UBER Strategic Management Case Project
Paper Details :
The Strategic Management Case is an analysis of the firm selected by the student. The format of the report should include:
- Description of the firm (brief history, critical strategic events, competitors, leadership, etc.). If there are any general situational assumptions or limitations on the scope of the analysis, these should also be specified here. This section should be limited to a maximum of five pages. Note: Some students may select a new business venture for a firm they would seriously consider starting. For these students, this section will focus on a research based history, critical strategic events, emerging competition, and industry leaders.
- The strategic analysis of the firm. The results of each strategic tool are presented along with a discussion of importance and implications. Also required are sections for financial analysis and assumptions, although the specific contents of these sections may vary considerably.
- Financial strategic assessment. This section should integrate the findings from all of the analytical exercises employed in Phase 2. A final and all-encompassing analysis is presented, along with the recommendations that you would make to the firm’s board of directors. This would include identifying what you would and would not do, and outlining any relevant alternate scenario plans or contingency plans. Be sure to address any potential competitive reaction.
Phase 1 – Modules 1-3 (Outline for Strategic Management Case)
Introduction of the company (limit to a maximum of three single-spaced pages).
- Description of the firm and its products
- Company history (brief history, critical events, competitors, leadership), including strategic elements of its history
- Vision and mission statement o Assessment of mission and vision
External assessment o EFE and CPM with strategic implications
- Analysis of competitive position, opportunities, and threats
Internal assessment o IFE with strategic implications o Financial ratio analysis with key conclusions and implications for strategic choice
- Overall analysis of internal capabilities and implications for your strategic decisions
- Complete an EFE and CPM for your company (including analysis and conclusions) and complete IFE and calculate financial ratio (must show work) include analysis and conclusions.
Internal assessment (continued from Phase 1—include IFE and financial ratios) o Current strategy (brief description of the firm’s current strategies), including current use of technology
- SWOT matrix with strategic implications for the company
- BCG matrix with strategic implications for the company
- Space or other matrices with strategic implications for the company o Possible strategic alternatives
- Evaluation of current organizational structure
- Recommendation changes (if needed) to the structure, culture (including values), processes, rewards, or technology.
Develop SWOT, BCG, SPACE, and IE Matrices w/strategic implications for the company.
- Develop alternative strategies for the company w/ strengths and weaknesses of each.
- Strategic analysis, choices, impact, and measurement o Product-positioning map
- Evaluation of strategies and objectives to achieve most favorable market position o Description of how you would implement your strategies o Milestones (steps for each major initiative with their timelines
- Specific results you want to achieve including market, financial, and product or service goals o Financial projection (minimum three years) o Presentation with audio – see below
The purpose of this report is writing Uber Technologies strategic management project. In the report, the overview of the company will be clearly done by analyzing its competitors, its market position, and strategic events. The SWOT analysis of Uber will be analyzed in two parts; internal assessment and external assessment. The report will also present the strategic analysis of Uber. Further, the financial strategic analysis of Uber will be effectively done. Finally, the report will conduct the strategic analysis, choices, impact, and measurement that Uber has in the world market.
Introduction of the Company
Description of the firm
Uber Technologies (UBER) provides safe ride services. Founded in 2009, Uber has rapidly grown to become the world’s largest app-based transportation network; today operating in at least sixty one countries. The app-based transportation network is headquartered in San Francisco, California, the United States of America. Uber makes use of a Smartphone App to receive and accept ride requests that get send to Uber drivers via a magic GPS. For Uber users, this is an on-demand car service that allows them to request a ride and the nearest driver respond to offer the service (Cramer & Alan, 2016). Uber has tirelessly been developing mobile apps for road transportation, ride sharing, navigation, and payment processing solutions. Uber service makes use of dispatch software to have the nearest driver send to the riders’ destination. Founded by Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp, Uber works with simply pressing a “button’ once the App is opened. Uber driver are always circling cities, read to transport people from one point A to Point B. Uber has been developed using unique technology, and goes to an extend of even sending customers the taxi-style car and also number plate (Cohan, 2019). The co-founders (Travis and Garrett) designed the service to offer a cashless solution that charge ride of customers directly to their own credit cards. To riders, Uber has been synonymous with tax cars, and for drivers, Uber has been a referral service. Among Uber’s greatest milestones is the 2010 strategic decision to hire Ryan Grave as the CEO and the 2011 milestone, when Uber Cab was shortened to Uber, and in 2012 when Uber rolled out the Uber X service (Morris, 2019). Today, Uber has grown as a global brand; now offering app-based ride service to over 100 million users across the world. Specifically, Uber is operating in 300 cities and in six (6) continents. As at 2016, Uber’s gross income was $20 billion.
Uber Technologies was founded by Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp in the year 2009 under the name “UberCab”. In 2010, the co-founders made a strategic decision to make Ryan Grave the first employee of UberCab, then a general manager whose shares in the company were 5-10 percent. The same year, Ryan Grave became UberCab’s CEO. In 2011, the company’s name was shorted to Uber, the now world’s most recognized app-transportation company. In 2012, Uber launched UberX, a service allowing drivers to work for the company by driving their own cars (Laurell & Christian, 2016). Since this strategic milestone, Uber has kept growing from transportation technologies and services, from self-driving saloon cars, to a carpooling service and also a helicopter service. At the moment, Uber is operating is over 300 cities across 6 continents. Nevertheless, Uber is also a household name even in locations that do not access its services.
Vision and mission statement
Uber is transforming the manner in which the world moves. By ensuring seamless connection between rides and drivers via an app, Uber is focused to make cities more accessible, to create more possibilities for passengers, and to open up more business/ work for drivers (Morris, 2019). Since its 2009 inception, Uber has launched operations in over 300 cities today, and enjoys a constantly growing global presence, now in 6 continents is attracting more people closer to the cities.
The vision and mission statement of Uber states:
- Vision statement: The vision statement of Uber is, “At Uber, we ignite opportunity by setting the world in motion”.
- Mission statement: Uber’s mission statement states, “Make transportation as reliable as running water, everywhere, for everyone”.
In Uber’s vision and mission statements, the company takes on big problems to help rides, drivers, eaters, and delivery partners get moving in more than 600 cities all over the world by 2025. In this case, Uber welcomes stakeholders from all realms who seek opportunity to assist in creating a future that everyone and everything will be able to independently move. Passion, curiosity, and a spirit of collaboration are the most important values for the company to build and globally while living locally.
Vision and mission statement of Uber Competitors
The vision statement of Lyft is “to improve people’s lives with the world’s best transportation”.
The mission statement of Lyft states, “Ride by ride, we are changing the way our world works”. The company imagines a world where all cities feel small again, where tech and transportation join people together once more rather than staying apart. Our aim is to have a community driven future that starts by you.
Taxify’s Vision and Mission Statement
The vision statement of Taxify is “Given our ability to solve transportation problems on an increasingly broader scale, we want the brand to reflect the company’s future rather than the past”
The mission statement is “Change the way people move within the city, create jobs, and transform the transportation ecosystem by delivering high-quality ride experiences at affordable rates”.
Strategic elements of the history
The strategic elements of the history of Uber are clearly reported by the Business Insider (Hartmans & Leskin, 2019). The elements of Uber’s strategic growth in America and the world are as below:
- March 2009: Uber becomes founded as UberCab, by then a “black-car service” by Garret Camp, Conrad Whelan, and Oscar Salazar. During this strategic decision, Travis Kalanick serves as the “mega adviser”
- January 2010: Travis Kalanick suggested Ryan Gravel to become Uber’s general manager and after a few months he became CEO the same year.
- June 2010: UberCab was rolled out in San Francisco, California, the U.S.
- October 2010: The Company’s name becomes shortened to Uber, a strategic approach to make the brand simple and short.
- 4th May, 2011: Uber transportation services are rolled out in the New York City.
- December 2011: Uber launches initiatives to go global and begins with Paris, France.
- July 2012: Uber rolls out/ launches UberX to allow people work for the company by driving their own salon cars.
- August 2013: The largest competitor of Uber, Lyft is rolled out in San Francisco. In the same month, Google invests $258 million at Uber
- August 2014: Uber launches the Uber-FRESH service in Santa Monica, California
- February 2015: Uber begins to test self-driving car by partnering with Carnegie Mellon University. In May 2016, Uber starts to test self-driving cars in Pittsburgh.
- April 2015: UberFRESH is rebranded to UberEATS, and it is separated from their app for Uber rides
- 25th June 2015: France orders police in Paris to crack down on Uber after violence erupts following taxi drivers strike against Uber.
- February to August 2016: A class-action suit is filed against Uber by three drivers. Other protests in Hungary create problems of Uber.
- July 2016: Uber out competes its largest Chinese competitor and this leads to a merger with Didi Chuxing.
- February 2017: Bad publicity and increased number of lawsuits hit Uber again
- 21st June 2017: Travis Kalanick, Uber CEO resigns following several chaotic months and allegations of gender discrimination and sexual harassment to riders by drivers
- 1st April 2019: Uber went public with a valuation of over $120 billion
- May 2019: Uber win big after the Federal board’s general council rules that “Uber drivers are independent contractors, not workers of the ride-hailing firm”.
Uber has made transportation more mobile. The app-transportation Company is cheap and cost friendly to riders. The IOS, Android and Windows Phone App connect passengers with Uber drivers by the use of their mobile phone’s GPS software, allowing both parties trace the location of each other and avoid questions of the time the driver will arrive to offer the ride. Moreover, Uber Technologies process all involved payments, charging either cash or the passengers credit card, taking the deduction by itself (5-20% charge), and by directly having the remaining money deposited into the account of the designated driver.
In the context of Uber, a SWOT analysis is the best model to conduct the external market factors that face its ride/ hailing transportation services. The SWOT has two parts, internal and external and the external factors are opportunities and threats. To clearly assess the market opportunities and threats to Uber, the severity of the threat and the potentiality of the opportunity helping Uber will be stated and ranked as per the score.
Analysis of competitive position, opportunities and threats
|Exploit new and larger markets in countries such as India where there are expensive and inconvenient taxi services||0.06||3||0.18|
|Increase its valuation to convince more investors and thus increase profitability||0.15||4||0.6|
|Tap the growing markets located in suburban zones where taxi services have not reached||0.08||5||0.4|
|Increase Uber drivers number to lower the estimated arrival time, this will be rated high by many users||0.02||2||0.04|
|Use cheaper electric cars to lower cost and raise profit margins to drivers||0.15||1||0.15|
|Include additional services like transporting the aged patients to hospital, kids to school, and pets to the vet||0.07||4||0.28|
|Unhappy drivers because of poor profit margins threatens negative publicity||0.05||3||0.15|
|Global zones like Germany passing new regulations that ban Uber services||0.05||2||0.1|
|Bad relationship with local authorities in America attracts penalties and bad public relations||0.02||1||0.02|
|Stiff competition from Lyft and other firms threatens loss of customers and thus reduction in revenues||0.03||2||0.06|
|Self-driving cars is another threat, for instance Google cars posing threat for no need of Uber||0.12||4||0.48|
|Damaged brand by the new drivers entering the market since scandals and fraud are increasing||0.2||2||0.4|
The total for external factors = 2.86
Analysis of competitive position, opportunities and threats
By analyzing the two elements of external business environment of Uber above, the company is beyond average when it comes to responding to the existing threats and opportunities. The analysis shows that at the moment, Uber has little bad relationship with local authorities, and thus its PR can be guarded by paying taxes to the local authorities (Morris, 2019). Also important to note, Uber is facing less competition in the market and thus can exercise monopoly power. But, Uber is threatened by the emergence of self-driving cars, for example Google cars and thus the company must be keen to come up with new business models to counter this threat. The other biggest threat is high chances of tarnished reputation since the new entrants/ drivers are engaging more in fraud and scandals such as sexual harassment to customers.
In addition, the evaluation shows that Uber has the greatest opportunity to increase its valuation and attract more investors; as a result the company will reap more profits. Also, Uber has a big market opportunity to grasp the idle market in those areas where Uber services are not accessible; this would make the company likeable to more customers (Hartmans & Leskin, 2019). Nevertheless, Uber should note that increasing services like transportation of old people to hospital and children to school is another market segment that if properly exploited would help diversify its business operations and thus increase profitability. Last, since Uber operates in many countries across six continents, the threat of political instability should be expected, and thus a plan B is needed like in the case of Germany who passed a law to ban Uber services.
Uber Competitive Position
Uber does not operate as a monopoly; it faces stiff competition from other companies in the technology transport sector. As per Forbes 2018 report, Uber competes with ride-hailing companies and personal mobility businesses.
In the technology transport industry, Uber is ranked number 1 by Forbes. Its close competitors are ranked in the table below
|1||Lyft||Ride hailing / personal mobility|
|6||Yandex Tax||Ride hailing|
The competitive profile matrix (CPM) is a powerful analytic tool for Uber managers in decision making. The CPM Matrix of Uber is presented below
|Key success factors||Weight||Rating||Weighted score||Rating||Weighted score||Rating||Weighted score|
|Global market growth||0.15||4||0.6||1||0.15||3||0.45|
|Corporate social roles||0.15||2||0.3||2||0.3||1||0.15|
By analyzing the above competitive profile matrix of Uber, the company has a slight competitive advantage over Lyft and Taxify. Increasing global market growth, drivers dedication, and technology are Uber’s best performing areas. In particular, Uber’s investment into the mobile UberApp technology, this is increasing its competitiveness. The mobile phone App is easily accessible to users and getting ride is just a matter of clicking “Request” button. As a result, the profitability of Uber is increasing (Cohan, 2019). However, Uber should take care of its prices because Lyft is charging lesser and this could be a loophole to losing competitive edge to Lyft.
Financial Ratio Analysis
In this report, Uber Technology Financial Ratios will be analyzed for the years 2016 to 2019
|Pre-tax profit margin||11.6415||-57.6778||-83.6931|
|Net profit margin||8.8465||-50.8447||-9.6229|
|Inventory turnover ratio||–||–||–|
|Return on Equity||-13.3649||47.131||–|
|Return on tangible equity||-12.9528||46.6243||–|
|Return on assets (ROA)||4.1146||-26.1442||–|
|Return on investment (ROI)||-191.2791||73.2075||–|
|Book value per share||–||–||–|
|Long term debt/ capital||2.0329||1.7772||–|
The financial analysis was done for three years (2016, 2017, and 2018) financial reports (https://www.macrotrends.net/stocks/charts/UBER/uber-technologies/financial-ratios). Uber Technologies have all the necessary financial information for all years, and this is helpful in ratio analysis. Having the most recent three annual reports, it was easy to generate the financial ratios and make comparison across the three years. The long term debt/ capital ratio of Uber is high for 2018 when compared to 2017. Also, the current ratio of Uber is high for 2018 as compared to 2017, meaning that Uber is making more profits and thus ready cash at hand. The net profit margin calculation shows that Uber is increasing profitability year by year (-69 percent in 2016 to -50 percent in 2017 to +8.8465 percent in 2018). However, return on investment is posing risks to Uber as the percentage is deteriorating (from 73 percent in 2017 to -191 percent in 2018), this needs proper financial decision making. The current ratio in 2018 is 2.0329 compared to 1.7772 in 2017; this means that Uber’s probability of meeting all short-term goals is high. The negative long-term debt/capital ratio is affecting the financial stability of Uber, and this together with return in tangible equity should be corrected.
Analysis of internal capabilities and implications for your strategic decisions to follow
In this context, Uber’s SWOT analysis will be analyzed again. However, only the internal environment factors, strengths and weaknesses will be analyzed.
|High standard/ quality services||0.13||2||0.26|
|Unlimited fleet of cars||0.05||3||0.15|
|Global presence and recognition||0.05||2||0.1|
|Convenient system for rides and drivers||0.01||4||0.04|
|Less amount of operations costs||0.1||4||0.4|
|Fast and reliable services||0.05||3||0.15|
|Easy to imitate/ copy the idea||0.01||2||0.02|
|Unprofessional relationship with drivers||0.02||2||0.04|
|Unpredictable business model||0.03||1||0.03|
|Increased concerns over riders privacy||0.01||1||0.01|
|No bonding between Uber and riders||0.03||2||0.06|
|High costs of operating the cars||0.04||1||0.04|
|Drivers actions are uncontrolled||0.05||2||0.1|
|Regulations affecting global business||0.01||1||0.01|
Based on the above analysis, Uber Technologies is positioned well to its internal business factors. Uber has a well-organized brand and also has the advantage of global market since it as gone globally to over 300 countries. Also important to note, Uber faces competition from Lyft only, the other competitors are very far as far as internal functioning is concerned (Hartmans & Leskin, 2019). In addition, Uber has unlimited fleet for cars and this increases convenience of rides. Moreover, Uber is excellent in community involvement through corporate social responsibility activities. The other strength is that the App/ system is easy to use and thus convenient to both passengers and the drivers.
However, Uber is having bad relationship with drivers out of their bad conduct/ unprofessional behavior such as sexual harassment to passengers. The other weakness is that the system/ App of Uber are easy to copy by others (Cohan, 2019). Failure to control driver actions is creating bad publicity for Uber in the world market. Therefore, Uber should establish an excellent and close relationship with drivers to eliminate such petty issues in such a big company like Uber.
In the BCG Matrix:
Uber Core Values and Culture
The core values of Uber are clearly stated in its value statement. Uber is customer obsessed and wants to do the right thing and nothing more. Uber is committed to creating long-lasting relationship with all stakeholders. In the market, Uber operates with utmost respect, honesty, integrity and the right conduct. Uber requires the rides, drivers, and the community to partner together with them to ensure that integrity has been upheld (Cohan, 2019). The Company is tirelessly working to earn and maintain trust with customers in the market. The culture of Uber is ensuring value for people, and makes short-term sacrifices for a lifetime of loyalty. The company has built a unique culture by which ideas are valued over hierarchy, differences in opinions get celebrated, and all actions are focused at building globally.
Uber is non-discriminative as its culture advocates for a diversity and inclusivity. The Company sees a future with many opportunities for drivers. The plan of Uber is to raise the number of women workers to over 35 percent. Uber’s culture seeks to establish a conducive work environment to all workers, an environment where self-morale rule the day. Also, the culture of Uber requires that rides be treated with due respect, matters of sexual harassment is heavily punished by the company (Hartmans & Leskin, 2019). Any driver signing up to work with Uber has to be of sound mind, and understand the objectivity of this company. Issues of abusing riders are not welcomed at Uber, ethical conduct is a must have principle for all workers in the company. In 2017, Uber sacked 20 drivers over sexual harassment issues.
Uber Organizational Structure 2019
The organizational structure of Uber majors on the top most managerial positions. The top most position in the organization is Chief Executive Officer, Dara Khosrowshahi. The new CEO, Mr. Dara has solid understanding, experience, skills, and knowledge in IT and management. The Chief Executive Officer of Uber is supported by other senior officials such as Head of Uber Everything, General Counsel, and President Redesigning. The front line managers are nowhere to appear in the organizational structure; and this is clear indicator of Uber’s corporate culture (Anu, 2016). In any case the company fails globally, and then this organization structure should either be altered or modified.
Recommended changes to structure, processes, rewards or technology
The organizational structure of Uber represents an upper management company. After the CEO, only senior members are included in the structure, meaning that the junior staffs are not recognized when it comes to decision making. Also, managers located in different countries are not included in the structure; this is a sure sign that Uber can make the wrong investment decision to certain countries if they do not engage the managers (Morris, 2019). Alternatively, Uber should set a communication structure that directly connects top leadership to other employees without bureaucratic protocols. In addition, Uber should add middle managers or direct supervisors in order to monitor drivers’ actions while at field for work.
Strategic Analysis, Choices, Impact, and Measurement
Product Positioning Map
In this product positioning map for Uber, Curb and Lift can be considered as the main competitors. In high brand equity, all the three Ube, Lyft and Curb have more concentration. Realistically, Curb is charging higher prices than Uber (Cohan, 2019). Also Curb is indirectly competing Uber in the America as it operates in 65 cities. Generally, Uber brand is safe in the market but the management should not assume to enjoy continuous superiority in the market because Curb and Lyft are making efforts to catch up.
Evaluation of strategies and objectives to achieve favorable market position
Uber has always been focused to achieving and maintaining a favorable position in the market. The key strategic objective of Uber is providing reliable, dependable, convenient, and readily available transportation service to the market. In this objective, Uber should continue enlarging its transport operations across many cities in the world to allow rides and drivers connect (Laurell & Christian, 2016). Also, the management of Uber needs to take over the cab industry by charging the cheapest prices and giving easy ride worldwide. The other strategic objective of Uber has been eliminating private car ownership. In this doing, Uber needs to be very keen because this strategy can bring fraud and irresponsible behavior in the industry. Therefore, the need to offer all transportation and logistical services in a transparent and monitored manner must be uphold.
Description of Strategy Implementation
In implementing the above strategies, Uber should become the easiest ride worldwide and be the most cheap app-transportation firm. Also, Uber should use email marketing, inbound marketing, and social media marketing when entering into new countries/ cities for these approaches are a sure way to success (Anu, 2016). Last, Uber should monitor actions of drivers to eliminate issues of misconduct that slowly tarnish its public image.
Milestones of Major Initiatives
|Launch of UberX||2012|
|Uber launches the Uber-FRESH service in Santa Monica||2014|
|Uber went public with a valuation of over $120 billion||2019|
- Market: Global market growth to over 300 cities in six continents
- Financial: In 2019, Uber went public with a valuation of $120 billion
- Product and service: Uber charges lower prices over its ride compared to competitors
These achievements of Uber will be measured by profitability, number of customers, number of cars operating, reduced conflicts between company and drivers, increased number of Uber ride requests, and zero cases of sexual harassment.
As at 2019, Uber is valued at $120 billion. In the next 3 to 5 years, Uber’s valuation will grow by approximately 15 percent. This is because the company already enjoys excellent brand globally and that many people value Uber over the other companies. Also, due to the indirect competition in the market, growth in profitability is not projected to grow with a huge margin because the other companies will also be offering the service. Such a competition would divide profits and thus Uber’s valuation can grow with approximately 15 percent in the next 3 to 5 years.
In conclusion, technology has changed the world today. Uber Technologies, founded just a decade ago has gained popularity and great acceptance by the world in a way that the co-founders did not imagine. The company, Uber, has been effective in providing transportation services to riders from point A to point B. Also, Uber has created job opportunities for jobless drivers. However, Uber’s technology/ idea is easy to copy, and this has led to establishment of competitor firms such as Curb, Lyft, and Taxify just to mention a few. Therefore, Uber should continue to innovate new ideas and build on their current app-transportation system so as to avoid any possible loose of competitive edge to the competitors in the market.
Anu, G. (2016). Uber: Driving Change In Transportation With Digital Marketing. Business Case Studies, 50-62.
Cohan, P. (2019). Uber: Driving Change In Transportation With Digital Marketing. Forbes, 1-8.
Cramer, J., & Alan, K. (2016). Disruptive change in the taxi business: The case of Uber. American Economic Review, 106(5), 177-182.
Hartmans, A., & Leskin, P. (2019). The history of how Uber went from the most feared startup in the world to its massive IPO. Business Insider, 1-16. Retrieved from https://www.businessinsider.com/ubers-history?IR=T
Laurell, C., & Christian, S. (2016). Analysing Uber in social media—Disruptive technology or institutional disruption? International journal of innovation management, 20(5), 164.
Morris, C. (2019). Uber Drivers Plan 12-Hour Strike As Company Looks Toward IPO. Fortune, 1-12.