Questions

It seems to be one of the fastest growing Internet companies in history.

Uber success story was the most amazing of success stories in the corporate word. Uber Technologies, Inc., commonly known as Uber, offers vehicles for hire, food delivery (Uber Eats), package delivery, couriers, freight transportation, and, through a partnership with Lime, electric bicycle and motorized scooter rental. The company is based in San Francisco and has operations in over 900 metropolitan areas worldwide.
I have been to UberEATS couple of times in India and I felt that the food was good. UberEATS views India as a game changer for its business, with the food delivery unit of the world’s largest ride-hailing company expecting the country to drive its global growth and outpace other markets in attracting investment. Since Uber launched its food-delivery business in India a year and half ago, its growth here has been “incredible”, Droege said. It has grown seven-fold in order volume in the past six months in India where it adds over 4,500 delivery partners each week, he said. Globally, it has 400,000 active delivery partners. UberEATS contributed about 13 per cent of Uber’s overall gross bookings in the first quarter of 2018 from 10 per cent during the same period last year in 2017. With Uber heading towards a $120 billion public offering next year, bankers and investors peg UberEATS as a key contributor to the firm’s overall valuation and a model for its future growth. UberEATS alone is pegged to be valued at over $20 billion, according to global media reports.
The secret of how a cab hiring company went on to become a major player into chain of restaurant began slowly. No tech giant simply sprouted into a giant overnight, there had to be a period of growth, a time when the owners must take a step back and redefine the purpose of starting their company in the first place. They do this by creating an identity, a brand that both them and the employees can be identified with. Travis Kalanick’s first attempt at building a business was a forum for downloading illegal files easily and quickly. The current competition at the only catered to downloading music, and as such, gave Travis Kalanick’s own business some advantage over the market. But when demand for his services grew and he needed funding, Travis Kalanick turned to venture capitalists who in turned to venture capitalists who in turn muscled him into selling half of his company for a measly $4m. This way only the beginning for a bad run as the firm was hit by lawsuits up to the tune of $250b for copyright infringement and Travis Kalanick’s investors left him to carry the burden alone.
Travis Kalanick would go on to create another business venture, Red Swoosh, which would be responsible for peer-to-peer media file sharing-but this time, legally. It did not have too much success but thanks to his growing experience, Kalanick was able to sell it to a major competitor, Akamai, for $20m. This would turn out to be a nudge in the right direction as the influx of mobile computing and convenience in the software market was high. Companies like Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon all had a foot in the door and were not baking down.
There was a budding entrepreneur also in view, one who had created a start-up that paired online users with random sites and interests daily. His place and dominance seemed to be endless but as the era of mobile computing started, so did his reign begin to dwindle. No one needed desktop-based sites anymore, the future was in apps. This entrepreneur, Garret Camp, after selling his company to eBay, finally got the idea to start a service that grants customers the convenience of transportation at the touch of a screen. This in part was because the taxi system in his city, San Francisco, was deplorable and he was annoyed about it. He would in turn share this idea with Travis who was also looking for next big thing to invest in. The idea was to give users access to cabs at their own convenience and the ability to track their rides with GPS as well. That way they wouldn’t be left in the dark on when their cabs would arrive. UberCab was born from the desire to give people easier taxi services, and for it to be a success, the kind of experience, grit and tenacity to lead the business was none other than Travis Kalanick. Although the choice of leadership for Uber Cabs in its early stages was Kalanick, he did not want a central role and he shipped it out to Ryan Graves, who was, at the time, the best option due to his charms and looks. But the problem was that he was lacking in managerial expertise and the sharp wit required to impress and convince investors which was bad for business.
To succeed as an entrepreneur in the world today and avoid being outmuscled, one must have all the qualities needed, charm, with and confidence. This tactic helped spread the message far and wide and soon enough, UberCab had a following of committed customers. Travis Kalanick although needed help solidifying its place outside San Francisco, needed a worthy general in the form of Austin Geidt who devised an ingenious strategy to increase driver and rider involvement; free iPhones for drivers and discounted trips for riders and much more. This was incentive enough for more and more companies to get involved in UberCab Wave. But expansion was not the only challenge; apparently, they had been breaking transport laws and were in danger of going out of business. Kalanick again found a way to wriggle out of a potential lawsuit, the old name, Uber Cab would now become Uber. As it goes, some start-ups much like Uber can be self-funded and might need the funding of venture capitalists. The former founders get to bear the loss or gains the companies bring in whilst the latter has risk but less profits for the founders.
For Uber, they needed a lot of funding quickly if they were going to grow and infiltrate the streets of every city. Travis Kalanick managed to strong-arm several investors to get huge funds in investments in exchange for little influence in his firm. The common move was for these investors to exchange a huge investment for controlling stocks, but Kalanick made sure he retained as much control as possible, offering only observer seats to the likes of Google Ventures and TPG. This ensured Travis Kalanick got more than enough money for his expansion and was still in charge of what to do with the money. He achieved power amongst the shareholders by enlisting the support of the ones with large shares like his cofounders. Travis Kalanick was truly a boardroom giant and a tech general with the way he took on the big guns and came out on the top. The future of transportation seemed to shift to automated self-driving cars. It was a fast-rising trend and major players in the game were already making major moves, Google was one, after the failed attempt at getting a large chunk of control at Uber by Google Ventures CEO, he played one more card in his deck; a self-driven Uber. This idea intrigued Kalanick immensely because he loved the idea of efficiency and hassle-free transportation, it was directly within the dream he had for Uber. Being the ruthless leader, he was, Kalanick was ready to compete with little adherence to moral code. Travis Kalanick muscled rival taxi services with all of his might, one of such rivals was Lyft, who were in the business of providing a similar service to Uber. Although they were considered a rival, it was a compliment to them, they were dwarfed by Uber’s resources, customer base and tactical genius. They were although a cheaper alternative and as such, they rightly earned the title of competitor and a target on their back as well. Uber will try to buy out a struggling Lyft, but proceedings would eventually fall apart and subsequently, the firm would fold up. But enemies within were not Travis Kalanick’s only concern, as the company grew in U.S., there was a desire to conquer across the Atlantic, all the way to sacred trophy location, China. It was a legend that American firms do not do well there, and Kalanick was determined to break the jinx. Travis Kalanick spread his tentacles to far away Asia and introduced taxi drivers to this new-fangled app taking the western world by storm. Per Travis Kalanick’s usual was general style, he damned whatever existing taxis setup was there on ground or whatever rivals existed, he simply did not care.
This was met with stern opposition and many established businesses sought to outmanoeuvre Uber out of business, in China, neighbouring Asian countries and also in U.S. In Travis Kalanick’s usual fashion, the fundraising guru was able to source funds from investors to float his war against stern and fully funded opposition. At the same time, the demand for driverless cars started to increase and Uber was yet to get on the track. Most importantly, Google had not fully kickstarted their automated car division yet. This was all that separated Uber from the future it longed for.
Travis Kalanick’s grit and desire to win may have been good for the business but his personality rubbed the press the wrong way. They kept rolling out bad headlines about him, which meant bad press for Uber. Travis Kalanick had to manage his public image, increase public appeal, and keep Uber safe from attacks from enemies on every front. Travis Kalanick ran the business with little regard for staff welfare or their concerns, and such made it easy for a lot of oversight as regards the conducts between colleagues and between managers and subordinates. This would lead to an eventual meltdown within the ranks.
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call: https://clarity.fm/joy-brotonath


Answered 2 years ago

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