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SPARK OF THE CORPORATE

A proven leader and an excellent strategist, Amit Jain joined US based global ride sharing company, Uber as its first President, India operations in April 2015. Having held executive positions in leading companies including Rent.com, TPG Capital, Nexeo Solutions, McKinsey, Amit comes with a depth of experience in consulting and leading operations for multinational companies. Jain has also elevated as Uber’s South Asia head as the taxi aggregator enters newer markets such as Bangladesh and Sri Lanka with new hopes and targets. As a perfect blend of an entrepreneurial, tech-driven and zealous culture, Amit effortlessly fits in to all the roles he plays with excellence, integrity and professionalism.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Technology degree from IIT Delhi in Computer Science and engineering, Amit joined Deloitte Consulting in its Washington DC Metro Area office as a Consultant. Post his spell of three years at Deloitte, he went on to do his masters in Stanford Graduate School of Business.

In the driver's seat of Uber...

An Uber regular at US and a fan, Amit had no second thoughts when he was offered to oversee the operations of Uber India. Amit returned home after working in US for nearly two decades to take charge as the first President of Uber India and South Asia at a time when Uber was facing negative image in the market as a result of some allegations; and tough competition from its local competitors. At Uber, a company that tends not to appoint country heads, rather empowering team leaders for cities, Amit takes care of business strategy, operations and business growth marking a milestone not just in the history of Uber, but also on his career life.

Having started it's operations in India with just 3 employees three years ago, Uber has come a long way. In 15 months time under the guidance of Amit Jain, Uber India team grew from just 50 to 400 persons, operating across 28 Indian cities with over 400,000 drivers. In the last two years, Uber India has introduced many new services in India including UberMoto, UberHIRE, UberEATS and uses technology to further streamline rider and driver acquisition, retention and marketplace efficiency making the lives of its drivers and customers easier. Under his leadership, Uber has set up its first Engineering Center in Asia in Bangalore to find innovative products and features tailored for the Indian market. Centre of excellence in Hyderabad and Bangalore also continues to support its riders and drivers. Uber has grown over 100 per cent year-on-year.

Amit envisions to get to a point where nobody needs to buy a second car, or even a first car, because there is Uber. He is also working hard towards making the vision of Uber founder Travis Kalanick, “to make transportation as reliable as running water everywhere for everyone” a reality. One of his lead projects as president of Uber India is to bring on 50,000 women drivers in the country by 2020. He sees this as quite challenging and exciting at the same time.

Amit was in the forefront in engaging with government across all levels to overcome the regulatory challenges that Uber and its counterparts face. As technology moves at a fast pace, regulations have to keep pace and evolve, he says. There is no point in sticking to the rules and regulations formulated at a time when the cab aggregators were not a thing. He strives to strike a balance between ensuring regulatory compliance and providing smooth ride for driver partners and customers.

“Experience is food for the brain and working with Uber is a rich meal. So I sure see myself to be wiser when I am 50”, says the forty year old experienced technology operations hand and go getter , when asked about who he wants to be when he is fifty.

Heading Rent.com...

Before joining Uber, Amit was the President of Rent.com for two years. At the largest internet listing service of apartments, he led the operations and achieved a successful turnaround of the organization.

Other executive positions held...

Prior to moving to Rent.com, for three years, he served as the Senior Advisor – Field Operations at TPG Capital, one of the largest global alternative investment firms in the world, with total assets under management of approximately $75 billion as of March 31, 2015 where he worked with various portfolio companies across industries.

Before his stint at Nexeo Solutions as its Vice President – Transformation, Amit was an Associate Partner with McKinsey and Company in Palo Alto, California for six years. This is where he headed straight from Stanford post his Masters.

Silicon Valley kinda office in Gurgaon...

An open floor office with no cubicles, the office of this ex-Silicon Valley entrepreneur techie is no less than a typical technology led Silicon Valley workspace. Amit Jain is a strong advocate of the culture of transparency and collaboration. He likes to be with the team rather than having a separate cabin for the President. He uses the conference room only for structured discussions, he says. He likes to stand at his desk for short exchanges with his team.

Leadership style...

Amit calls himself a 24/7 manager. He finds empowering people and empowering teams as key to leadership. Amit feels it is important to give the freedom, flexibility and a safe playground for the people to innovate and set a vision. Another key principle is the ability to measure what you want as output. If you don't know what you want, you cannot achieve it, he says. Along with providing the space to grow and the ability to measure the output, hard work, persistence, empathy towards the people is what he considers crucial to be a good leader.

Amit is a very organised person. He always keeps a list of things to do and the problems to be solved and ensures that he strikes them off the list with the solution by the end of the day. While at office, his job is to remove roadblocks and obstacles and stay out of the way for his team to perform.

Personal life...

Amit has been an achiever all his life. In addition to being a top scorer in academics throughout his school and college, Amit was a start in the non academic domains as well. At IIT, he was the captain of the Athletics team for two years in a row. With interests in studies, sports, arts and music, he is a true all rounder. He had received the Director’s Silver Medal and best all-rounder award while at school. He has taken his passion to international level by representing India in International Computer Programming competitions twice - at Indonesia and Singapore while at college. Playing the musical instrument, Santoor is another one among his favourites and have had the opportunity to play the same in the TV channel, Doordarshan. He is also a squash enthusiast and enjoys a 30 minute squash every evening to unwind.

For Amit, success is being able to live a simple, healthy, happy and uncomplicated life. "The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night". These words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is his favourite quote. This is what has kept him going. He sees growth to automatically happen if you do the right thing for his riders and drivers.

Amit now resides in Gurgaon with his wife and two children.

Awards and recognitions...

Recognised by Economic Times as one among the best forty business leaders under forty in its "40 under 40" list in 2016
Named as one among the best young business leaders of the country under forty in its 40 under 40 list in 2016.
Named as one of the most influential people in India’s start-up ecosystem by Mint in 2016
Recognised as one among the 11 most promising business leaders from India's technology industry by Times of India in 2016

Memberships and associations...

Ex - member of the Board of directors of ReSurge International
Member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network
Fellow of the sixth class of the Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship

Quotes

Why not focus on your business, on your products instead of having a very short-term goal of attacking others
Don't pay attention to what others say. Our product is superior and that's the ultimate decider.
Growth comes with its own unique challenges, from processes, from checks and balances, from quality.
I am empowered to experiment, fail fast, and I believe in data - based results to innovate.
Execution beats strategy any day.

Hope readers caught up the spark …

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