State-owned Telkom Group is aggressively expanding its digital business abroad. In December, it announced the launch of MyTimor, a ride-hailing platform available in neighboring East Timor.
The app, which has been available for the local community since November, can be used to order motorbikes and taxis, as well as goods for home delivery. Telkomcel, Telkom’s mobile network arm in East Timor, runs the service. It claims to be the first telecommunications operator in the country to launch a ride-hailing application.
In a statement, Telkomcel said that MyTimor aims to accelerate the adoption of digital technology. East Timor, a developing country, now also has an increasingly active portion of the millennial generation.
Daily Social contacted Telkomcel CEO Yogi Rizkian Bahar to ask him how the service is doing and what are further plans. According to him, the company initially wanted to outsource the development of the app, but then decided to build it from scratch.
“The journey is quite exciting. We pitched in India for a while, but in the end we used an in-house developer to build the app,” he said. “So far, the traction is really good. Many drivers and users have started registering and trying the service.”
Telkomcel’s VP for finance and human capital Dedy Edward said that fees have been agreed with local partners, but didn’t elaborate more. Currently MyTimor is partnering with Corrotrans, a local taxi cooperative which holds the license for taxi operations in East Timor. Other partnerships are in the making.
Telkomcel operates under the auspices of Telkom Indonesia International (Telin), which is a subsidiary of Telkom Group, founded in 2007. Telin has a presence in a number of countries, including the United States, Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Macau, Myanmar, Singapore, and Taiwan. Aside from telecommunications, the company also offers IT solutions for enterprise and retail.
Entering food delivery
Bahar revealed that Telkomcel has prepared a number of new products for 2021. “The plan is that we launch the MyFood service which is equivalent to Gojek’s GoFood in February 2021. It will be a great effort to build the whole ecosystem,” Yogi explained.
This points to a similar model than that carried out by players in Indonesia, namely Gojek and Grab. Telkomcel will also strengthen the e-payment ecosystem with Tpay as an alternative to cash. Launched in 2020, Tpay has already obtained a digital payment license in the country. According to Bahar, Tpay’s positioning is similar to Indonesia’s e-wallet LinkAja, which can be used by customers from different operators.
Bahar points out that, aside from MyTimor, Telkomcel also runs a music streaming app called Musica. He says that the business model for both MyTimor and Musica could be replicated in other countries where Telin operates.
Telkom’s digital business outside Indonesia isn’t limited to services alone. The company’s investment arm, MDI Ventures, has invested in 44 startups across 12 countries.
This article first appeared in Daily Social.