What is a GoJek?

In many developing economies in Asia, a car is tremendous luxury that only the rich can afford. Instead there are an abundance of motorbikes which jam the streets. Most motorbikes belong to a family and not just a single member of the household. The motorbike is used to do drive carpool to school, pick up the daily groceries, and even go for a family trip out of the city. Westerners might be shocked to see a family of four all crowded on a motorbike, but this is just how people can afford to move around.

In Indonesia, a motorbike is called an Ojek. Since cars and even taxis are unaffordable, Indonesians hire Ojeks to help them with their transport needs. On many street corners around Jakarta, the largest city in Indonesia, you will see Ojek drivers just sitting around and waiting for a fare.

Into this space stepped in a company called Gojek. Gojek is essentially an Uber, Ticketmaster, Homejoy, Instacart and more all rolled into one. Using smartphones, customers can book a Gojek to do anything for them. You can book a Gojek to do your grocery shopping and within the hour the ojek driver will come roaring up with your groceries. However, the primary Gojek service is their Uber like service where you can book a Gojek to take you from point A to point B.

This app seems to be literally changing the lives of ordinary Indonesians. Through the use of technology, drivers who would otherwise be sitting around or hustling for fares, can now be booked just like a regular taxi. All they need is smartphone.

On the customer side, Gojek is facilitating the economy. As is evidenced by the surplus of ojek drivers on the roads, Gojek is enabling customers in need of wheels to connect with a driver. In addition, the technology component of the service makes this more comfortable even for a Westerner that does not speak Bahasa.