In India, Uber and Ola's main competitor UTOO Cabs, has suspended its operations in Hyderabad and Bangalore. A message on its app states that services have been interrupted in the two cities, but that UTOO Cabs is still operating in Chennai.
Upon entering the Indian market, Uber Technologies Inc. found itself head-to-head with Ola (ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd), with the two companies asserting their dominance in the country's largely fragmented cab market.
Launched in June of 2016, Chennai-based UTOO, was introduced onto the market with hopes to take on Uber and Ola. A short while after it's roll out, UTOO expanded to Hyderabad and Bangalore, and while Uber and Ola engaged in a brutal price war, UTOO focused on service, providing premium cab service with courteous drivers in uniforms.
But most importantly, UTOO poured all of its on its drivers. Whereas Uber and Ola's drivers striked and protested, UTOO "pampered" its drivers. The company promised all its drivers would be offered apartments, which they could finance and pay off in installments. 200 apartments in Perambur in Chennai were purchased, and sources say that recently the company was in the process of acquiring even more apartments.
Outwardly, UTOO appeared to have found the happy medium, and to have solved all the issues Uber and Ola encountered along the way, but beneath the surface, lay a more realistic picture of UTOO's struggles.
UTOO’s all-sedan fleet raised the service's standards, but clients have complained regarding the lack of available cabs. Uber and Ola, on the other hand, established large fleets very quickly, thanks to generous subsidies to users and heavy incentives for drivers, which enabled their cars to permeate its territory, and bring wait times way down. This translated into revenue, a riders preferred an on-demand service with lower wait times and cheaper fares, even if the service standards were not as high.
Although not completely out of the game, UTOO, still runs operations in Chennai, and its Hyderabad and Bangalore users have been told that it will be back in a new avatar. It is not apparent what the new avatar will be, but the app is already offering package deals for its cars. But UTOO's withdrawal from the cab-hailing industry demonstrates that in spite of their challenges and cut-throat competition between them, Uber and Ola seem to have carved a solid niche for themselves in the Indian market, and are probably there for good.