Taxi companies Uber and Ola have been at war for a long time now. On Thursday, Ola’s COO Pranay Jivrajka accused Uber of not following the ‘laws of the land’ without naming them. Pranay said that it was a shame that Ola’s competition was debating over nationalism to conceal their multinational identity. He accused them of violating the law as a business strategy both in India and globally. Pranay explained, “This debate in our view is not about foreign vs local but who is respectful of the local laws and who is disrespectful.” He said that initially Uber launched with a ‘card on file’ payment system, in violation of RBI regulations, and was completely aware that they were wrong. It finally took an ultimatum from the RBI Governor for them to obey the rule. He said that Ola faced losses in comparison as they chose not to break the rules.
In response to Ola’s accusations. Uber’s Bengaluru GM ‘Bhavik Rathod’ said in a blog post that Uber has the deepest respect for the laws in India, but didn’t explain why they broke the RBI rules for more than a year. Rathod also said, “What makes Uber ‘foreign’? The fact that we are established in San Francisco but have a hyperlocal team solving problems that are locally relevant. Or that, just like our competitors, we received most of our funding from ‘foreign’ investors.” Rathod’s comment was moot, however, as Ola specifically said that it wasn’t about “foreign vs local but who is respectful of the local laws.” Rathod went on to explain that both companies had received funding from foreign investors.
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