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Uber to leverage its platform for VAS

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KOLKATA: San Francisco-based taxi aggregator, Uber, is planning to leverage its platform and provide value-added services (VAS) such as courier facilities, food-delivery options or even doorstep delivery of groceries.

In India, Kolkata has become the fastest growing market for taxi-hailing service Uber, after the US, a top official of the company said.

“India has a huge potential for value-added services and that might help the company tap the possibility of such services,” said Uber head expansion – India and the subcontinent Neeraj Singhal.

He, however, declined to confirm the time frame on bringing in such services in the country.

“Kolkata is the fastest market for us globally after America. The volume of business growth is unprecedented for us. It is the most important market for us,” he said, adding that the business in terms of the number of trips has been growing at a phenomenal rate ever since the service was launched here in last September.

"This means that the Kolkata market is growing faster than even London," he said.

When being asked to comment on the growth from the country, he said that the India market for Uber had been growing by over 40 per cent, and Kolkata market has been doing better than the national average.

Reiterating that it is not merely a transport provider, Singhal further said that there is a need to get the “right kind" of regulatory framework under which it can operate as a technology-based company in India. 

“The regulations to govern a taxi company should be very different to govern a technology company… If we can work together (with the government) to get the right sort of regulatory framework to operate as a technology company, then the scope is endless. Fundamentally, if the government restricts us to be a taxi company, then the scope is limited to provide technology,” he added.

Founded in 2009, Uber operates in over 200 cities across the globe.

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