Gojek-Grab Drivers Complaints and Entry of New Competitors

Writer: Safrezi Fitra

Editor: Safrezi Fitra

9/8/2019, 19.54 WIB

Seven new players have begun to enter the online transportation industry amidst the many complaints from the driver-partners of Grab and Gojek.

Taksi Online
Antara/ Wahyu Putro
A user shows online transportation features.

Persistence complaints from Gojek and Grab driver-partners is an opportunity for new online transportation players to compete in Indonesia. The unfavorable profit sharing and a large number of suspended driver accounts make the driver-partners look for a new company.

A few days ago, hundreds of drivers rallied in front of the Gojek Office in Pasaraya Blok M, Jakarta. They demanded Gojek to open the account of their fellow suspended drivers. They also expressed their objections to the Gojek’s new incentive scheme and insurance levies of Rp 2,000.

“We invite them [Gojek Indonesia] to provide answers. If their answers remain unsatisfactory, we will protest again,” one driver said during the rally on Monday (8/5). They had sent an open letter about their demands to Gojek Indonesia Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Nadiem Makarim. The rally eventually spread to other areas and even led to riots in Semarang.

Near the end of last year, Grab driver-partners also held a rally with the same demands. Besides the removal of policy relating to unilateral termination of cooperation, they also demanded the company to review the tariffs, cooperation schemes, and the welfare of the driver-partners. The Gojek and Grab cooperation schemes that collect 20 percent of each transaction is burdening the driver-partners.

Amid the many complaints from Grab and Gojek drivers, new players emerged and offered solutions. At least seven new online transportation applicators will compete against Gojek and Grab dominance in Indonesia. They have learned from the failure of Uber who left last year and the weaknesses of Gojek and Grab.

The competition to attract driver-partners is getting tougher. The new players, both foreign and local, stated that they are ready to accommodate former Gojek and Grab drivers affected by the suspension system. They also offer cooperation that is more profitable for their driver-partners.

The Entry of Seven New Online Transportation Applicators

1. Bitcar Indonesia

Just like Grab, Bitcar came from Malaysia, known as Bitcar Malaysia Sdn Bhd there. PT Bitokenpay Digital Indonesia (Bitcar Indonesia), founded in April 2019, manages the operations in Indonesia. It plans to start operations in the second week of August for online taxi services, followed by motorcycle taxi services next year.

Bitcar Indonesia Chief Operational Officer (COO) Christiansen Wagey said the company emerged in Indonesia because of concerns over problems that occur in online transportation. The number of Bitcar Indonesia’s driver-partners has now reached 1,000 people, all of whom previously worked as drivers of Gojek and Grab.

“We do not open up opportunities for new people to become drivers because there are many drivers now. Most of them complained about the lack of orders. Therefore, we make Bitcar a choice for drivers as well,” he said. Bitcar offers a more attractive profit-sharing scheme than Gojek and Grab, which is 85 percent from each transaction for the driver-partners.

2. Fastgo

This Vietnamese company was established last year after Uber left Southeast Asia. Now, Fastgo claims to have 60 thousand driver-partners in its home country and plans to enter Indonesia later this year. Before entering Indonesia, FastGo had operated in Myanmar and Singapore earlier this year.

Through its official statement last March, FastGo offered different things, including fixed tariffs. Gojek and Grab adopt dynamic tariffs, which can go up and down according to demand at certain times.

Kr-Asia once compared the prices of FastGo with Grab and Gojek in Singapore. FastGo charges US$ 19.7 for a 21.5-kilometer trip using a four-wheeled vehicle. Meanwhile, the Gojek and Grab tariffs are only US$ 13 and US$ 13.2 for the same distance, respectively.

In its home country, FastGo also launched a helicopter ride service called FastSky. Grab once provided this kind of service in Jakarta in 2017.

3. Maxim

Maxim was founded in 2003 in Russia and has been present in 16 countries such as Indonesia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Georgia, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Malaysia. This startup also provides services in Mongolia, the Republic of Cyprus, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Montenegro, and the Czech Republic.

Based on monitoring conducted by Katadata.co.id, Maxim service has been available in Indonesia since June 2012. The app has also been downloaded more than 10 million times. Maxim provides online motorcycle taxi and taxi services.

Users can set their tariffs and order services on a scheduled basis. They can also add information via the app if carrying pets and luggage. Maxim drivers can choose which users they will serve by looking at the routes and tariffs offered. Through Maxim app, passengers can also change their travel routes.

4. Asia Trans

Asia Trans exists in Indonesia since October 2018. Until the end of June, the number of drivers has reached 300 thousand people, with 150 thousand customers spread across several cities and regencies in Indonesia. It wants to grow the number of drivers to 800 thousand and customers to 1 million by the end of this year.

Asia Trans applies big data that can simplify its app and a firewall to enhance its technology. It is implementing a 85 percent profit-sharing scheme for driver-partners and 15 percent for the applicator.

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