Arun Sudhaman 28 Dec 2015 // 9:36AM GMT
NEW DELHI—Uber has brought in MSLGroup to handle PR support in India, which is fast becoming one of its biggest markets outside the US.
The ride-sharing app has tasked MSLGroup with overseeing strategic communication and brand building efforts, including reputation counsel and issues management. The nationwide mandate spans 26 cities, following the expansion of Uber's Indian footprint over the past 18 months.
"Uber is rapidly evolving the way the world commutes and in India — this puts them right in the centre of the urbanization debate," said MSLGroup India MD Amit Misra. "Our effort will be focused on consistently communicating Uber’s value proposition to prospects and engaging with stakeholders – market by market."
Uber has grown in India to more than 250,000 registered drivers, but faces fierce competition in a sector that is expected to expand at a rate of 17% per year over the next five years. Key rivals include market leader Ola, along with Meru Cars and CarzOnRent, none of whom have seen their prospects stymied by regulatory uncertainties around taxi aggregation.
India's overall taxi market is valued at $8bn, but major players account for only 5% of that market, helping to explain Uber's bullish stance — the company recently announced it would invest $1bn in the country.
The Indian assignment extends MSLGroup's relationship with Uber; the firm also works for the company in Germany.