I have the opportunity to travel in the Southeast Asia region and see how ride-hailing technology such as Grab and Go-Jek has transformed the economy. How do they perform?
Singapore: Grab is the market leader here. Booked a Grab ride and typically will wait about 1 minute to get a driver. The cars are normally clean and well sized Japanese or Korean cars. Paying for a ride is easy using Grab Pay or linking to credit card. The price sometimes might get very high during peak periods and taking a taxi could be cheaper. Taxi companies have also come up with their own apps for booking so there is not a lot of difference. However, Grab has a good ecosystem of other services such as food delivery so there are loyalty rewards by sticking to Grab for everything.
Indonesia: Go-Jek is the market leader here as it is their home ground. Grab is coming up strong but still have not caught up. Go-Jek is very convenient and there are many services such as courier and food delivery. Once, we fell ill in Jakarta and it was late at night, but we managed to use Go-Jek to deliver medicine from a Pharmacy, complete with pharmacist’s instructions.
Vietnam: Grab is the market leader here. “Go-Jek” is known as “Go-Viet” in Vietnam and they just started less than 1 year ago. Booking a Grab Car can take a long time due to traffic. The cars are normally quite small. However, Grab Bike is very fast, within 1-2 minutes you will be able to get a booking. The rider will provide a helmet for you. Paying is also cashless. I strongly recommend using Grab in Vietnam because you are assured of an accurate price, which might not be the case when taking a taxi off the streets.
With Grab and Go-Jek enormous war chest of resources and funding, no matter who emerges as the regional leader, we can be sure of increased convenience and innovative services.
Jason Wei, Assistant General Manager