The Exclusive Interview with Uber Johor Bahru’s Head of Marketing
Uber, an app-based transportation network and taxi company that was founded in New York City has finally been brought in to Johor Bahru, Malaysia after being founded in March 2009. Despite bringing tonnes of controversial, as well as legal issues to the company, Uber has now grown stronger, having being available in 53 countries, more than 200 cities worldwide and worth a value of more than US$40 billion.
As Uber is something new in Johor Bahru’s market, there are some bias and prejudices towards Uber due to its negative reports. Therefore, our team has hooked up with Lingesh Thayala, Uber Johor Bahru’s Head of Marketing and Partnerships along with Goh Aik Chuan, Head of Operations to bring to you his thoughts and words about Uber, giving you a chance to know more about this rapidly growing company.
What makes you believe in Uber (joining Uber and expanding it to Johor Bahru)?
Johor Bahru deserves a legit public transportation system. Legit in terms of safety, reliability and affordability. I hope that is the legacy we leave behind for my hometown.
What are the challenges you both faced in Uber’s expansion to Johor Bahru’s market?
Brand awareness and changing the misconception that driving is cheaper/more convenient than using Uber.
How do you both see Uber is benefiting/changing Johor Bahru people’s transporting life?
In the short term, we hope to provide a great alternative that people can use because the destination has tricky parking, or because the person has no access to the private vehicle. However, the long term goal is to prove to everyone that owning a car is a luxury and not a necessity.
Any target market Uber Johor Bahru is focusing now or targeting at?
We are targeting people who want a safer alternative to move around in JB which is affordable.
As you both already know, most JB people are a driver themselves. Why should they opt for Uber and benefiting from it instead of driving themselves?
If i share with you, how KL was when it first started. It was the same question. Now KL people prefer using uber and they drive less. If I take it one step further to America, people not only use uber, they are starting to sell their cars because spending on Uber a month is cheaper than having a car. About RM 600 – RM800 a month.
What are your responses to those negative comments about Uber (illegal issue, etc)?
Our aim to prove that we provide safe, quality rides which will benefit everyone.
What are the expectations from you both on Uber Malaysia & Uber Johor Bahru in the next 5 years?
Uber should become a more viable option compared to driving, in terms of cost, reliability, and safety, and it becomes the DNA of all sizeable cities.
It would be great if you could also share with us any testimonial or real stories of Uber’s users experiences.
There was once where a guy left his passport in the Uber taxi and the driver called him and found him to passed it back to him.
Now that you have better understanding on what Uber does and what Uber aims to bring to the fellow people of Johor Bahru, why not give it a try?
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