Mistry’s ex-aide Madhu Kannan joins Uber as chief business officer for India, emerging markets

New Delhi: Taxi hailing service Uber Technologies Inc has named ex-Tata Sons Ltd senior executive Madhu Kannan as chief business officer, India and emerging markets, the company said on Thursday.

Asia, specifically India, is Uber’s next biggest bet after it sold its business to Didi Chuxing in China in August.

The statement from Uber was silent on the countries Kannan’s new role would cover.

Over the past year, Uber has been looking to aggressively expand and create dominance in Asian markets like Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and India.

Kannan will be responsible for growing Uber’s business in India as well as across new emerging markets in the Asia Pacific region, through strategic partnerships and investment opportunities, the statement added.

Kannan, 42, who worked as a close aid to Tata Son’s Cyrus Mistry, quit soon after Mistry was replaced by the board in October.

Eric Alexander, President of Business, Asia Pacific, shared, “We’re excited to have Madhu join Uber. With his background and experience in India and Asian emerging markets, his appointment reinforces our commitment to continue to invest and grow our presence and unlock the full potential of ridesharing in the region,”

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Prior to joining Tata, Kannan served BSE Ltd as the managing director and chief executive officer. Before joining BSE in 2009, Kannan had worked as managing director (corporate strategy and business development) at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, and as a senior vice-president at NYSE Euronext.

“Uber is one of the most dynamic and innovative organizations of my generation, and I look at this as a once in a lifetime opportunity to work with a group of highly talented and motivated people who are changing the face of mobility,” Kannan said.

Uber — the mobile-app only service entered India in August 2013 by launching its premium UberBlack service in Bengaluru. Since then, the company has expanded to 28 cities and has given stiff competition to homegrown rival Ola.

The company now runs cheaper services Ubergo and UberX to cater to mass audience in the country.

Uber also has launched services like UberPool, UberMoto and is soon launching food delivery service UberEATS in India, the company said in a blog post in January.

Founded in 2009 by Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp, Uber is the world’s most valuable start-up.

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