Rising Unicorn
    Category: E-Conomy By : Aastha Saboo Read : 1176 Date : Wednesday, February 08, 2017 - 15:02:53




    Ahmad Zamroni / Forbes Indonesia

    It's 11 o' clock in mid-December outside the Pasaraya Grande building in Blok M in Jakarta, and a group of about 14 motorcycle taxi drivers dressed in bright green uniforms are buzzing with excitement. They are getting their photo taken Nadiem Makarim, the 32-year-old founder of PT Go-Jek Indonesia, who is standing among them dressed in a black T-shirt with “Go-Jek” printed on the front. In unison they pump their fists in the air and shout “Go-Jek, Go-Jek, Go-Jek,” then click selfies with Nadiem.

    The drivers' energy is just one indication of the remarkable Go-Jek phenomenon. From a small startup in 2011, Go-Jek is now arguably Indonesia’s most successful Internet firm—responsible for several major transformations. For one, it has transformed the way thousands of Indonesians earn a living, and also get their goods and services, beyond just the original motorcycle taxis. Second, it has emerged as Indonesia’s first unicorn, an Internet startup with an implied valuation over $1 billion. Finally, it has propelled Nadiem from an obscure entrepreneur into the country’s most visible poster boy for Indonesia’s booming Internet sector.

    In a rare interview, in Go-Jek’s new headquarters on the top floor of Pasaraya Grande, Nadiem explains Go-Jek success by paraphrasing the Lord of the Rings. “One app to rule them all,” he says. By this he means Go-Jek has evolved far beyond being a simple ride-sharing app into an entire ecosystem. “It's your portal to connect to the real world,” he says. Today Go-Jek provides 15 different types of services, from massages to package delivery. Its payment system Go-Pay connects all of them. A new service, Go-Points, allows loyal users to collect and win extra points if they use Go-Pay.

    Thus a user can spend much of his day within the Go-Jek system. “You're there in a world of services, that the user can then live in,” says Nadiem. One can use Go-Bike or Go-Car to go to work, order lunch from Go-Food, and after work, get tickets to a movie from Go-Tix or a massage with Go-Massage. If your smartphone is running low, there’s Go-Pulsa to top it up. All of them can be purchased with Go-Pay. In fact, the firm has put several of its services under the aptly named app Go-Life. “Go-Jek is a unique combination of different verticals which is constantly changing,” says Nadiem. “The company's key emphasis is on solving problems rather than product offerings, making it different from other startups.” He adds: “The beautiful part is how these all services synergize together, and basically empower each other.” Go-Jek’s path is similar to that of the original ride-sharing firm Uber, out of San Francisco, which has also been busy adding services such as Eats, for food delivery, and Freight, for package delivery, and even Moto, a motorcycle service similar to Go-Jek's original service. 

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