NEW DELHI — Uber Technologies Inc. has hired Amit Jain to head up its India operations, as the company expands into more cities in its biggest and fastest growing market outside the United States.
Jain was formerly the president of Rent.com, a housing classifieds service.
"Amit will be running all business strategy, operations, and growth in a market of global strategic importance for Uber," the company said in a statement on its website.
India is Uber's fastest growing market with presence in 11 cities. Jain, 38, has previously held senior roles at TPG capital, Nexeo Solutions and McKinsey. Jain was born and lived in India until his graduation from IIT-Delhi before moving to the west coast in the United States for an MBA from Stanford University.
This is the first time that Uber has appointed an India president. It usually runs its operations through city heads, who lead small teams in each city that Uber operates in. All such heads in India report to Allen Penn, head of Asia operations.
Taxi-apps have a huge opportunity in India, where cabs have traditionally been an unorganized industry. Uber India's revenue run rate is about $200 million (Rs 1,100 crore), and is expected to rise 35 percent by end of July, said a report in the Economic Times.
Bangalore-based Ola Cabs is Uber's biggest competitor in India, after it acquired rival TaxiForSure in March. Helped by funding from Softbank, DST Global and GIC, Ola is now present in 100 cities and expects to have $1 billion in revenue in the next six months.
To expand further, Uber will allow customers to pay in cash in Hyderabad, the first time it has ever tried that in over 300 cities it operates in around the world. The service might be rolled out in other cities in future.
Uber's India operations ran into trouble in December, after an alleged rape of a woman by one of its drivers led to a ban in Delhi. It was also asked, along with Ola, to apply for a regular radio cab license. The company said it had applied, but has not received an approval yet. After suspending operations briefly, it resumed services in January. has now resumed services in the city.
Last month, the department of telecom asked internet service providers to ban Uber and Ola websites. The move doesn't seem to have affected operations of the two rival companies.