Indonesia’s online-to-offline (O2O) operator Go-Jek is now hot on the heels of Singapore-based Grab, aiming to expand aggressively beyond Indonesia to other parts of Southeast Asia, beginning with Go-Viet in Vietnam and GET in Thailand. It could also drive into Singapore this month.
KrASIA recently had a chat with ThoughtWorks India, Go-Jek’s tech consultancy behind the ride-hailer’s tech strategy, to understand more about the backbone of Go-Jek’s fast and furious driving into other markets even as the competition with its regional archrival, Grab, which is also speeding up to take over Southeast Asia, intensifies in Go-Jek’s home market.
The feedback loop process
Go-Jek has remained laser-focus on its domestic market Indonesia, also the largest one in the region.
The goal has always been to maintain a robust feedback loop process to constantly build and collate data in order to better understand consumers as people who have normal daily needs. And it follows that new products are designed, put on trial phase, and improved to allow technology to solve the various hassles in people’s daily lives.
Today, it is a dominant player in its home market, offering a slew of services from transportation, food delivery to even verticals like massage services. Overall, Go-Jek operates in 18 verticals to date.
Beginning with the end
And when it comes to scaling up, especially when it’s now driving into more and more countries and cities, Go-Jek adopts a “beginning with the end” approach that allows for a rapid and smooth scale-up. This requires for codes that run the algorithms to be rigorously tested and all of these have to gel well together to effectively create a scalable template that can be easily replicated.
Go-Jek’s current platform is able to house up to 10 million users, according to Saptorsi Hore, COO of ThoughtWorks.
He also shed lights into Go-Jek’s passengers and drivers matchmaking features, which leverages on algorithms to take into account factors like location of drivers and users; traffic conditions and expected delays; the number of assignments on hand; time needed to complete the assignments in order to optimize travel mileage to maximize the efficiency of Go-Jek services.
All of these basics will have to be carried out for each new market Go-Jek enters and a trial phase is necessary to gather, collate, and study consumer behaviour as Southeast Asia is highly fragmented with different cultures. Perhaps it is due to this strategy logic that Go-Jek is relying on a localized management team to run these expansion projects and it kickstarted more common verticals like ride-hailing services and on-demand logistics for Vietnam, Thailand, and just ride-hailing for Singapore, rather than bring all its products over.
It remains to be seen if this concept that catapulted Go-Jek from just a small call centre for motorcycle drivers to become a major O2O player in Indonesia would work. Competitor Grab is already set on expanding its footprint in the digital economy with partnerships with the likes of Microsoft, SoftBank, just to name a few.
Editor: Ben Jiang