Uber: don’t be surprised when regulators bite back

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Here’s a company boss telling regulators worldwide that his business is a threat to competitive markets! (Uber chief says workplace culture needs improvement).


So Dara Khosrowshahi  wants to make Uber into the Amazon of transportation. He says his ‘aha!’ moment came when he saw the objective wasn’t  simply to get a slice of the ride share market but be the platform you come to every day.


‘The’ platform. Not ‘a’ platform. The business model is to grow so big you crush the competition.


The logical response of regulators is to force these giants to break themselves up. And the best long term strategy for Uber is to follow the brilliantly successful model of the Tata Group . Tata’s philosophy is to serve, not dominate. Its holding company will have a majority stake in companies bearing the Tata name and operating by the Tata values around the world.


If Uber were to look ahead and plan to avoid collision with government it could develop its equivalent. Uber could be the major shareholder in a number of regionally led partnerships. All would involve local companies, perhaps even mutuals, which had a city or a country’s transport needs at heart. Some of the profits would be ploughed back into the places where Uber provided its platform.


This is the way ahead for a company with global ambitions facing a wall of populism and nationalist sentiment stoked up by the greed of companies driven only by short term profit.


It would mean a very different IPO – one which attracted the capital of responsible impact investors. And it would mean discouraging or discriminating against short term opportunist investors for whom the share price is everything.


My Prediction is that Uber will go the ‘Amazon world domination’ route. Wall Street will love it for now and lose faith later when Brussels leads the regulatory backlash.