Only a handful of Indonesian startups have ventured overseas, and that makes the expansion of Go-Jek, Indonesia’s homegrown ride-hailing company, all the more interesting. After it launched in Vietnam recently, Thailand is next on the list. Go-Jek already confirmed that its app, known as GET in Thailand, will become available soon, but hasn’t mentioned a launch date.
It can’t be too long now though – GET’s official driver community on Facebook shared a couple of images earlier this week from Bangkok’s first driver meet up. Judging from the photos, it looks like a bunch of new drivers signed up. The page also shows GET drivers sporting their new yellow, rain-coat like jackets and helmets.
Motorcycle taxi drivers in Thailand wear safety jackets, and it looks like GET drivers will be required to wear these on top.
Go-Jek declined to share details about its Bangkok launch when asked by KrASIA.
It’s worth pointing out how different Go-Jek’s expansion strategy is compared to Grab. The rival on-demand transportation app, headquartered in Singapore and already available in most of Southeast Asia, has some localized features but mostly offer a uniform experience across its markets. In that way Grab is similar to Uber, the US firm that became the first big breakthrough ride-hailing app. Grab acquiring its Southeast Asia unit a few months ago.
Go-Jek is going for the opposite.
In the driver community, GET is introduced as an “on-demand application created by a Thai team, with world-class technology and expertise.” It mentions Go-Jek as an investor.
Go-Jek seems set on creating a unique user experience in each of its markets. What does that look like in Thailand? A clue might be the person appointed as CEO of GET, Pinya Nittayakasetwat.
Prior to co-founding GET, Nittayakasetwat had been a manager at Line Man Thailand – an on-demand delivery app that integrates with the Line messenger. Thailand is one of Line’s top markets.
Line Man Thailand offers services similar to those of Go-Jek in Indonesia, with the exception of personal transportation: Food delivery, groceries delivery, and courier services.
Food delivery and other on-demand services are good business for Go-Jek in Indonesia. It makes sense for GET to focus here, as Thailand has traditionally been a strong market for food delivery and food review sites. (For example, when food delivery app Foodpanda scaled down in Southeast Asia in 2016, it retrenched from Indonesia but stayed in Thailand.)
Grab meanwhile, since its take over of Uber Southeast Asia, including the UberEats food delivery assets, can be expected to invest heavily into its own GrabFood platform all around Southeast Asia, including in Thailand.
Food delivery junkies in Bangkok can most likely look forward to some happy months of deals and free delivery promos.
Editor: Ben Jiang