#Asia What does the future hold for Grab in Indonesia?


The ride-hailing app company announces that GrabBike and GrabCar has grown 250 times since mid-2015

GrabCar KIR Test 2 (1)

GrabCar drivers taking part in road-worthiness test as required by the government

Southeast Asian ride-hailing app company Grab started 2016 with a bang: After rebranding itself, the government pushed several requirements for Indonesia-based ride-hailing startups to fulfill in order to be able to continue operating. One of them includes the setting up a drivers’ cooperative.

“As a technology platform, Grab partners with PPRI, a licensed third-party transportation provider, to offer the GrabCar service. We are grateful to the government for allowing our partner to be the first to start road-worthiness (KIR) tests for GrabCar. This is the first step towards a well-regulated ecosystem of complementary public transport services,” explained Ridzki Kramadibrata, Managing Director of Grab Indonesia, in an e-mail to e27.

He also mentioned that Grab is currently in the process of submitting all GrabCar partners’ vehicles to the Ministry of Transportation to undergo KIR tests in batches.

Despite challenges, Grab officially claimed Indonesia as its largest market by completed rides across all platforms.

According to the company’s official statement, “Grab has primarily focussed on the Greater Jakarta market, which is home to more than 30 million people where it offers bikes, private cars and taxi-hailing, and expects to expand the multi-service platform into eight more megacities outside of Jakarta, which have a total population of 38 million.”

Also Read: Grab to offer Alipay option for riders in Singapore and Thailand

Grab credited its machine learning and data analytics capabilities as the key behind its significant growth, that has also enabled greater efficiency for the company.

“In 2016, GrabBike has grown 300 per cent YTD in Indonesia, while reducing bike subsidies per completed ride by 50 per cent,” according to the official release.

It also claimed that more than one in four of Grab’s Indonesia monthly active users use more than one Grab service.

“By using big data, we have been able to increase our allocation rate – or matching of drivers to passengers – by 30 per cent. We proactively send notifications to drivers to go to passenger demand hotspots, track data in real-time to react to bad weather and public transport breakdowns, and provide more accurate ETAs (estimated time of arrivals) for different vehicle types, whether cars or bikes,” said Kramadibrata.

He also said that passengers are more likely to stay with the Grab platform even without a lot of incentives, as the company provides wider variety of services at all price points.

Also Read: Grab launches inter-country ride-sharing service between Malaysia and Singapore

When it comes to future plan, Kramadibrata stressed that Grab is still at the early stage of its journey.

Apart from expanding to other Indonesian cities, Grab also wants to focus more on developing its technology.

“For example, we’re improving our mapping, which is essentially in a city like Jakarta where there are smaller roads and pick-up/drop-off locations may not yet be available,” he gave an example.

“There is a huge opportunity to improve cashless payments by phone. We want to help the 95 per cent of people in Southeast Asia who don’t use credit cards to go cashless … Big data is another major trend that we can use to ease congestion. For example, we’ve collaborated with the World Bank to provide Grab GPS data to the OpenTraffic platform, which city governments can access for free, to identify and address congested hotspots, to improve traffic flow and plan for better infrastructure,” he further elaborated.

Image Credit: Grab

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