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Introduction

Uber is an American international transportation network company headquartered in San


Francisco, California. The company develops markets and operates the Uber mobile app, which
allows consumers with smart phones to submit a trip request which is then routed to Uber drivers
who use their own cars. By 28 May 2015, the service was available in 58 countries and 300 cities
worldwide.
Uber was founded as "UberCab" by Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp in 2009 and the app was
released the following June. Beginning in 2012, Uber expanded internationally. In 2014, it
experimented with carpooling features and made other updates. By mid-2015, Uber was
estimated to be worth $50B. It is estimated that Uber will generate $10 billion in revenue by the
end of 2015.
The legality of Uber has been challenged by governments and taxi companies, who allege that its
use of drivers who are not licensed to drive taxicabs is unsafe and illegal.As Uber grew
internationally, it also began to experience disputes with governments and taxi companies in
those regions. In April 2014, Uber was banned by the government in Berlin, although the
company remains active in other German cities. The ban is still being discussed as of December

2014. Taxi drivers in London, Berlin, Paris and Madrid staged a large-scale protest against Uber
on June 11, 2014.
Also in February 2015, Uber announced collaboration with Carnegie Mellon to found the Uber
Advanced Technology Centre, a new facility in Pittsburgh meant to support research in the
development of self-driving vehicles. Additionally, Uber expanded its UberPOOL services to Los
Angeles and New York City, expanding further in March, to offer UbePOOL in Austin, Texas, in
anticipation of the South by Southwest festival. In April 2015, Uber renamed its UberFRESH
program as UberEATS and expanded the service to include Barcelona, Los Angeles, Chicago and
New York City.
Upon its inception, Uber only offered full-size luxury cars for hire, and the "UberBlack" title was
adopted for the company's main service (named after the "black cars" private transportation
services in New York City). In 2012 the company launched its "UberX" program, which made
available to consumers smaller vehicles. Due to the lower fees that accompanied the program,
the service became extremely competitive with traditional taxi services, expanding Uber's appeal
to a broader cross-section of the market.

The SWOT Analysis of UBER


Strengths

User Experience
It offers services/features like reliable pickup, clear pricing, cashless and convenient
payment and splitting of fares, which in turn leads to an enhanced user experience.

First to the market


Has a significant head start in the areas of branding, infrastructure, and consumer trust.

Mobile platform
Cabs, perhaps more than any other service, are uniquely fitted to the mobile platform
because, well, they are mobile.

Mobile app design is thoughtful and user-friendly Glitches are minimal and
responsiveness from servers and system itself is exceptional (crucial, given cab riders
need to get somewhere fast)

Weaknesses

Standard insurance and liability questions that plague most start-ups offering services or
community connections.

Lawsuits charging illegal cab practices from multiple cities including New York.
Established deals between cities and taxi companies, as well as union laws associated
with these, have led Uber to be drawn into court repeatedly in just its 3 year history.

Inconsistent Prices
Uber has a system in place which is called surge pricing, under which uber rates increases
during the busiest times.

No Cash Transactions
Only payment options available are credit and debit card.

No Scheduling
There is no option of pre-booking a cab.

Monetizing the idea; while there is always a proven demand for cabs, the overhead and
potential legal costs required offer significant limitations to potential market cap

Opportunities

Expanding to new cities with seemingly boundless overseas markets for this service
(seriously, name me a city where you cant grab some sort of cab) helps alleviate some of

the legal and overhead limitations on market potential.


Introducing Novelty services: Introducing services like Uber Ice cream in other cities.
Uber introduced Uber Ice Cream in London, which allows you the ability to summon one
of the companys ice cream trucks to your location. A novelty for sure, but thats the kind
of innovative thinking that draws media and social attention to your brand and also
generates revenue.

Further improving customer experience by adding services like pre-booking a cab and
payment through cash (in atleast developing countries like India were the banking habits
are really low).

Threats

Lawsuits
If a city wins one of the sweeping lawsuits against Uber for illegal cab practices, the
court precedent could be damning to Ubers entire model. Liability costs and potential
risks would severely limit further growth and expansion opportunities

Increasing Competition
As with any other newly created mobile-based market, competition is emerging. There
are many new apps (such as Ola, taxi4sure, Meru cabs)that attempting to carve into
Ubers domain.

Service Marketing Mix


The service marketing mix is also known as an extended marketing mix and is an integral part of
a service blueprint design. The service marketing mix consists of 7 Ps as compared to the 4 Ps
of a product marketing mix. Simply said, the service marketing mix assumes the service as a
product itself. However it adds 3 more Ps which are required for optimum service delivery.

The product marketing mix consists of the 4 Ps which are Product, Pricing, Promotions and
Placement. These are discussed in my article on product marketing mix the 4 Ps. The extended
service marketing mix places 3 further Ps which include People, Process and Physical evidence.
All of these factors are necessary for optimum service delivery.

Product: UberX, Uber XL, Uber SELECT, Uber BLACK, Uber SUV, Uber POOL, Uber WAV
Price: Surge pricing, which means on basis of supply and demands, At busy periods (high
demand), or when for whatever reason there aren't many drivers around (low supply), Uber's
prices go up.
Promotion: Event Sponsors, referral and Promo Codes, launch campaigns at each new city.
Place: They are working in 67 countries all over the world.
People: More than 8 million people are using Uber.
Process: It starts from signing in till paying the bill amount.
Physical Evidence: Cab service.

Problem
Uber has had a bumpy ride in India since its launch in the country in Aug 2013, first facing
regulatory hurdle with its offshore payment gateway and then, following the Delhi rape, safety
concerns about its no-liability aggregator model.

A 27-year-old woman was allegedly raped by the driver of taxi service Uber that she had hired to
return home from a dinner party in Gurgaon.The incident took place at around 9:30 pm when the
woman, who works for a finance company in Gurgaon, was headed back to her home in north
Delhi's Inderlok area.
"The woman had gone to a restaurant for dinner with some friends after her shift ended at 7 pm.
One of her friends dropped her till Vasant Vihar from where she hired a cab run by a private
company to take her to Inderlok," police said citing the complaint filed by the victim.
On the way, the woman dozed off on the back seat of the car only to wake up and find that they
had stopped at a secluded spot. She found that the car doors were locked and, when she tried to
raise an alarm, the driver thrashed her and then committed rape, police said.The accused then
dropped her off near her home in Inderlok after threatening to kill her if she spoke of the matter
to anybody.

Ubers Action against Safety

In a bid to win back credibility in the fast-growing and vital Indian market, Uber added a panic
button and cab tracking features to its taxi-summoning app. The features, each requiring two
taps, are the first-of-a-kind safety features introduced by the San Francisco-based startup
anywhere in the world. As security and safety concerns mount at multiple Uber locations across
the globe, the startup hired a Head of Global Safety Philip Cardenas.
We are always seeking to improve our safety technologies and processes, said Uber in a mail
to users in India and, besides the panic button and tracking features, detailed a number of other
initiatives launched in the past weeks such as police re-verification of all drivers, additional
background screening by a private agency and a dedicated Incident Response Team in each city
to handle critical situations.
The Delhi transport authorities then changed the licensing rules for taxi aggregators like Uber
and its main local rivals Ola and TaxiForSure. The authorities mandated stringent safety
requirements and background checks. Uber has since returned to the roads in the capital city after
complying with the new rules and officially turning itself into a radio taxi firm.
Ubers new Send Status allows users to share driver, vehicle and journey details with friends and
family including live GPS tracking, drivers photo, name and license plate number. Its SOS
button allows riders to call 100, Indias police emergency number, with two taps.
Uber has acknowledged that its safety measures need more work and said in the mail to Indian
users that it would roll out additional safety features in other cities and countries in the coming
months.

Below is the statement issued by Uber:


Our thoughts are with the victim of this terrible crime and we are working with the police as they
investigate. We will assist them in any way we can. It is also our policy to immediately suspend a
drivers account following allegations of a serious incident, which we have done.
Safety is Ubers highest priority and in India, we work with licensed driver-partners to provide a
safe transportation option, with layers of safeguards such as driver and vehicle information, and
ETA-sharing to ensure there is accountability and traceability of all trips that occur on the Uber
platform.

- Evelyn Tay, Uber Spokeswoman

Conclusion
With the companys growth and expansion continuing at an exponential rate, and with the everincreasing possibilities for the companys network as well as the massive international market for
the idea, the future looks bright for Uber.
Uber should not let potential risks and legal issues from stopping its expansion. Instead, working
to establish brand recognition and trust can help build customer and public support that can
shield its brand, product, or service from legal ramifications.
However, getting over the goal line wont be easy. With the amount and variety of pending
litigation, as well as the continual monkey-on-the-back of overhead costs required to start a
feasible cab service in each new city.

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