Gojek on expansion track despite Covid-19

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"When we first launched in Singapore, our goal was to create a great ride-hailing experience for users and bring greater choice to the market," says Gojek's Andrew Lee. Now they are looking to strengthen their operations and brand image in the region.
JULY 08, 2020 - 7:30 AM

Gojek announced last week plans to unify its regional branding  as part of efforts to strengthen operations and brand image within the region. We spoke with Andrew Lee, group head of international at Gojek to find out more. 

1. When Gojek first entered Vietnam and Thailand, the focus was on creating a brand that was local and resonated with the population. What has changed? 

Launching local apps and brands was a strategy designed for the market dynamics of a specific time. We’ve since grown our international business exponentially over the last two years, and have made a significant positive impact, creating income-earning opportunities for hundreds of thousands of driver and merchant partners across the region, bringing greater choice to the markets we entered, and the benefits of a more competitive industry to everyone in the ecosystem. 

We’re now evolving our strategy to optimise our business and ensure we can continue to make a lasting impact in international markets, and deliver a better experience to everyone on our platform for years to come. A unified tech platform - which facilitates the interoperability of the Gojek app across all countries - will enable the company to scale more quickly, while making the introduction of new services faster and more efficient.

2. In terms of timing, Covid-19 has obviously thrown a spanner into the plans of many organisations. You’ve also announced that you are laying off 9 per cent of the workforce. How does this move strengthen operations?

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This move will create efficiencies of scale in both the tech and marketing fronts, and will enable us to serve multiple countries more quickly. A unified tech platform will allow us to innovate at greater speed. This puts us in a stronger position to adapt to current and future changes, and respond more quickly to evolving user needs.

3. You have quite a few targets, including growing your base of users outside of Indonesia from 20 per cent to 50 per cent over the next 4-5 years. Can you share some of your strategies/plans to hit this?

Unifying our apps and brands is a major milestone in our long-term strategy to accelerate growth in international markets, and will strengthen our position as a Southeast Asia player. By unifying our brand across Southeast Asia, we’ll be able to more effectively
differentiate ourselves in the market and build user awareness and loyalty over time - a strong foundation for future market entry and increased adoption.

... And for Singapore? 

When we first launched in Singapore, our goal was to create a great ride-hailing experience for users and bring greater choice to the market. We have since grown the business exponentially while remaining fully focused on our users, who constantly challenge us to up our game as we develop a better service to meet their evolving needs. As we continue to explore opportunities to enhance our offering, we’re innovating and caring for users across multiple areas.

For example: 

○ As a result of unifying our tech platform, consumers in Singapore will be able to use their existing app in multiple countries - including Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia - and enjoy a seamless experience while travelling.

○ We will soon launch new features based on user feedback, including a multi-destination option. 

○ As health, safety and hygiene have become paramount amid the global pandemic, we’re continuing to step up our efforts to ensure measures are embedded in our ride-hailing service to safeguard our users. 

○ We’re looking at additional ways to provide vulnerable groups like the elderly with easier access to our ride-hailing service, such as through subsidised rides; and we’re providing enhanced benefits for all our driver-partners and - for the first time - their families.