Gojek Vietnam leveraging tech to remove life’s frictions

September 28, 2022 | 15:55
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Mobile on-demand platform Gojek has been growing from strength to strength since its inception in Vietnam in 2018, proving its strong position as a growth partner for drivers and merchants.

Southeast Asian on-demand, multi-service platform Gojek has been designed specifically to meet the needs of people in the region and address its challenges. With its wide range of services – from transportation to food delivery, logistics and more – the Gojek app has become an essential part of people’s everyday lives.

Headquartered in Indonesia with additional operations in Vietnam and Singapore, the Gojek platform now has over 2.5 million driver-partners and more than one million food merchants across Southeast Asia, serving millions of consumers daily.

In Vietnam, Gojek has made significant progress and impact since its entry into the market in 2018. It now offers four services in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi – GoRide (2-wheel ride-hailing), GoCar (car ride-hailing), GoFood (online food delivery), and GoSend (package delivery) – all of which help to make life easier for consumers while improving income opportunities for its driver-partners and small restaurants and eateries.

Managed by a team of local, entrepreneurial Vietnamese, Gojek Vietnam’s network has grown to comprise more than 200,000 driver-partners, tens of thousands of merchants, and millions of users.

With a relentless community-oriented spirit and social impact-focused initiatives, Gojek has showcased its strong position as a growth partner for its drivers and merchants, supporting them to maintain income-earning opportunities and recover after a challenging few years.

Gojek Vietnam leveraging tech to remove life’s frictions
Gojek Vietnam leveraging tech to remove life’s frictions

Staying strong

Despite having to contend with the pandemic, Gojek Vietnam has grown its business and managed to build resilience for its ecosystem of driver-partners, merchants, and consumers, a testament to the successful leadership and direction of its general manager Duc Phung.

In 2021, Gojek Vietnam had planned to launch key products as part of its growth strategy for the year, including GoCar, its 4-wheel ride-hailing service. However, when social distancing measures were implemented in the middle of last year, all plans had to be deferred. In August 2021, however, Gojek realised there was an unmet need for the transportation of frontline healthcare workers in Ho Chi Minh City amid the lockdown and enhanced mobility restrictions.

In just two weeks, GoCar was launched, helping to transport frontline healthcare workers for free between intensive care units and their accommodation.

Phung said, “We always say to each other that everything can change, but our business commitment will always stay the same. Our focus from day one has been to create positive social impact through our operations, and this commitment will always remain at the centre of everything we do.”

Empowering its partners

Amidst the escalating pandemic situation in Vietnam, to ensure that its driver-partners could continue to serve the community safely, Gojek Vietnam worked closely with the authorities to ensure that they had access to vaccinations.

Gojek also rolled out the first and largest cash relief package worth VND4.15 billion ($180,400) for its driver-partners in Vietnam to help them cope with the challenges brought about by the pandemic, aiming at supplementing their incomes.

In addition, parent company GoTo also allocated more than $20 million to driver-partners in Indonesia, Vietnam, and Singapore with the desire of sharing the benefits of its initial public offering with its partners in the ecosystem.

Gojek Vietnam leveraging tech to remove life’s frictions
Gojek helps its partners raise their game through education and training programmes

Last year, Gojek Vietnam also moved quickly to ensure it could support its ecosystem and the wider community. One of its key initiatives was the second phase of the “So no-one is left behind” programme, in which Gojek provided vocational training to family members of driver-partners and helped them to set up online businesses.

The aim was to create new income-earning opportunities for more people, improve their livelihoods, and reduce barriers to socioeconomic growth. Training courses were focused on basic entrepreneurial skills for food and beverage businesses.

“Gojek’s digital ecosystem is built to support individuals and entrepreneurs, helping them to thrive in all circumstances, so giving assistance to our merchant partners and micro, small, and medium-sized businesses has always been one of our key priorities,” said Phung.

“By helping individuals do business and join the digital economy, we aim to provide them with more opportunities to boost their income and improve their livelihoods. As we empower them, we are in turn contributing to Vietnam’s socioeconomic growth,” he added.

Gojek also launched initiatives to help remove consumers’ hesitation in placing multiple orders, especially as they switch to using e-commerce platforms for their daily needs. The platform’s convenience and affordability also helped stimulate consumer demand, bringing about additional income-earning opportunities for Gojek merchants.

The latest data from Gojek shows a strong recovery in online food delivery transactions and growth in Vietnamese GoFood merchants’ businesses, with merchants’ average sales in the first half of this year increasing nearly three times on average as compared to the same period in 2021.

According to Dung Le, head of Merchants at Gojek Vietnam, the growth in sales of GoFood merchants shows strong economic recovery in Vietnam, particularly in urban centres like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. As more people are now relying on online platforms for their everyday needs, food merchants that can leverage the power of digital services have a great opportunity to grow their businesses.

“We have witnessed immense changes in the consumers’ habits since the start of the pandemic, with more and more people turning to e-commerce activities, including online food delivery. This shift together with the move towards cashless payment is a continuing trend, indicating consumers’ preference for convenience and priorities placed on health and safety,” said Le.

Nguyen Huu Hai, the owner of the Papa Chicken - Ga Ran - Com Ga chain, said, “We had just one outlet when we started our partnership with GoFood in 2019. In just three years, with their support, we have expanded our business to 28 outlets across Vietnam, with four in Ho Chi Minh City and 24 in Hanoi. Our revenue also continues to grow, with sales revenue on GoFood increasing 20 times in the first quarter of 2022, compared to the last quarter of 2021.”

As it grew an online presence over the past few years, the chain has seen many benefits in the partnership with GoFood. “These include technology-based tools and platforms that enable effective online business management, promotions, dedicated staff, and the ability to reach a wide and diverse customer base,” Hai said.

According to Gojek, the number of merchants on the GoFood platform has continued to grow at a steady pace as Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi gradually relaxed social restrictions. In the first half of 2022, the total number of merchants listed on GoFood increased by 83 per cent on-year.

In June this year alone, the number of new merchants on GoFood grew by 21 per cent compared to the previous month and climbed by 31 per cent compared to the first quarter average.

Le added, “Gojek aims to constantly develop comprehensive solutions to help merchants grow their businesses and increase revenue. Understanding the various needs and development stages of our merchants’ businesses is crucial, as it allows us to offer them timely and appropriate support. With Vietnam looking towards recovery, we remain fully committed to standing side-by-side with our merchants and continuing to improve our services for everyone in our ecosystem.”

Gojek Vietnam is continuing to strengthen its community-oriented spirit, aligning its goals to community development to fuel long-term sustainable business growth. As such, it is constantly looking at ways to better support all its stakeholders, from driver-partners, restaurants, and eateries to consumers and frontline workers, among others.

Gojek is also one of the few enterprises in Vietnam that uses a business model of creating shared value, focusing on creating a positive impact on society, which in turn creates economic value for the business. This ultimately helps it to expand operations and have an even greater impact on the community.

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By Thanh Tung

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