‘For Uber, the India market is second only to the US’

Submitted by admin on Mon, 08/14/2017 - 11:45

Sanjay Gupta, Uber’s newly appointed Marketing Head, talks to IMPACT about the launch of Uber India’s first integrated campaign in four years


It has been a tumultuous year for Uber, from driver strikes in February to the alleged mishandling of a rape case by a company official, but that doesn’t seem to have affected the company’s business which has grown by 2.5x YoY, in India. Through their first ever integrated ad campaign, the cab hailing service is telling millions of people in India that when they use Uber next, ‘Isey Apni hi Gaadi Samjho’. Sanjay Gupta, the company’s newly appointed Marketing Head, explains the proposition to IMPACT.

The timing

Four years ago when we started Uber in India, it was built on word-of-mouth, that has pretty much been the way we built our business across the globe too. As far as trips are concerned, today the Indian market for us is second only to U.S. Four years after we stepped in India, we have spread to 29 cities and recently completed 500 million trips. From here on, at this scale TV starts becoming more efficient. However, a big chunk of our spends will be on Digital.
Marketing strategy

We want to break it down to storytelling and advertising. Our ad campaign was made by Taproot Dentsu, but less than a week from now you will see a storytelling campaign by 22 feet Tribal, which won the pitch for our Digital work. The idea was to make Uber an everyday ride for everyone. Especially when you go mass on television, you want to connect to a wider variety of people. Just as people use Uber for work, they also use our services for leisure.

Other channels

We have just added TV to the marketing mix. Our own channels are very powerful, email and in-app. We have a high reach there, and similarly on Facebook and Twitter which are very contextual. Lastly, we have Youtube and Radio. We are not looking at Print because this campaign is more about changing behaviour and Print is more a newsy medium which is generally apt for a new product launch. It is not economical to sustain the same campaign on Print for a long time.

On Ola’s first mover advantage

It is a huge opportunity for us in India. When we see our rides business, it is not even 1% of the number of trips people take. So for all players in this category, the task is category creation and category education. For us specially, the emphasis has always been on very good customer service, both for our riders and our driver partners.

Negative impact of controversies

The people, in my understanding, will only base their judgement on how their ride with Uber has been. If we manage to give them a good ride, the rest is taken care of.

(As told to Neeta Nair)

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