Drivers are at the heart of what we do at Uber. Now, to bring their voice to the table, we’re launching India’s first Driver Advisory Council (DAC). The Council will facilitate a two-way dialogue between Uber and drivers to address critical issues and improve drivers’ platform experience. The newly formed council held its inaugural national meeting in Gurugram. 

35+ drivers were chosen from 6 cities to be a part of the first Council. These drivers work across a range of product offerings available on Uber including cars, auto-rickshaws, and motorbikes, and represent the interests of tens of thousands of drivers on our platform. The focus of every meeting is decided by the Council members. For the maiden meeting, a wide range of issues was discussed with a special focus on driver earnings and support – an area we’re committed to making improvements in.

The Driver Advisory Council has a third-party review board led by Aapti Institute, a Bengaluru-based think tank to provide independent oversight on the Council’s work. Involved from the start in helping build the DAC, Aapti will anchor the initiative. The Independent Review Board will moderate discussions, identify actionable insights and follow up to create an ongoing dialogue. This will help focus on issues that matter and drive a deeper engagement between drivers and Uber.

Uber’s Driver Advisory Council members in discussion during the inaugural national meet

Sharing her views on the launch, Dr. Sarayu Natarajan, Founder, Aapti Institute, said, “Uber’s Driver Advisory Council is an important initiative towards enhancing Uber’s engagement with drivers on its platform. It will also advance emerging policy conversations on governance. Giving drivers an independent voice and an open forum to discuss critical matters will go a long way in better listening and finding better solutions. Aapti’s involvement as a third-party Internal Review Board provides much-needed independence and neutrality. As a first for the ridesharing industry in India, and perhaps across the platform economy, Uber’s attempt should set an example for others to emulate.”

Prabhjeet Singh, President, Uber India, and South Asia, addresses members of the newly formed Driver Advisory Council at the inaugural national meet 

How were the Driver Advisory Council members selected?

Drivers underwent a three-phase selection process to be a part of the council as the entries were invited through self-nomination. After an overwhelming response, entries were filtered based on various parameters including the driver being active on the Uber platform and having no prior safety incidents. Finally, through meetings with the independent review board, the drivers were tested on their potential to contribute to solutions to prevailing challenges. The selected drivers will represent their community for a year after which the selection process will be repeated.

Here is what members of Uber’s Driver Advisory Council had to say:

Shashikant Pandey, who has been driving with Uber in Mumbai said, “I am happy to be a part of the driver council as it gives me an opportunity to share real feedback with Uber leadership and work jointly towards finding solutions. I am pleased to be chosen as a Council member and will work towards bringing issues that matter to drivers to Uber – direct dialogue is a good way forward.”

Ashish Jain, who has been driving with Uber in Delhi NCR for over two years, said, “The Driver Advisory Council is a positive and much-needed intervention. I am happy to be a part of the Council and will work towards communicating issues that matter to drivers with Uber and would like to relay back the progress that Uber is making to the driver community.”

Sathisha T, an auto driver active on the Uber platform in Bengaluru, said, “I like the thought behind the Driver Advisory Council and am sure that it will have a positive impact over time. I will use this opportunity to discuss key challenges faced by fellow drivers in Bengaluru and work towards finding possible solutions.”

Sarathi Datta, who has been driving with Uber in Kolkata for over three years, said, “This is a good initiative by Uber. While we had different ways to reach Uber to share feedback in the past, the Council will be an opportunity for a two-way conversation. I will do my bit to push for changes that benefit my fellow drivers.”