Uber is one of the big tech American companies with approximately 100m users over the world, in 2014 it started the service in Cairo, 5 million trips were made using the application in the traffic-clogged city, which is one of Uber’s fastest growing markets, the company announced it will inject $100m in investment in the Egyptian market over the next five years. Daily News Egypt interviews Abdellatif Waked Uber Middle East and North Africa’s General Manager, to find out the company’s latest plans, and updates.
What are the obstacles that Uber faces in Egypt? And how does it overcome them?
We constantly work to use technology to overcome challenges at Uber. For example, the rising inflation and costs for the drivers were our primary concerns in Egypt. In response, we launched a series of partnerships to lower the costs, such as the Rent-to-Own programme with Nacita, which reduced entry barriers and streamlined the rental process for drivers. This is in addition to an insurance programme, in partnership with AXA, providing coverage for both the drivers and riders in case of accidents or lost income.
For riders, Uber launched a range of low-cost options including the UberScooter, and most recently the UberBus, which is 70% cheaper than UberX, in response to the Egyptian government’s request for low-cost transport options.
What are the latest updates concerning the white taxi drivers’ complaints against Uber?
This is about the customer’s choice, which we greatly believe in. The competition that Uber introduced in the Egyptian market helped increase innovation from the existing service providers. Taxis are also considering using ‘E-hail’applications to dispatch taxis in a more intelligent way.
How many drivers does Uber have in Egypt?
Over the past four years, Uber has been scaling up, putting Cairo on the map as one of the fastest growing cities in the Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). We started with 12 drivers when we launched in 2014, and now we have over 200,000 drivers who are using the Uber application to increase their incomes, 40% of those drivers were previously unemployed.
Do you have any intention to partner with any telecommunication companies, for example as Careem partnered with Vodafone?
We have an existing partnership with Etisalat, offering an array of value-added services to both our riders and drivers, in addition to launching various campaigns together.