COVID-19: Bajaj & UBER Partner Up To Install Safety Partition In Rickshaws

Uber and Bajaj announced they’re partnering with auto drivers to install safety partitions just behind the driver seat in 1 lakh autos across the country to act as a protective barrier for restricting contact and to facilitate social distancing between drivers and riders for making travel safer in the new normal.

Safety kits consisting of face masks, hand sanitizers and vehicle disinfectants will also be distributed to 1 lakh auto-rickshaw drivers across 20 cities including New Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mysore, Madurai, among others.

What kind of partnership is between Uber & Bajaj Auto?

A partnership between two people is when they run a business together with the intention of sharing the profits amongst themselves. However, there can be various types of partnerships according to their duration or the intent of their creation.

A partnership can be formed for carrying on continuous business, or it can be formed for one particular venture or undertaking. If the partnership is formed only to carry out one business venture or to complete one undertaking such a partnership is known as a Particular Partnership.

After the completion of the said venture or activity, the partnership will be dissolved. However, the partners can come to an agreement to continue the said partnership. But in the absence of this, the partnership ends when the task is complete.

Nandini Maheshwari, Business Development Director, Uber APAC, in a National interview said this partnership would help the firm to stay ahead of the curve and be ready to assist millions of riders with safe and reliable transport options in the ‘new normal’. Over the coming few months, she said Uber will leverage its close ties to continue to instil confidence in the driver-partners and provide peace of mind for millions of its riders.

What is the need for a tie-up?

Bajaj Auto is a global and one of India’s largest two-wheeler manufacturers. The company initially manufactured scooters, but over time, it shifted its focus to make motorcycles. Today, the company has 7 strong motorcycle brands under them and Bajaj bikes can be found in over 70 countries.

Uber Technologies, Inc., commonly known as Uber, is an American multinational ride-hailing company offering services that include peer-to-peer ridesharing, ride service hailing, food delivery (Uber Eats), and a micro mobility system with electric bikes and scooters.

Tie-up and collaboration with a domestic business which has popularity is always beneficial for the foreign franchises to gain trust of the local commuters. This shared responsibility also divides the burden from one particular entity to two. Division of labour will ensure efficiency and punctuality in completion of their undertaken business venture.

Since the lockdown opened up Uber has resumed operations in more than 70 cities. “We are seeing green shoots and most importantly the recovery is strongest in our auto product. It is because of the price point, reliability and many other factors,” said Maheshwari, in an interview. “When you take an auto-rickshaw we want you to know that you will be hundred per cent safe and secure.”

Is a business agreement anew for Uber-Bajaj? Not Really.

In the month of June 2019, Uber announced its first partnership with Bajaj Auto. Under this, the ride-hailing major is going include the Bajaj Qute in its new UbderXS category. This will provide a more affordable commuting option to the travellers in Bengaluru. The new UberXS category, in the India South Asia region, is going to run the Bajaj Qute in the initial stage, in its CNG version only in the city of Bengaluru.

Nandini Maheshwari, then Head of Business Development at Uber India and South Asia said that the ride-hailing service provider is currently working on “transforming the mobility landscape of cities” with the help of new technology.

She further added that Uber’s partnership with Bajaj is the extension of the company’s commitment towards lowering down transportation costs, enhancing asset utilization as well as work towards improving the convenience of the rider. The charges of UberXS will be between that of its UberGo and auto offering, depending on demand and other factors, Maheshwari said.

Bajaj Auto DGM Prashant Ahir said that Bajaj Qute is the first quadricycle of India and will prove to be an ideal solution for the mobility challenges of congestion and pollution arising from rapid urbanisation. Its small size helps to park in congested areas. The Uber XS will be operated in the city of Bangaluru for some time before it makes its way to other Indian cities.

Increasing Competition between OLA-UBER forcing Collaborations?

Competition among ride-hailing giants to claim the top spot in the sector continues to grow each day. After selling Uber’s foodtech arm Uber Eats to Zomato, the US-based ride hailing giant is increasing its focus on its Indian mobility business.  According to a media report, Uber is now planning to offer self-driving car rentals and shuttle bus services in India.

The company has reportedly forged partnerships with mobility platforms such as Drivezy, Zoomcar, Bounce and Revv to deploy new vehicles on its platform.

In response to Entrepreneur India’s query, Uber spokesperson said, “We are constantly evaluating new modalities such as auto, moto, electric bikes and buses to leverage the power of the platform and offer the best mobility experience to our riders and drivers. We have recently experimented with car rental companies so that drivers and fleet partners could access these vehicles. However, we do not have any immediate plans to launch a self-driving car rental service in India.”

While Ola is focusing on challenging the US-based company in foreign markets, Uber is doubling down on its efforts to capture the Indian users. In October 2019, Uber restructured its corporate holdings to bring its India cab and food delivery business under Uber India Systems.

Financial Take of ‘Uber ties knot with Bajaj Auto’.

Uber has also allocated $50 million globally to purchase safety supplies like masks, gloves, hand sanitizers, and disinfectant sprays for drivers. In India the teams have already been distributing protective equipment to active drivers across 70+ cities where operations have resumed. Uber’s new in-app safety feature will notify drivers to replenish their PPE supplies after they have completed a predetermined number of trips.

As cities start to reopen, Uber’s rides business is seeing green shoots of recovery, with low cost products like Moto and Auto recovering faster than other categories.

Uber and Bajajs’ latest safety initiative follows the earlier high profile June 2019 launch of Bajaj Qute on UberXS, a brand new category launched on Uber’s platform, to provide smart and affordable mobility solutions for residents of Bangalore.

Shares of BAJAJ AUTO LTD. was last trading in BSE at Rs.3095.5 as compared to the previous close of Rs. 3122.85. The total number of shares traded during the day was 23713 in over 2620 trades.

The stock hit an intraday high of Rs. 3149.75 and intraday low of 3078.9. The net turnover during the day was Rs. 73758227.



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