Uber has changed the commuting ecosystem in big cities like Dhaka and Chattogram and created income opportunities for about one lakh people in the last two years, a top official of the world's largest ride hailing service provider said yesterday.
Every week, nearly 2,500 drivers get registered with Uber's network in Bangladesh, which gives a huge boost to the company, said Pradeep Parameswaran, president of Uber for India and south Asia.
He shared the info during an interview with The Daily Star on the eve of the second anniversary of Uber's operation in Bangladesh.
Thanks to the exponential growth, Uber now considers Bangladesh as its highest priority market in the south Asia region, said Parameswaran.
“We are expecting huge growth in this region in the next year and hope Bangladesh will contribute 25 percent of that.”
Uber started its journey in Bangladesh on November 22 in 2016, he said.
“We have helped strengthen an already vibrant entrepreneurial culture by creating employment opportunities for driver partners,” Parameswaran said later in an anniversary celebration programme held at The Westin Dhaka hotel.
He said they are proud of helping to transform Bangladesh's existing transportation environment by cutting back travel time, reducing congestion and improving air quality.
Right now, the company provides four kinds of services: UberMOTO, UberX, UberPREMIER and UberHIRE.
The on-demand ride sharing company also declared Bangladesh as the capital of UberMOTO following Delhi and Cairo and this market segment is also growing faster than any other place in the world, he said.
The first year was one for their learning and now they are working on expanding business, said Parameswaran, who had earlier served Uber as the head of its Bangladesh unit.
Uber began its operation in Chattogram in April this year and is now working on launching the service in Sylhet. “We are in the phase of becoming more relevant with the country by expanding service.”
He said Bangladesh was sitting on different amazing indicators and its growing middle class would push the company to invest more in the country.
“Around 22 percent of Dhaka's population has used the Uber application at least for once. And every minute, the app is opened 155 times on an average in Dhaka.”
Uber is working on drivers' attitudes and behavioural training and considering setting up call centres to register complaints as a huge number of concerns have been raised from the customers' end, he said.
“Customer care is another very important area for us to work on to improve.”
About recent growing concerns over customers' data security, he said, “I can unequivocally say that data security is one of the highest priorities for us.”
In the event, Uber's brand ambassador Shakib Al Hasan, also the T20 and test captain of the Bangladesh national cricket team, said he was impressed with Uber's commitment to the country.
“I am privileged to witness how its technology is empowering our youth, providing livelihood opportunities and creating mobility solutions.”
Uber cars move 14 kilometres per hour in Dhaka and 16 in Chattogram, the company said.
“UberMOTO is more efficient than cars, as it moves three kilometres faster than the four-wheelers per hour.”
The company started its operation in 2009 and now covers over 600 cities across the world.