On early Monday morning, Times Internet Limited, the digital arm of the Times of India Group, and Uber announced a significant step to fuel latter’s expansion plans in India. The two companies have entered into a strategic partnership around a commercial marketing arrangement accompanied by a small investment.
While the exact amount of investment wasn’t shared in the official announcement, Times of India Group’s Media subsidiary, The Economic Times, has shared it to be around Rs 150 crores. Although this is the biggest deal for Times Global Partners, it hasn’t been revealed how much stake would it pick up in the 42 billion dollar global startup.
Uber would be leveraging Times Internet’s print, radio, OOH, and digital marketing platforms to market and distribute its services across the country. India is the second largest market for it globally and it is hence investing significant resources into this market’s continued growth.
“India is one of our fastest growing markets in the history of Uber and one where we are investing heavily in continued growth,” said Travis Kalanick, CEO, Uber Technologies. “…Marketing and Distribution are a key part to our strategy for success in India and there is no better partner and platform for this than Times Internet with it’s print, radio, OOH, and digital marketing platforms that reach over 200 million Indians”
Later last year the company’s operations had received a set back in India due to regulations and notices issued by multiple state governments. This partnership will help in pitting better against its local competitors, the biggest of which (in terms of valuation) is Ola, which recently acquired TaxiForSure. Uber currently operates in eleven cities across India, as against over 50 cities Ola is operating in.
This deal similar to Uber’s strategy of creating local partnerships in key markets, like Baidu in China, AmericaMovil in Latin America and American Express in the US. Besides marketing the product to the end consumers, Times Internet’s channels might also help in attracting the car drivers to ease setting up of operations in the different cities.