1Empowering Indian Startups: Lessons from Uber’s Profitability Journey

  1. Uber’s first annual profit in 2019 since IPO sparked hope for Indian startups.
  2. Uber’s transition from significant losses to profitability provides insights.
  3. Cost management and strategic adjustments were pivotal in Uber’s turnaround.
  4. Zomato’s consecutive profitable quarters showcase Indian startups’ potential.
  5. Tech entrepreneurs emphasize scalability and sustained revenue growth.
  6. IPO aspirants like Meesho demonstrate a commitment to profitability.
  7. Venture capitalists recognize the value of sustained growth in Indian startups.
  8. Optimism prevails that Indian founders will prioritize profitability amid funding changes.


Uber’s recent announcement of its first annual profit since going public in 2019, combined with Zomato’s steady quarterly profitability, has fuelled speculation about the viability of similar turnarounds among Indian companies and unicorns. Exploring Uber’s journey from severe losses to profitability provides insights into prospective methods for Indian rivals.

Understanding the Uber Transformation:

Uber, which is well-known for its enormous operating losses of $31.5 billion by 2022, acknowledged the approaching profitability concern in its initial public offering. However, by February 2024, Uber had achieved its first full-year profit, thanks to diligent cost management and strategic revisions made by CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.

Strategies for Profitability:

Khosrowshahi’s emphasis on fiscal discipline and selective expansion highlights Uber’s transition to profitability. The company’s careful commitment to cost reduction and operational efficiency contributed greatly to its recovery.

Implications for Indian startups:

Indian venture funders and founders see parallels between Uber’s success and the possibility for local firms to become profitable. With 15 firms listed since 2019, eight profitable at IPO, and four gaining profitability in the last 18 months, the Indian sector shows promise for long-term growth.

Case Study on Zomato’s Journey to Profitability:

Zomato’s successive profitable quarters demonstrate the viability of profitability for Indian entrepreneurs. Innovative tactics, such as geolocation technology and customer service automation, have increased operational efficiency and improved user experience.

Insights from tech entrepreneurs:

Beerud Sheth, a tech entrepreneur, emphasises the inherent profitability hurdles in early-stage enterprises. They emphasise the necessity of scalability and consistent revenue growth in the move from losses to profitability.

IPO Aspirants On the Path to Profit:

Meesho’s considerable reduction in losses combined with revenue growth illustrates IPO seekers’ commitment to profitability. The emphasis on long-term growth mirrors a broader trend among Indian businesses.

VCs’ Perspectives on Profitability:

Venture funders recognise the trend towards profitability among Indian entrepreneurs, as well as the importance that public markets place on long-term growth and profitability. The success of Uber demonstrates the possibility for Indian entrepreneurs to achieve profitability.


The profitability attitude among Indian entrepreneurs and unicorns represents a significant change towards long-term growth. With strategic insights from Uber’s journey and remarkable achievements by Indian counterparts such as Zomato and Meesho, there is hope that entrepreneurs would continue to prioritise profitability despite changing funding landscapes. As Indian startups seek profitability, the trip promises innovation, resilience, and long-term success in the developing startup ecosystem.

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