Cab sharing app Uber seems to have left the ugly controversies in India behind as the company prepares to pump in about US$50 million dollars to expand its presence in the country. For the uninitiated, Uber faced massive public backlash after one of its cab drivers in New Delhi was accused of sexually assaulting a female passenger. With this episode, Uber ran into choppy waters in India, and questions were raised about whether the company would even survive in the country. But Uber has the competition sitting up and taking notice with its latest investment commitment – it has zeroed-in on the Southern state of Telangana to build its new office in the city of Hyderabad.
The company’s new office in India will be its biggest outside of San Francisco, where its headquarters are located. The massive investment will be made in a staggered manner over the next five years, a spokesperson from the company informed. Hyderabad, a hub for technology, already houses offices of tech giants such as Microsoft and Google.
To put its plan into motion, Uber has signed a memorandum of understanding with the state of Telangana’s government. According to the company’s statement, it plans to create thousands of jobs with its full-steam foray into the Indian market. The official statement released by the company also said that it plans to invest heavily in smart-city-centric initiatives and technical innovation.
After the Uber controversy in New Delhi, the company’s cabs were banned from plying on the India capital’s roads, with the New Delhi government citing flouting of taxi operation rules as the reason. Interestingly, Uber faces similar restrictions in Hyderabad – the recipient of its generous investment. It will now be interesting to see how the company is able to maneuver this hurdle.