Hate something, change something

In february 2012, before Uber or any other taxi/ride-sharing apps was succesfull in this part of the world – I wrote this article. I’ve been in contact with several taxi apps since then and was even discussing being part of a new one at some point. I’ve been fascinated by apps that offer you a remote control for things you already do in your day to day life – taxi apps and food ordering apps being the most representative for this category. Every taxi ride I took was a short customer development interview, to learn about the driver, what apps is he using, how does that work for him and so on.

Became friends with Mihai @ Clever Taxi, advised a Bulgarian company – TaxiMe and finally when Uber announced open positions in Romania – last October – I applied for the general manager job. I had to pass a 32 questions test – pressured by a 2h time limit. The test was hard, or it seemed hard to me. Processing RAW data from New York City, data that you saw for the first time – and taking business decisions based on complex filters and reports that I had to pull from that data – all under 2 hours, was overwhelming. I got a cold email telling me that I did not pass the test. I am very curious to see who made it and is now part of Uber Romania – because they just launched.

It will be interesting to watch how they approach the local legal challenges – as art.55 (sanctions) from law no#  38/2004, modified recently – that states that demanding payment for people transportation (without having a taxi license) is a contravention – has just passed the senate and is about to be adopted – from what I managed to find out.

Anyway – it’s clear that UBER is not your average taxi app (just read about surge pricing) and if they are serious about Romania and don’t consider it just a footprint – local market dynamics will change.

See below an infographic with everything you need to know about Uber in Romania. And if you decide to try it out – first ride is on me (if it’s less than 40 lei) – just join using this referral link – http://getlok.al/uber-bucharest.

Later update: In Romania, probably we have a GM interim – Rob Khazzam and probably Julia as marketing manager.
As an International Launcher for Uber, Rob is responsible for identifying and establishing commercial operations in new growth markets. With a current focus on Central and Eastern Europe, Rob has successfully led Uber’s entry into both Prague and Budapest.As the interim General Manager in all newly launched markets, Rob works across roles in operations, public policy and communications. From supply acquisition to demand generation, from recruiting to operations and marketing management and local team expansion, Rob’s responsibilities are ever expanding in every new market that Uber launches.– See more at: http://www.iceefest.com/academy/speakers/rob-khazzam/#sthash.dLlliNaa.dpuf

…developing story
Update: From what I managed to find out Uber did not appoint any local GM. And as for PR, they are represented by Chapter4 – but you know that already if you got the press release.