Gojek’s entry to Singapore was widely anticipated a few years ago, especially since Uber’s exit from Southeast Asia.
Rumours of its entry was ablaze when we uncovered in 2017 that it had set up a data science office in Singapore. It officially entered Singapore’s ride-hailing market only in late 2018 as part of its US$500 million regional expansion efforts.
Although Gojek had a strong and successful presence in its home market Indonesia, the firm was starting from “ground zero” when it came to building up operations across Southeast Asia.
Regardless, Singaporeans were excited at the idea of a new player that could spice up the landscape, offering them a new alternative and potential discounts.
“We have made many significant strides since our launch in Singapore three years ago. Our entry into the market then was received very positively as it provided riders and drivers with a wider range of choices,” Lien Choong Luen, general manager of Gojek Singapore, told Vulcan Post.
“Since then, we have cemented our spot in being a key player in Singapore’s point-to-point transport infrastructure, with Gojek also being the top downloaded app in the country in the last quarter of 2021. We have become a top-of-mind ride-hailing app in the market and we are proud of what we have achieved so far, in spite of the difficulties faced.”
Overcoming the Covid-19 crisis
The Covid-19 pandemic in particular, has gravely affected the company, much like many other businesses.
In fact, a survey published by Milieu Insight revealed that 45 per cent of respondents in Singapore were spending less than usual on ride-hailing services as shared mobility becomes a less desired option during these pandemic times.
Regardless, Gojek has stood strong and quickly adapted to roll out initiatives to help keep Singapore moving safely.
For instance, it rolled out a vaccination voucher campaign, which supported the national vaccination efforts by making it easier for the public to head down to a vaccination centre for their jabs with a free or highly-subsidised ride. All riders were given two S$15 vouchers to get to and from their vaccination appointments.
“With almost 1.1 million trips completed, the campaign also increased demands for rides and provided driver-partners with a much-needed boost in orders,” said Lien.
In addition, Gojek also reduced commissions to 10 per cent for its driver-partners to ensure a minimum earnings safety net and introduced a flat fee payout of S$3 for pickups of 3km or more, as well as new daily peak hour targets to boost earnings by up to S$100.
Endemic means different things to everyone, and as we move forward together, our priority is on ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all users across our network.
We will continue to provide improved earning opportunities and stability for driver-partners in order to build a sustainable livelihood on Gojek, and we will also continue to provide safe point-to-point travel options for our riders.– Lien Choong Luen, general manager of Gojek Singapore
Rollout of promo codes and new services to entice users
When asked about Gojek’s strategy on capturing more market share in Singapore, Lien said that their “immediate priority” is to continue to enhance its transport offerings, through diverse product innovations and long-term improvements to driver-partner and rider experiences.
This includes the rollout of promo codes, like its ongoing Off-Peak 925 campaign, and the launch of new services.
For instance, it launched GoCar XL, a new service type for larger, six-seater vehicles. Driver-partners can enjoy increased earnings with GoCar XL in addition to being eligible for the same GoCar initiatives.
It also launched GoTaxi, a service offering that provides taxi drivers a platform to complete metered trips.
“On top of these new service offerings, we are working hard on a pipeline of service enhancements and features aimed at providing an improved and seamless experience for driver-partners and riders,” said Lien.
He declined to comment in specifics if Gojek has any plans to further expand its service portfolio to potentially include food or grocery delivery, courier and financial services, among others.
However, he acknowledged that these services “undoubtedly make a lot of sense in a competitive and urban marketplace” like Singapore.
He added that as as consumers’ desire for convenience continues to grow, Gojek will pivot to ensure that they are able to meet the changing needs of customers. For now, Gojek is committed to a long-term strategy that focuses on sustainable growth.
We remain focused on our progress in terms of rolling out services and product features that are specific to market needs and evolving needs of our users in Singapore.
Our business operations and objectives will continue to focus on getting our core fundamentals right, fulfilling our ESG commitments, and expanding into other areas and services that solve market-specific needs.– Lien Choong Luen, general manager of Gojek Singapore
Sustainability remains to be an integral part of Gojek’s business and where possible, it integrates ESG practices into their business practices. That said, as Singapore gears up for electric vehicle (EV) adoption, Gojek is well-positioned for this transition.
“We have been working closely with industry partners and our GoFleet partners to explore additional ways to strengthen our strategy in pivoting towards using more cleaner energy electric vehicles in our fleet, towards our target of zero emissions,” said Lien.
In Indonesia, Gojek recently announced a partnership with an integrated energy company, TBS Energi Utama, to form a joint venture to accelerate the adoption of EVs in Indonesia, as well as developing infrastructure for two-wheel EVs throughout the country.
In Singapore, around 30 per cent of its vehicles are cleaner vehicles (hybrid or electric), which is an “encouraging start” for the company — this is in line with the government’s goal of phasing out ICE vehicles by 2040.
“Our Singapore operations will continue to focus on supporting our sustainability goals, where we are already taking significant steps towards these targets. Our approach to addressing pressing issues will be centred around the areas of environmental sustainability, socio-economic progress and equality and inclusion.”
Singapore remains a strategic priority market for Gojek
Lien describes Singapore as a “unique” market — it is developed, relatively small in size, and highly advanced in innovation and infrastructure.
With these characteristics in mind, Gojek has chosen Singapore to further optimise its business here and strengthen its ecosystem, while ensuring that the market is open and contestable for the benefit of both riders and drivers.
Singapore remains a strategic priority market for Gojek, and is aligned with our goal to further strengthen our market share and maximise business potential in the country. We remain focused not just on our growth prospects, but also on accelerating growth for our driver-partners, and stakeholders across our ecosystem.
Our priority is to ensure that we are contributing [to] the competitiveness of the market here — by providing more options for consumers and continuing to deliver safe and great experiences for them.– Lien Choong Luen, general manager of Gojek Singapore
In addition, he noted that ride-hailing has become “well-accepted” in Singapore. It provides efficiency to consumers in their point-to-point transport journey, and with more choices in the market, it helps bring down prices and ensures players deliver better services and experiences for users.
Looking back on its three-year journey in Singapore, Lien feels that there is no “single pivotal moment” that has propelled the company’s growth.
“Gojek’s commitment to Singapore and investment to grow and scale-up over the past three years has helped us to get to where we are. Today, we continue to invest in our product innovations, where enhanced infrastructure and technology capabilities can give room for future scaling and agility, spurring long-term sustainable growth.”
“Our business strategy is to focus on bold and meaningful investments that deliver operational excellence, resonate with our users, meet their changing needs and give them a quality experience with Gojek.”
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