How Gojek will Elevate Indonesia

I will start with one premise ‘If you look carefully, developed countries at least have one multinational company that has strong presence in international market.’

samsung nestle

South Korea has Samsung, which accounts to almost 20% Korea GDP. Samsung Electronics revenue in Q2 2018 alone stands in $52 billion, and its operating income is $13.2 billion. Nestle contributes for almost 18% Switzerland GDP with 2017 revenue is $90.5 billion. The more revenue (and profit) they have, the bigger tax they pay to their respective country. Who will contribute for Indonesia ?

There should be one Indonesia company that can rule international market. Among Indonesian companies, which companies you have in mind ? There are few candidates, Pertamina, Telkom, BCA, Mandiri, Indofood, Gojek. Lets boil things down.

company logo

Pertamina ? Pertamina currently can’t compete with multinational oil and gas companies like Exxon, Shell, BP, Total, and Chevron. It is still struggling to meet domestic energy demand, though it has some investment in middle east and africa.

Telkom ? Its revenue is still small compared to AT&T, Verizon, or Softbank.

How about finance companies like BCA, Mandiri, BNI, or BRI ? Unfortunately, the biggest finance-banking company in Southeast Asia (in valuation) is DBS, coming from city state Singapore.

So which one has the best shot ? Gojek.


Gojek is Indonesia technology startup that specialize in ride hailing, logistic, digital payment, and expand to almost every aspects of daily life. Gojek is backed by Tencent, Google, Temasek Holdings, Meituan Dianping, and other well-respected VCs. You probably already know Google as 3rd most valuable company on earth. Not far behind, Tencent is the 7th most valuable company. Temasek ? It’s Singapore sovereign wealth fund that invest to companies globally.

There is also a reason why Google invest in Gojek directly, not its investing arm GV or Google Capital. Google already did research Southeast Asia digital boom with Temasek and they both conclude the internet economy will worth $200 billion in 2025. Of course they want to grab a piece of it. They will share their know-how to Gojek so it can thrive to become digital behemoth in Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia.

google tencent

I just really hope Gojek will be the next Amazon, or the next Google, the next Facebook, the next Alibaba, the next Tencent, eventually will benefit our country. I mostly take a look at international business, particularly america, since my source comes from Bloomberg, Forbes, CNBC, Fortune, and WIRED. All these amazing companies have similar pattern, leveraging technology to scale and grow rapidly, and dominate market

Gojek is more likely to become next Tencent. In China, Tencent is one stop solution app. It can be used to message our friends, Tencent can be used to book movies ticket, order taxi, find hotels, send red pocket, order Starbucks, etc. Gojek has similarity to Tencent. It can be used to ride hailing, order food, pay electricity, etc.

I won’t be surprised if Gojek will compete with Lazada-Tokopedia in near future, similar case to Alibaba Vs Tencent in China. Gojek probably will do partnership with Bukalapak or other e-commerce players to go after online retail pieces.

Gojek current valuation is around $5 billion, far from $35 billion price tag of BCA and Telkom $25 billion. But it’s poised to grow, exponentially. Gojek claim to have 1,000,000 driver partner, around 850,000 are motorbike drivers. True to its founder vision, Gojek net effect on our country is really positive, supporting micro-entrepreneur and UMKM all over Indonesia.

As long as Gojek is led by Nadiem Makarim and its current executives, Gojek will thrive to capture market in Indonesia and Southeast Asia. Recently they launch ride hailing service in Vietnam and Thailand. Nadiem learns from the best, HBS, USA with great digital startup ecosystem.

How about its current competitor Grab ?

gojek grab

Competition is good for entire ecosystem, from companies to consumer. Gojek has advantage of going cashless first with Go-Pay. Go-Pay fits the best with Go-Food business. Their ecosystem is pretty much settled. Gojek partners like Go-Food merchants, PLN, are already comfortable with them. Consumer also feels the same. Grab is far behind since they just form partnership with Ovo after Gojek launched Gopay. Among Southeast Asia $200 billion internet economy in 2025, $88 billion comes from Indonesia, so Indonesia is real deal for both company, and Gojek is currently leading the way. Grab will still thrive in other southeast asia countries like its homegrown Singapore and Malaysia. It will be very interesting to see how far they can go.

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