Uber picks new India and South Asia president

Uber has named Prabhjeet Singh as the new president of its India and South Asia business, filling a role vacated weeks ago after Pradeep Parameswaran was promoted to be the regional general manager in the Asia Pacific region.

Singh, who joined the ride-hailing firm five years ago, has helped Uber manage operations in dozens of cities in India and South Asia in recent years. His new job is to oversee the next phase of growth in what Uber sees as one of its “fastest growing and most strategic markets.”

“Prabhjeet is a passionate and innovative leader and has been instrumental in helping build Uber from the ground up and establishing our category leadership in the ride-sharing market. I’m confident Prabh will exceed our expectations by leading Uber India SA on to the path of profitability, further consolidate our partnership with public transport authorities, continue our growth trajectory by expanding Auto and Moto to the next batch of cities, and build iconic teams,” said Parameswaran in a statement.

Singh, pictured above, will report to Parameswaran.

India and South Asia offer a huge opportunity to Uber, which in recent years has retreated from Southeast Asia and China as the heavily-funded, loss-making company struggled to compete with just as heavily-backed and loss-making local startups.

Uber has expanded to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in recent years. In India, the biggest market in the region, Uber competes with SoftBank-backed Ola. Uber, which handled about 14 million rides each week in India last year, claims dominance in the country. Its rival Ola has disputed that claim.

Earlier this year Uber sold the local Uber Eats food delivery business in India to rival Zomato as the American ride-hailing giant looked to pare back on parts of its businesses to improve its overall financial position.

The food delivery business has proven crucial to Uber in recent months as nations across the globe enforced a lockdown. Earlier this month, it bought Postmates in a $2.65 billion deal. But unlike other markets, COVID-19 has not boosted online food delivery businesses in India, with local giants reporting a decline in the volume of orders they process.

Uber recently eliminated about 25% of its local workforce in India as part of its global restructuring to steer through the coronavirus pandemic. News outlet The Information reported earlier this month that Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi is contemplating moving more engineering roles to Asia’s third-largest economy.

“I’m thrilled to have been given the responsibility of leading Uber in India and South Asia, and look forward to collaborating with exceptional teams and gifted colleagues across the Uber family to strengthen our services and product offerings,” said Singh in a statement.