competition in the region.
But Khosrowshahi’s latest disclosure seems to have completely quashed the speculative media reports that Uber may sell its Southeast Asian business to Grab.
Uber continues to remain upbeat on Indian market
Khosrowshahi once again underscored the importance of Indian market for Uber. India accounts for nearly 10% of Uber’s global trips every year, making the region fastest growing market for the ride hailing giant.
Uber’s CEO declined to comment whether there are any specific investment plans in India but said “it is a lot” and will continue to increase.
He also ruled out any potential merger with local competitor Ola, in which SoftBank again owns a substantial stake. So far both Uber and Ola have pumped in millions to get the larger pie of the Indian market.