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Uber is hiring hundreds of engineers in India to cut costs

Manish Singh
·2-min read
A man stands in front of a logo of Uber during launch of a campaign ParksNotParking in Mumbai, India on 23 June 2019. The campaign aims to raise awareness about the ills of growing congestion and pollution in cities and urges people to convert parking areas into parks. (Photo by Himanshu Bhatt/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
A man stands in front of a logo of Uber during launch of a campaign ParksNotParking in Mumbai, India on 23 June 2019. The campaign aims to raise awareness about the ills of growing congestion and pollution in cities and urges people to convert parking areas into parks. (Photo by Himanshu Bhatt/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Uber said on Thursday it is working to hire 225 engineers in India, strengthening its tech team in the key overseas market months after it eliminated thousands of jobs globally.

The ride-hailing firm, which competes with Ola in India, said today it has hired Manikandan Thangarathnam, who spent nearly 13 years as a director of engineering at Amazon, to lead the company’s rider and platform engineering teams in Bangalore. (Uber announced it would hire 140 engineers in India last month. Today it said it was in the process of hiring an additional 85 engineers.)

The move comes as several high-profile engineers have left Uber India in recent months to join Google and Amazon, among other tech giants. A senior engineer who recently left Uber told TechCrunch that many of his peers had lost confidence in Uber’s future prospects in the country.

Uber said its tech expansion plans in India were in line with its vision to make mobility and delivery “more accessible” and becoming the “backbone” of transportation in thousands of cities across the globe.

The company recently also hired Jayaram Valliyur as a senior director to lead its global finance technology team. Prior to this role, Jayaram, too, worked at Amazon, where he spent 14 years.

In July, news outlet The Information described Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi’s plan to move engineering roles to India as a cost-saving measure. The report said Khosrowshahi’s plan had sparked internal debates.

Thuan Pham, Uber’s longtime chief technology officer, who left the company earlier this year, reportedly cautioned that hiring more engineers so quickly in India would “require accepting lower-quality candidates.”

Uber and Ola both claim to be the No. 1 ride-hailing service in India. But Rajeev Misra, the chief of SoftBank Vision Fund which is a common investor in both the companies, said last month that Ola maintained a “small lead” over Uber in India.