Uber launches India’s first Driver Advisory Council - Songoti

Uber launches India’s first Driver Advisory Council

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Kolkata : Uber today announced the launch of its first National Driver Advisory Council (DAC) with its inaugural national meeting held in Gurugram. The newly formed council aims to facilitate a two-way dialogue between Uber and drivers to address all critical issues and improve drivers’ platform experience. To be a part of the council, 35+ drivers were chosen from 6 metros through a carefully crafted three-part process run by an Independent Review Board. These drivers work across a range of product offerings available on Uber including cars, auto-rickshaws, and motorbikes, and represent the interests of tens of thousands of drivers on the platform. For the maiden meeting, the advisory council took up a wide range of issues for discussion with a special focus on driver earnings and support - an area Uber is committed to making improvements in. The Driver Advisory Council has a third-party review board led by Aapti Institute, a Bengaluru-based think tank to provide independent oversight on the Council’s work. From helping build the DAC to moderating discussions, surfacing actionable insights to follow-ups, the board will help anchor the initiative. They will closely work with drivers and Uber to help take up issues that matter and drive deeper engagement. Commenting on the occasion, Prabhjeet Singh, President, Uber India, and South Asia, said, “Drivers are the backbone of Uber. The

 Driver Advisory Council is our earnest attempt to listen directly to drivers and stay 100% focused on their needs. Be it building the product, setting up processes, or choosing the right partnerships - direct feedback, actionable insights, and deeper engagement will help drive outcomes beneficial for all. We are committed to providing an open, accessible, and rewarding platform for drivers to make sustainable earnings. The changes that may come through this council could be big and small, but the drivers will be at the heart of them all.” Sharing her views on the launch, Dr. Sarayu Natarajan, Founder, Aapti Institute, said, “Uber’s Driver Advisory Council is an important initiative towards enhancing Uber’s engagement with drivers on its platform. It will also advance emerging policy conversations on governance. Giving drivers an independent voice and an open forum to discuss critical matters will go a long way in better listening and finding better solutions. Aapti’s involvement as a third-party Internal Review Board provides much-needed independence and neutrality. As a first for the ridesharing industry in India, and perhaps across the platform economy, Uber’s attempt should set an example for others to emulate.” Drivers underwent a three-phase selection process to be a part of the council as the entries were invited through self-nomination. After an overwhelming response, entries were filtered based on various parameters including the driver being active on the Uber platform and having no prior safety incidents. Finally, through meetings with the independent review board, the drivers were tested on their potential to contribute to solutions to prevailing challenges. The selected drivers will represent their community for a year after which the selection process will be repeated. Sharing his views on expectations from the Driver Advisory Council, Shashikant Pandey, driver on the Uber platform in Mumbai said, “I am happy to be a part of the driver council as it gives me an opportunity to share real feedback with Uber leadership and work jointly towards finding solutions. I am pleased to be chosen as a Council member and will work towards bringing issues that matter to drivers to Uber - direct dialogue is a good way forward.” Sarathi Datta, who has been driving with Uber in Kolkata for over three years, said, “This is a good initiative by Uber. While we had different ways to reach Uber to share feedback in the past, the Council will be an opportunity for a two-way conversation. I will do my bit to push for changes that benefit my fellow drivers.” Every few months, drivers who are part of the Council will meet the Uber India leadership team to give feedback, share ideas and discuss issues that impact them.

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