(Source: www.straitstimes.com)

Indonesian ride-hailing firm Go-Jek – whose name is derived from ojek, the Indonesian term for the motorcycle taxis which it operates – has arrived on our shores.

The firm operates in more than 25 cities in Indonesia, reaching out to more than 250,000 riders.

However, those hoping to hop on a motorbike taxi to head to work here are out of luck.

Speculation arose that Go-Jek would roll out its bikes here, after photos showing its Singapore office began circulating online.

Responding to queries from The Straits Times, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said: “Motorcycles are not allowed to be used for point-to-point transport services, unlike taxis and private hire cars.”

LTA added that it had not been approached by Go-Jek.

Speaking to ST, Go-Jek vice-president of data science Misrab Faizullah-Khan said the firm remains focused on its home market.

  • >25

    Number of cities in Indonesia that Go-Jek operates in

    > 250k

    Number of riders in Indonesia

    250m

    Number of people in Indonesia

“Indonesia is already a huge market.

“There are 250 million people in Indonesia, so we’re very far from saturating that market,” said the 28-year-old, who heads the firm’s Singapore office.

However, he said the firm has “not ruled out a regional game plan” for the future.

For now, Go-Jek’s Singapore office at AXA Tower in Shenton Way, which began operating in January, is focused on data science.

“We try to utilise Go-Jek’s massive data to create intelligent systems,” said Mr Faizullah-Khan, adding that these systems are used to manage matters such as surge pricing and “intelligent allocation” to better match commuters and riders.

Go-Jek chose to house its data science operations in Singapore because of the “large talent pool” and the technological infrastructure.

“We don’t have to worry about the Internet suddenly going out here,” said Mr Faizullah-Khan.

Go-Jek has 20 employees here, 16 of whom are data scientists.

It hopes to hire more data scientists and engineers in the future.

The Indonesian firm raised $1.7 billion last month during its latest round of funding led by Tencent, the Chinese Internet giant behind WeChat.

However, Mr Faizullah-Khan declined to say how much Go-Jek has invested here.

In addition to motorcycle taxis, the firm has also expanded into providing concierge services in Indonesia.

Users there can use Go-Jek for food and grocery deliveries, as well as cleaning and massage services.

Should Go-Jek choose to introduce such services here in the future, it would face competition from more established players such as Deliveroo and RedMart.

Ms Esther Ho, deputy director at Nanyang Polytechnic’s School of Business Management, said Go-Jek could compete by using lower prices to attract customers.

“Pricing will have a huge impact on whether consumers choose to go with Go-Jek,” she said.

More Info: www.straitstimes.com

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