Uber, who’s been historically at loggerheads with governments across the world, is now joining hands with them.
“We partnered with Uber to help people across India to become micro entrepreneurs as there is tremendous need for this kind of independent, flexible work”, said Shankar Aggarwal, Secretary of Ministry of Labour and Employment.
This partnership is likely the product of Uber founder and CEO’s Travis Kalanick’s recent visit to India where he was a special speaker at the Startup India summit. He’d also visited IIT-B campus for a session on entrepreneurship.
The Ministry of Labour and Employment wants to encourage micro-entrepreneurship through technology platforms like Uber. They are offering an alternative to the growing use by employers of on-call scheduling, or zero-hours contracts—minimizing their labour costs by keeping workers on an unpredictable and ever-changing schedule. According to Uber, since they don’t have any specific schedule lined up, workers work when they choose to.
“It’s great to partner with the government on new work opportunities that go beyond traditional employment.,” said David Plouffe, Chief Advisor and Member, Board of Directors, Uber said, “We’re committed to helping many thousands of people become micro-entrepreneurs so they can benefit from the new flexible, independent work that on demand platforms make possible”.
Uber has a significant presence in India in less than 3 years of operations in the country. The US base commutech company is only second to the local Ola in terms of fleet of cabs and trips.
It’s interesting to see governments partnering with private technology startups towards the common goal of providing employment and developing technology. This comes in the wake of news of another transport startup Zipgo’s suspended operations, after the local transport government opposed the service.