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Sharing Economy Wins Big In India

The collaborative economy continues its aggressive global push with a plethora of news out of India last week, the latest international market to aggressively pursue sharing focused innovations to solve modern day problems.

Following suit of Ford’s announcement at Mobile Congress, the country seems riveted on leveraging sharing economy disruptions to abate its excessive traffic congestion issues. Last week alone Ola a leading ride share app spent $200 million to acquire competitor TaxiForSure, and Ubermoto a new motorbike sharing service arrived on the scene.

India is looking to abate their traffic issues with motorcycles with Ubermoto which launched in Bangalore last week. Ola, followed suit with a similar service announcement.

In a press release, Uber described uberMOTO as “another step to help cut congestion in Bangalore by getting people out of cars when they don’t need to use them, and by encouraging motorbike drivers to share their ride. … By using today’s transportation infrastructure more efficiently, Uber’s technology can help the government of Karnataka cut traffic and congestion at no extra cost to taxpayers.”

Bengaluru-based PoolCircle launched in April last year with a mission to take a million cars off the roads—“by enabling four people to ride in each car, instead of just one”, says Raghu Ramanujam, founder-CEO of the carpooling/ride-sharing network. “It’s been an exciting journey since then. We have around 4,000 users, largely in Bangalore, with nearly 40% of them being active. We have about 3,000 carpools offered/looking for on our platform on a daily basis,” he adds.

As 2016 continues to unfold, it seems clear that India is poised to be a major sharing economy player. With the government providing better access to credit through financial market reform and market incentives to attract talented staff and flexible contracting laws, key enabling factors stemming from governmental intervention and relaxed regulation will play a key role in the future success of the sharing economy in the region.

“As long as we deliver value to end users and are able to win customer affection, regulations are never going to be a challenge. Regulations will evolve. At the end of the day, sharing economy drives huge benefits not only from the economic point of view, but also from environmental and social points of view,” Ramanujam, said.

With sharing central to India’s culture as a whole, the country seems poised to be among the world’s leaders in collaborative consumption. Perhaps the country can set a model on the need to have regulation keep pace with innovation as our new and exciting world of we takes flight.

Billee Howard is Founder + Chief Engagement Officer of Brandthropologie, a cutting edge communications consulting firm specializing in helping organizations and individuals to produce innovative, creative and passionate dialogues with target communities, consumers and employees, while blazing a trail toward new models of artful, responsible, and sustainable business success. Billee is a veteran communications executive in brand development, trend forecasting, strategic media relations, and C-suite executive positioning. She has a book dedicated to the study of the sharing economy called WeCommerce released in December 2015 as well as a blog entitled the #HouseofWe dedicated to curating the trends driving our economy forward. You can read more about “WE-Commerce: How to Create, Collaborate, and Succeed in the Sharing Economy”

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