Everyone tells him his name is Dara. It is mostly related to his castle, Khosrowshahi, which is difficult to pronounce. But also his kind and descomplicado character, always of tennis, with tie and generally, wide smile. He was born in Iran and over the past year and a half he has been CEO and face of Uber, a US company that has led the transportation service revolution over the last decade. Today, however, products that can fly within two to three years from dozens of electric bicycles and automobiles to "aerotaxis"
At the invitation of Uber, EL TIEMPO visited him at his office in San Francisco, CA. Employees respect him because he has forsaken the company from the worst of times when accused of discriminatory gender-intensive practices. You can get the best profit margins without paying too much attention to how.
The company is now emerging as a comprehensive employer, he says, and is part of a solution to the mobility problem that plagues most cities. And leave Limba, which is found in most Latin American countries, such as Colombia, which is above all regulated.
He asks the first conversation in the Colombian media. Ivan Duque GovernmentThis is the first time we announce the amount of tax paid to the country this year and we have a conversation.
They are obviously interested in Latin America. What attracts so much attention?
We are not only interested but also an important area for us. We invest from the very beginning in countries like Argentina, Brazil and Colombia. We believe that our economic potential and human potential are great. It is the fastest growing region and major market in terms of the number of services provided. What we can see is the service we love for people, the source of employment for thousands of drivers, and people to be mobilized more efficiently and to achieve economic and social development.
Of course, however, there is competition with strong competitors such as Didi from China. They are already in Mexico and Brazil. And local companies. Why do you think your product is better and better?
The mobility business is huge and earns $ 6 million a year ($ 6 trillion). But when you observe how people move into cities through cars, trains, and buses, you realize that people are a field that has not been transformed from technology to technology at the level of others or others. In other words, there is a big opportunity. We are fortunate to be the first to enter this area for the first time, but we welcome competition because we believe we are compelled to provide better services. And the competition will last at least 10 years. We continue to innovate, but we will continue to grow as long as we continue to provide reliable services.
We were fortunate to be the first to enter this area for the first time, but we welcome competition because we believe that this forces us to provide better services and better services.
They have been in Colombia for more than five years in other parts of the region and their legal situation is still volatile. What are the main hurdles they are looking for and what do they suggest to get out of the bog?
What we need is equal competition in terms of regulation of all mobility and mobility providers. Although taxis already have regulations, we think we should update these rules. See, Uber is a concept that will be an important part of how people move around the world. We have common sense to the Secretary of Transportation and are prepared to develop equitable rules for all.
In that sense, what signal did you receive from Duke?
I must be very busy with him. But what we believe is that we become powerful actors in this country. There are already 88,000 monthly operators using this platform, and by the middle of this year we have paid a tax of 440 million pesos as a result of the operation. We can become a Colombian economy engine by creating partial and full-time jobs and paying taxes. The message we send is very clear. We are ready to be regulated in a fair way for everyone.
Uber's message about the traditional taxi system seems to adapt or disappear.
All models must adapt and succeed if successful. You have to move all of them and both the taxi and the uber act. In the long run, what we want is not only working with taxis, buses and transit systems, but also sharing all the information about how people move around the city, which can play a constructive role in urban design. Bus stop, station etc.
The success of Uber and others was tied to Internet access, smartphones and low-cost data planning. In Latin America we are still lagging behind. How long are these types of service extensions suspended?
From time to time, we sinned by seeing things from a very Western, widespread and broadly mobile infrastructure. But we have also come to realize that they are self-deterministic and team up in India to develop applications designed for low capacity telephones. It is called Uber Light and started in Colombia in September. Its downloading takes up less space and less broadband because it always appears from the beginning and removes things like maps that take a long time to load. The application is very fast and efficient. In other words, we are making certain changes for a world where broadband is not always the same everywhere.
It is called Uber Light and started in Colombia in September. It takes up less download space and requires less broadband.
The security issues in Latin America are complex and the intensity and abuse of this type of traffic are frequent. How are you adapting?
Safety is our most important plan. And, say, every market has different challenges. In the United States and other countries, credit cards and banking information are used to establish a good part of an individual's identity and career. In Latin America, however, this type of verification is impossible because cash is widely used as a payment instrument. However, we use different types of filters. For example, we are asking for a connection with Facebook and other forms of user ID. Some of them do not want to provide information, so they cost a lot of money. We concluded that priority is a safe platform. We also use technology to improve security. For example, you can find out which areas of your city are unsafe and what time it is through the "information" collected by you and the driver, and you can design a route to avoid it .
What do you say to those who accuse Uber of contributing to pollution and car congestion?
Congestion and pollution are the issues that each city must face as more people move to the center of the city. Today, 50% of the population is there, but the United Nations will soon be two-thirds. Uber attacks private cars, one of the biggest causes of congestion. That's why our technology aims to make cars more efficient and less relevant. Our first step is that a private car is used to mobilize more people than their owners. And it reduced the number of cars on the street and the space occupied by the parking lot. The second is to find people who share a job with others. This service, called Uber Pool, pulls more cars out of the streets. The third factor we are investing heavily is to mobilize people on small journeys with personal electric vehicles such as bicycles and skateboards. The fourth axis of our vision is that Uber becomes a mobility platform for everything. Transit services (meters, buses and taxis) must be in Uber to provide the most efficient route.
Do you see the future of the concept of personal vehicles disappearing?
It makes no sense for a person to own a car for his own use. On average, this car only uses 5% of the time. They are not very useful. We believe that by adding all services like swimming pools to electric cars and autonomous vehicles, we will make the streets safer and quieter and that the city will be clean and uncooperative. And they will make less and less private cars.
What is Uber's bet when Uber buys a jumping bike service and enters the skateboard market?
The battle of these individual vehicles is a revolution in and of itself. Have you ever used them? He asks. When you enter one of them you will feel like you are Superman. They do not need any effort. The average of car trips in San Francisco is about four kilometers. But at least 30-40% is less than that distance. Imagine a world where bicycle travel can replace 30-40% of short trips. Bicycle tours are easy to handle and can reach your final destination more quickly.
He believes that Elevate, aerotaxis is the future. Why?
We developed a vehicle for vertical up and down, electric (electric) and safe, and we have the technology to put on the market from 2023. As the city grows in three dimensions, transportation must also do so.
Sergio Gomez Maserri
EL TIEMPO envoy