Virat Kohli, the captain of the Indian cricket team, has been named the first brand ambassador of Uber in India. The partnership will see Uber and Kohli pledging to serve the thousands of Uber users in the country.
Apart from being the face of the brand, the 29-year-old will also play a key role in the brand's innovative marketing and customer experience initiatives that it plans to introduce soon.
Kohli was clearly pleased with the association and said: "As a cricketer, I travel a lot and I have personally enjoyed the seamless experience of booking an Uber. It's great to see how the company is using technology to revolutionize the way people move around cities and is empowering millions by creating economic opportunities. I am very excited to join hands with a company that is so committed to people and cities they operate in."
Uber explained that it was "delighted" to have Kohli join the brand and his commitment to the country, on-field and off was "commendable."
"From bagging world titles for the country to advocating positive change, he is invested in making a difference to the community at large. In Virat, we've found a partner who reflects the drive we share with everyday India, while embodying our commitment to serving the country," said Amit Jain, president, Uber India & SA.
"Today, we are the most-preferred ride-hailing service in this market and we will continue to invest and innovate in ways that will benefit our driver partners and riders."
Echoing Jain's thoughts, Sanjay Gupta, head of marketing, Uber India & South Asia, said in a statement: "Virat personifies dynamism, integrity, grit, ability and passion. He is the embodiment of India's ambitions on the world's stage; he anchors the aspirations of billions, and it's the little things he does that bring joy to their lives. It's this balance of purpose with a larger responsibility to citizens of the world that makes him the perfect partner to realising Uber's commitment to India. We are super excited to have him join the team at Uber India."
Uber has been trying to gain a foothold in the Indian market against local rival Ola. The San Francisco-based firm recently launched Uber Autos in Bengaluru and Pune and added an "auto" option on its apps in these two cities. Users can pay for Uber Autos through cash, debit and credit cards as well as their Paytm wallet.
"Auto rickshaws are ubiquitous to mobility options in many Indian cities. To expand transportation choices for our riders, we are excited to launch Auto in Bengaluru and Pune," the Press Trust of India quoted Uber's spokesperson as saying.