UberEats has launched its service in India today and will initially be available in Mumbai.
The company is planning on expanding across six cities by the end of 2017. However, they have not yet stated which exact cities they are planning to do this. Although, Mumbai is a good place to start, as it’s a city with an estimated population of 20 million people.
“Mumbai is home to a booming food industry with a vibrant food culture offering both global and local cuisines. The introduction of UberEats in India, with Mumbai as the first city, is a major step in our global expansion and showcases our commitment to the region,” Bhavik Rathod, Head of UberEats India, said in a statement.
The launch that was first teased in January will be in service for approximately 78 cities across 26 countries worldwide. The company first began as a pilot in 2014. It was initially piloted inside the core Uber app but it has since got a standalone app. The app was launched last year and is also available Japan, Tokyo, Bangkok and Thailand.
India is obviously a huge global opportunity and one that Uber is hugely committed to. According to a report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India, the online population is set to reach 450 million-465 million by June. This is set to connect people, be it to cars, food or taxis. The e-commerce sales are estimated to reach roughly $48 billion in three years time.
However, one of the challenges Uber will face in Mumbai is its popular competition. Mumbai is the home of food companies like Swiggy, Zomato and FoodPanda, all of which have catered for its citizens for years. They will even go against Google who also ventured into the space with its ordering food or home service.
Uber hasn’t yet stated how they are planning on tackling their food rivals. Although, it will definitely be battling against ride-sharing businesses for customers like Ola.
The company has also recently focussed on Eats. The recent app updates added customisable drop-off directions for drivers, new filtering options, tailored recommendations and a restaurant management service. The latter option allowing restaurant partners to have an insight into actionable data.