Uber Technologies Inc. will invest “upwards of” $50 million in a new center in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad over the next five years, the California ridesharing company said in a statement Monday.
The company is also partnering with the local government of the state of Telangana, of which Hyderabad is the capital, to come up with a “new framework” to help govern cab-hailing app services providers, the company said in the statement. In Hyderabad, where Uber has been present for close to 18 months, the ridesharing company currently operates a customer support center.
By 2016, Uber plans to train more than 2,000 drivers to use its technology and work on its network locally, in collaboration with the Telangana Academy for Skills and Knowledge, a local organization, the company said in the release.
Uber has signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Telangana state, under which it will partner on skill development projects for local job creation and research into “smart cities.” The new center will be a “state-of-the-art facility that will house hundreds of new employees,” the company said.
Uber is looking to aggressively expand in India, its largest market after the U.S., despite the overhang of run-ins with regulators in other states including the national capital, New Delhi. The company has faced a ban in Delhi since a woman passenger accused her Uber driver of rape in December.
Uber recently appointed former Rent.com president Amit Jain as its India president, signaling the importance of the region for its long-term future.
Earlier this month, the company said it had expanded its operations to seven more cities in India, taking the total to 18, and adding several tier-2 cities. Uber competes with local cab-hailing service provider, ANI Technologies -- backed by investors including SoftBank Corp. and DST Global -- which operates Ola Cabs in over 100 Indian cities.
Ola and other local rivals across Asia -- backed by multinational investors such as SoftBank -- are providing stiff competition to Uber in the region.