#Asia Now that Ignasius Jonan is out, what does the future hold for Indonesian ride-hailing startups?


You might remember him as that Minister who managed to ban Go-Jek, Grab, and Uber –for less than 24 hours


Tuesday was a big day for Indonesia as President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) announced and officiated 13 new ministers as part of a cabinet reshuffling.

Former President Director of state airport operator Angkasa Pura II Budi Karya Semadi has officially replaced previous Minister of Transportation Ignasius Jonan.

Okay. You thought e27 is a platform for Asian tech startups? What does this have anything to do with Indonesian tech startup community?

Have a seat and let us refresh our memory back to the time when Jonan announced ban for all forms of app-based transportation modes across the country, which includes companies such as Uber, Go-Jek, and Grab.

A-ha. You’re smiling already.

Then you might remember that the brouhaha ended when President Joko Widodo intervened –via Twitter– by admitting that these businesses did help provide temporary solution for Indonesia’s mind-boggling transportation problem.

One might say that the incident is one of the highlights of Jonan’s career, as he later announced a Ministrial regulation that put ride-hailing app startups under the category of ‘tech companies’ instead of ‘transportation companies.’

The regulation makes them unable to set their own tariff, recruit drivers, and determine drivers’ income. The startups need to work with transportation companies in order to perform these roles.

Also Read: Go-Jek is back on the road. Now what?

Now, how about the new Minister?

Semadi has a strong background in property before being appointed to lead Angkasa Pura II, and it is likely that his appointment means the government wants to stress on infrastructure development (i.e new airports) in the upcoming years.

According to a report by Tempo, Semadi had been known to oppose many of Jonan’s views and decisions, particularly on the launch of the new Soekarno-Hatta Terminal in Cengkareng.

However, there is no report so far about his views on ride-hailing startups, and it will take some time until we can actually see what he has in mind. There is always a possibility that he will maintain status quo, impose stricter implementation on what Jonan had decided, or make a more active dialogue with ride-hailing startups.

We certainly hope it is the latter. As much as we like to rebel against authority, an ecosystem wasn’t built in a day by one person only. It is about working together, even when you do not feel like it.

Also Read: [Update 2] Indonesia’s ride-hailing app drama: Govt remains undecided, proposes alternative solutions

While Indonesians must admit that there are many things that only the government is capable of doing, such as building infrastructures, the government (in this case the Minister of Transportation) should remember that the people are tired.

Tired of waiting for reliable public transportation, tired of having to accept that a Metro Mini is what one deserves for making less than IDR3 million (US$228) per month. Tired of being judged for longing –and actively seeking– for a better alternative.

(What’s a Metro Mini? A Metro Mini is the embodiment of your every public transportation nightmare. That’s the best way to describe it)

In conclusion, we expect that the appointment of a new Minister of Transportation will finally bring the dialogue we have been craving for, and we are so looking forward to see startups and the government sitting down together, figuring out a win-win solution for everyone. Yes, everyone. Even those angry taxi drivers.

We will keep a close watch of this process.

Image Credit: Abigail Keenan on Unsplash

The post Now that Ignasius Jonan is out, what does the future hold for Indonesian ride-hailing startups? appeared first on e27.

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