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The Looming Battle that Means Everything to Uber

As Uber continues its drive to become the number one on demand ride sharing service in the world, it could be on the verge of becoming dominant on one more major market: India.

Ola is an Indian taxi service that has control of the market, but Uber is fast on it’s heels. They are modifying themselves to fit better in the Indian market, which means they are accepting cash payments.

While I understand the need to adapt to your current environment, the fact that Uber accepts cash in India is a troubling sign to me. I understand that McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD) will have different menu items in each country, but they do not alter their core business model in these countries. They are never going to start selling Tacos, no matter how much those might sell in Mexico.

Uber has set itself apart by taking cash out of the equation. It’s what makes it unique. If they betray those principles in the pursuit of more market share worldwide, what does that say about the company as a whole? How can the company compete without a unifying vision?

Can Uber ultimately succeed if it’s going against a company that knows the market better and will never change it's core principles? They might catch Ola in India, but in the long run I think that the company could be hurting itself.