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Uber targets new users in India with lighter app, local languages

Karan Choudhury/New Delhi 13 Jun 18 | 07:08 AM

Online cab aggregator Uber, under the leadership of Dara Khosrowshahi, is making a renewed effort to win back India market. 

Hoping to expand its user base as well as increasing its popularity in tier-III cities, Uber has introduced a data-light version of its app. Realising that it needs to increase its user base beyond the English-speaking population, the firm has launched the Uber Lite app in seven Indian languages. While Uber did not elaborate on its local language plans, the company, which has a strong team of more than 150 engineers, data scientists, analysts, language experts based out of Bengaluru and Hyderabad, is planning to go for a major overhauling in its app to bring in regional language speakers into its fold.

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The company, which is locked in an intense battle with Bhavish Aggarwal-led Ola, launched a ‘Lite’ version of its app that is designed to work well in low connectivity situations as well as in phones with low storage space. The made-in-India app has been launched as a pilot project in Delhi, Jaipur and Hyderabad. 

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“Uber Lite will be rolled out to other parts of the country in the coming months. We will look at taking this to the global markets. We have been speaking to our users and using those inputs, we want to make sure that the ride-booking experience is as smooth and seamless as possible," Uber Head of Rider Product Peter Deng said. The Indic languages that Uber is looking at are Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Bengali and Gujarati.

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