Singapore

Indonesia's Go-Jek hiring ex-Uber drivers

Popular ride-hailing firm also has plans to expand to Singapore, Asean countries

Go-Jek, Indonesia's most popular ride-hailing and logistics services, is stealing a march on its Singapore-based rival Grab by hiring ex-Uber drivers.

Grab acquired Uber's South-east Asian business last week.

Long queues were seen at Go-Jek's offices in Jakarta over the weekend as drivers swapped their Uber jackets for Go-Jek's.

The company also has plans to expand to Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam this year, a shareholder told The Straits Times.

Go-Jek, which began by offering rides on motorcycle taxis - known in Indonesia as "ojek" - will offer its Go-Car service in Singapore, the investor added, speaking on condition of anonymity.

In Indonesia, drivers who are making the switch to Go-Jek said they would enjoy better pay and working conditions than at Grab.

"The pay for drivers is better with Go-Jek. Also at Grab, drivers could easily get suspended," Mr Muhammad Marjuki, an ex-Uber driver told The Straits Times on Saturday.

Ride-hailing application companies punish drivers who drive unsafely, cherry-pick trips, or call the rider and ask where the trip is headed and cancel if it is not in the direction the driver prefers.

ACQUISITION

On March 26, Singapore-based Grab announced that it had acquired its American rival's South-east Asia operations for an undisclosed sum. With the acquisition, Grab will take over Uber's operations and assets in eight countries in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

In Indonesia, Go-Jek is currently the market leader in the ride-hailing business with about 900,000 partner drivers. There are no estimates of Grab partner drivers in Indonesia.

Go-Jek, founded in 2011, has about 8.8 million riders, while Grab has 8.6 million in Indonesia, according to estimates by Jakarta-based ilmuOne Data, which provides clients with web analytics.

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Transport