All was quiet from Uber’s end after their merger in 2018 where it transferred all of its ride-hailing and food delivery services to its rival, Grab. Now, a year after the merger happened, Uber has just announced the launch of their new Asia Pacific HQ in Tanjong Pagar.
Before we get your hopes up too high, no this does not mean Uber will not be resuming their ride-hailing services anytime soon. In fact, Uber has specifically said that there have no plans to do so at all, as of right now.
Instead, Uber’s office in Singapore will serve as Uber’s Asia Pacific Regional Hub and support operations across 102 cities in nine Asia Pacific countries, namely Australia, New Zealand, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.
At the Hub’s launch on April 2, Uber’s APAC Director of Communications Amy Kurojpanya clarified that Uber has never actually left Singapore, or at least its headquarters never did.
“Singapore is a non-operational market for us,” she says, confirming that Uber will not be resuming its ride-hailing services. “That means we don’t have operations on the ground [or] products in the marketplace.”
Kurojpanya added that Uber’s decision to remain in Singapore despite being a non-operational market came after the company has done their due diligence and came to the decision to keep their regional hub that was already here even before the merger.
The media were also given a guided tour around Uber’s new 2,000 square metre office which is currently home to 165 staff, both local and international, in various roles such as finance, HR, public affairs, and marketing. As the regional hub for the Asia Pacific region, Uber’s Singapore office is designed using a mix of creative ideas and quirky designs with a touch of local flair.
Meeting rooms are cheekily named by the Uber staffs who have come up with names like Nasi Lemak, Laksa, and Kopi. The names are not just for show as the meeting rooms are also designed with the names in mind.
Outside the meeting rooms are the working desks that staffs will normally work in. Common areas break the monotony of the desks, each featuring elements from different cultures in it such as Japan, or India. These common areas also come with whiteboards so that employees could hold discussions there if they choose to.
After the guided tour, we were led to a giant mural where Uber’s artist-in-residence Candace Rardon was present to explain the colourful mural that ran along the wall of Uber’s dining. Rardon explained that the wall depicted the various Asia Pacific countries that Uber is in. As the Singapore office had staff from diverse backgrounds culturally, they helped to give their inputs and provide details for how the mural should look like.
Kurojpanya also shared that Uber is currently still hiring, which could possibly not sit well with ex-Uber staff who might now be at Grab. While they are unable to share the exact number of staff they are looking to hire, a simple Google search will give you Uber’s job postings for roles in finance and business operations, amongst several others.