Uber is an American international public company from San Francisco that has created a mobile application of the same name for finding, calling and paying for taxis or private drivers and delivering food. The company was founded in 2009, and at first it was intended only for travel in business class cars, but the transition to economy class made it possible to enter the international market. In 2016, a project was launched to transport passengers by helicopter and boat (Jiang et al., 2018).
In addition, the company implements a variety of services for the transportation of pets, children, food and pizza delivery, car sharing and ranking of taxi services from “minibuses” with the search for travel companions to business and executive class. However, the company lacks a product that reflects its social responsibility in order to improve the company’s weaknesses and reputation in the eyes of customers, drivers and the state.
Uber has the largest headquarters among other competitive companies. Lyft, DiDi, OlaCabs, and Yandex.Taxi are the key competitors of the company. Lyft has a stronger position in the United States. OlaCabs and Yandex.Taxi are regional leaders in India and Russia, respectively. Indirectly, Uber’s competitors are local taxis and public transportation. Cities such as London and New York have a culture of local taxis, yellow or black cabs, more prevalent than in any other region where this problem does not occur.
Even though the mobile applications market has a relatively short history, it has developed highly rapidly since it became a global giant in 2009. Uber has become a recognizable brand around the world with a streamlined driver and vehicle verification system. The high level of service is controlled by the company with a dual rating system, and in addition, there is no longer anyone in the service supply chain between the driver and the passenger. Uber has an unlimited fleet of vehicles, which creates a choice for drivers who have more freedom in customer choices and work schedules.
However, the company also has weaknesses. Firstly, the uniqueness of their idea is embodied only in details. Otherwise, the same scheme of work is quite simple and can be reproduced by other competitors. Secondly, the loyalty of drivers is in doubt, but this problem is relevant for all taxi services operating through a mobile application. Other concerns are related to the confidentiality of personal information.
As the company stores, many personal data and travel data monitors drivers during their trips without orders, and many more. It jeopardizes information that has already leaked into the hands of attackers once (Angrist et al., 2017). In addition, there are risks for both drivers and passengers when, for several reasons, one of them conducts misconduct. Finally, the business model is highly unpredictable and depends on many factors, all of which cannot be taken into account.
The company’s capabilities lie in regional development, reaching those countries where Uber is not yet available. Local taxis often have a high price tag and long waiting times, so the company should develop this niche. It should also include a promising direction of electric vehicles, which will reduce fuel costs and will be able to improve the environmental situation in countries. This goal will allow the company to conduct more socially responsible activities, which it also needs to develop as a large giant (Hammond & Christensen, 2016). Also, given the problematic epidemiological situation in the world, the company can offer its services for the delivery of patients to the hospital with appropriate safety measures and other social transportation, for example, children to school.
Threats are often related to legal issues, and new regulations in different countries can lead to the illegality of Uber. For example, in connection with a new Supreme Court ruling in the UK, Uber has transferred all of its drivers to official cooperation. Therefore, drivers will now count on a minimum wage and other social security conditions (Browne, 2021). The number of fraudulent incidents and driver strikes can damage a brand. Finally, the emergence of high competition always leads to lower prices in the market, which can also scare off drivers and cause a drain of staff and profits to compete with companies.
Uber has encountered often challenging norms and setting new trends in the industry that undermine the tradition of transportation. Despite this and the company’s past driver strikes, stolen personal information, and other incidents harming the brand, her forward-thinking approach proved to be an effective strategy for attracting investments that continue to this day. The SWOT analysis only confirms this, given the company’s already long history, which is now surrounded by threats and weaknesses.
The main product in demand in the US market is the ability to organize buses for children to take them to school and back. It will meet the company’s social responsibility standards, make life easier for parents and help develop this service in the regions since its experience will already be gained. In addition, this product will improve the brand’s reputation in the eyes of the federal authorities and help develop security aspects that are sometimes called into question in these business processes, so the branding and packaging of this product will be covered. Experience in project support and quality control will allow the company to improve the company’s existing services, such as UberKids and UberPool.
Attracting investments for a social project will help not only restore the brand’s reputation, but also enlist the support of the authorities, which will increase the loyalty of drivers and the reliability of the company in the eyes of customers. Therefore, this project will help smooth out possible threats and weaknesses of the company, identified during the SWOT analysis.
Uber is the leader in the global market, so their further activities are primarily aimed at retaining the first positions. The company is constantly expanding its range of services and developing in the international market. Uber remains attractive to investors, despite high-profile negative cases that have caused significant damage to the brand and the company. The wisdom of management decisions is confirmed by the company’s long-term leadership, which is confirmed by constant and significant investments.
Angrist, J. D., Caldwell, S., & Hall, J. V. (2017). Uber vs. taxi: A driver’s eye view. National Bureau of Economic Research, 23891.
Browne, R. (2021). Uber employment rights setback is a ‘gut punch’ to its prospects in the UK. CNBC. Web.
Hammond, S. C. & Christensen, L. S. (2016). Corporate and Social Responsibility: Road Map for a Sustainable Future. Bridgepoint Education.
Jiang, S., Chen, L., Mislove, A., & Wilson, C. (2018). On ridesharing competition and accessibility: Evidence from uber, lyft, and taxi. In Proceedings of the 2018 World Wide Web Conference (pp. 863-872).