Uber services ‘legal’ in Bangladesh!

uber legalDaily Dhaka Times: A regional official of Uber says it runs “legal” operations in Bangladesh, although the government is still devising policies on app-based ride-hailing services.

“We are legal,” Pradeep Parameswaran, head of Central Operation, Uber India and South Asia, told replying to a question in Dhaka on Sunday, a year after the launch of the services in Bangladesh.

Within six months, Dhaka has become one of the fast-growing Uber-using cities in the Asia-Pacific. Locally-made mobile-based services such as Pathao also hit the streets.

But the road transport authorities initially called those services illegal and started a process of devising guidelines for their operations.

“Uber Bangladesh is a registered entity, it’s a legal entity. We operate within the laws of the country,” Parameswaran said, adding that they are also expecting the policy in coming months.

He, however, did not comment on the draft policy. He said there had been a “lot of progress” in the last few months.

“We are hopeful that will come out quickly and that will help to accelerate the industry.”

Parameswaran said their experiences in Bangladesh were “very positive”.

He, however, declined to comment on the earnings in one year, saying: “I am unable to do that. We are still in the investment phase.”
Parameswaran also welcomed local app-based services. “Our motto is private car replacement, and we alone cannot do that. We need others. Collectively it will help make the market faster.”

“It’s a privilege to have more people.”

Uber plans to expand its services to Chittagong and Sylhet and introduce UberPool that matches a user with riders heading in the same direction, so the ride and cost can be shared.

He said the Uber price is higher in Bangladesh, compared to other markets because of the high car prices.

Earlier, President of the Uber India & South Asia Amit Jain, Parameswaran, and General Manager of Uber East India & Dhaka Arpit Mundra spoke at a press briefing marking Uber’s first anniversary in Dhaka.

But they did not take questions from journalists during the conference.

More than 200,000 people took Uber trips just in November, said the company without providing any cumulative figure of the year.

More than 10,000 active car drivers operate under the Uber network every month to cover the city with 20 million people.

An Uber was requested 1.5 million times in November alone.

They have launched new products such as UberPremier and UberMoto in the first year of their operations in Bangladesh.

Uber Technologies Inc, a transportation technology company headquartered in San Francisco, operates in 633 cities worldwide.

But recently it was criticised for massive data security breach.

Three senior managers resigned on Friday after the disclosure of the 2016 data breach, which compromised data belonging to 57 million customers and about 600,000 drivers.

Parameswaran said their CEO made it clear that “what happened should not have happened and that was a mistake”.


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Executive Editor: Saiful Alam
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