Raising a Unicorn: 5 Questions With Go-Jek CMO Piotr Jakubowski



Go-Jek, Indonesia’s biggest ride-hailing service, launched in 2010 with a unique business proposition—using the country’s existing motorcycle taxi ecosystem to connect drivers with users who need items delivered, or a ride themselves. Its ride-hailing app was released in January 2015 and rapidly transformed beyond its initial purpose into a nimble, multi-faceted transport, logistics and payments powerhouse that is growing geographically, operationally and financially.

Today, Go-Jek is an all-in-one service and app that offers all the transportation, delivery, lifestyle and payment services people need to live life with ease. With more than 57 million downloads on Android and iOS and over 400,000 driver partners in Indonesia, Go-Jek is the leading on-demand platform in the country. On-demand services include two- and four-wheeled transport, courier, food delivery, shopping, payment and lifestyle (massage, beauty, cleaning & ticketing).

Go_jek logoIn just three years, its app has expanded to offer a range of on-demand branded services: Go-Bluebird, for booking taxis; Go-Pay for mobile payments; Go-Pulsa for phone credits; Go-Med along with Halodoc (medical items); Go-Auto (on-demand auto care, only in Jakarta, including car wash, tune up, oil change or emergency assistance); Go-Ride (motorcycle transport); Go-Car (private cars); Go-Send (packages); Go-Food (food orders); Go-Mart (retailers); Go-Box (bigger packages); Go-Busway (bus trip planner); and Go-Tix (buy tickets). Go-Massage, Go-Clean, Go-Auto and Go-Glam are now grouped under the Go-Life app. In just one example of its impressive growth, it’s now the largest food delivery company in the world outside of China.

2017 was a banner year for the company. It raised $1.2 billion in a funding round led by Tencent and acquired three three local fintech startups, underscoring its goal to become the dominant player in the country’s digital-payments industry. As Go-Jek CEO Nadiem Makarim told Bloomberg last month, the company had to hyper-innovate and adapt in order to fend off growing competition from Grab and Uber, as well nurture its growing list of businesses including Go-Pay, which will be spun off this year.

Go-Jek CMO Piotr JakubowskiThat spirit of innovation and entrepreneurialism led to Go-Jek being Indonesia’s first “unicorn.” It’s the fastest growing start-up in South Asia—growing more than 900X (or 90,000%) in just 18 months— and the largest in Indonesia in terms of valuation, funding raised and number of transactions. No wonder its corporate hashtag is #ImpactWithoutLimits.

Interbrand sat down with Go-Jek Chief Marketing Officer Piotr Jakubowski to learn how the brand evolved and grew its hyper-local approach that’s tailored for Indonesia’s unique challenges and opportunities.