The American giant never ceases to surprise us… Uber has just launched Uber Flex, a flexible pricing service, in more than a dozen cities in India. This low-key strategy could well change the game by broadening Uber’s consumer base in the Indian market, and putting pressure on rival platforms such as Ola and inDrive. Find out how this new approach will shake up mobility in India…
Uber Flex: an innovative concept in mobility
Since last October, Uber has been discreetly testing a flexible fare service called “Uber Flex” in more than a dozen Indian cities. According to TechCrunch, these include Aurangabad, Ajmer, Bareilly, Chandigarh, Coimbatore, Dehradun, Gwalior, Indore, Jodhpur and Surat… Initially designed for taxis, the service has been extended to automatic tuk-tuk vehicles. It now offers users the option of choosing their own fare, breaking with Uber’s traditional dynamic pricing model which evolves according to supply, demand and traffic in a particular region. This approach is in line with Uber’s desire to adapt to the specific characteristics of the Indian market.
We are currently testing this feature in some of the Tier 2 and Tier 3 markets in India.UBER SPOKESPERSON to Techcrunch
Direct confrontation with inDrive
Uber’s rival, inDrive, also allows passengers to negotiate their fares manually. However, this model raises serious concerns among drivers about insufficient remuneration. Uber Flex attempts to solve this problem by imposing a lower fare cap, not allowing passengers to manually set a fare. To achieve this, Uber Flex offers nine pricing levels, with a default price selected. The aim is to allow passengers to choose a fare of their choice, which will be shared with nearby conductors. Based on this fare, drivers can accept or refuse the journey. Transparency and fairness are the watchwords for Uber in this fierce competition.
Diversification of services for the Indian market
Uber is testing Flex in other markets, including Lebanon, Kenya and Latin America. TechCrunch has learned that the company is also looking to soon test the new service model in India’s metropolitan cities, including Delhi and Mumbai.
However, Uber is not content with Uber Flex… In fact, the American giant is testing various services in India, including traditional taxis in Mumbai and a Wait & Save model in certain cities to anticipate fare hikes. However, challenges remain for Indian taxi drivers, who are faced with relatively low pay and safety concerns. Competition is intensifying with the arrival of new players, such as BluSmart and Evera, offering eco-friendly alternatives. Uber is adapting to meet local demand and offer innovative alternatives.