Thursday, August 28, 2014

UBER Assessed (Posted on 29 June 2014)

Now the shit stirs!!!
Uber Technologies Inc is known as Everyone’s Private Driver. Uber operates an on-demand car service used all over the world. With the touch of a button from your phone, you can experience your own private driver.

Working as an Uber driver is one of the buzziest careers in America. With uberX, essentially anyone with a car can sign up to be a driver. And Uber makes it pretty easy to do. The first step is to head on over to this website. If you’re at least 21 years old, have a license, personal auto insurance, and a four-door car in good condition, you can sign up to be a driver. The next step is passing Uber’s background check. You’ll need to provide the company with standard information like your address, driver’s license number, and social security number. If you pass the background test, Uber requires you to take an online training course that covers standard operating procedures, how to get 5 stars, and what not to do. Upon completing the course, Uber will send you a phone. From start to finish, the registration process takes about two weeks.
Opinion: UBER just went for a fund raising among PE funds at a valuation of $17bn, yes thats amazing for a relatively simple app. UBER is now a big buzz not just in the US but even in Malaysia. This is a disruptive technology. The buzz is dying down slightly in the US because the real effective earnings of UBER drivers were not so hot. Available data showed that they gross around $15 an hour. But accounting for tolls, Uber’s 20% cut, gas, car insurance, vehicle financing, and self employment taxes, the driver really only made $54.50 for 12 hours of driving. So that’s just $4.54 an hour — far below minimum wage. 
Its still a good alternative to get that UBER spot for part timers or people who like to work when they want/need to. That's in developed nations.
UBER will be a lot more disruptive in developing economies with near pathetic taxi service, such as Malaysia and Indonesia. What UBER provides more readily: speed, clarity, safety, cleanliness, a workable rating system that truly incentivise the drivers, and a pay scale that is more than decent. UBER is akin to a private drivers' service that is a lot cheaper than those "private car bookings" from hotels.
The rise and rise of taxi apps in Malaysia is only reflective of apps helping the taxi system to "be more like UBER". Its a long slog but methinks in many countries the taxi drivers will be up in arms against UBER and will protest and seek the government's help to turn the tide.
What is UBER really in Malaysia... it basically legitimises the private taxi touts and louts at airports and malls. Unfortunately owners of taxi licenses in Malaysia are well connected politically, and soon we will see a clampdown on UBER.
As an open country that is so called MSC, MDC ... centric ... we must be open to even disruptive technologies. Yes, it may disrupt and even change the current status quo, but it is notching efficiencies and delivering a service that is "unserviced", meeting a demand that is not met, or creating new demand out of the blue. It is not all cannabalism of an existing industry. Existing taxi drivers would do well to try and be an UBER driver now. All the while, the taxi license owners will be knocking on doors of powerful politicians and crying wolf.


ronnie said...

Gosh. What is going to happen to owners of taxi
companies who lease or hire the taxis to taxi drivers?

Danny said...

judging on the crime rate in malaysia, i don think this will catch on.

it sounds like a good app to lure victims or to hunt for victims. or to hijack a car.

Terence Toh said...

this cannot never happen in malaysia. too many with vested interests in seeking rent, how is Uber going to benefit the privelage lazy ? Never in Malaysia i tell you.

Salvador Dali said...


uber has been operating in Malaysia for more than a few months already, and it has been quite successful and many of my friends are using the service ...

the vetting and ID check is what makes Uber many times safer than normal taxis.

Terence Toh said...


Sorry, pardon my ignorance.

solomon said...

If we are going make meaningful changes, please don't deny any good changes that bring upon rakyat.

I just hope that there is an Über in our education system....

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