Indonesia's new Education Minister Nadiem Makarim pens farewell letter to Gojek staff

In an e-mail to Gojek staff, Mr Nadiem Makarim looked back on how the company had grown over the past nine years.
In an e-mail to Gojek staff, Mr Nadiem Makarim looked back on how the company had grown over the past nine years.PHOTO: REUTERS

JAKARTA - Indonesian ride-hailing firm Gojek's co-founder and former chief executive officer, Mr Nadiem Makarim, was on Wednesday (Oct 23) appointed to a role within the Indonesian government as minister of education and culture.

In an e-mail to Gojek staff that was dated Wednesday, Mr Nadiem looked back on how the company had grown over the past nine years and also set out his hopes for the future of the business.

"We started this company with nothing, other than a deep desire to change things for the better. We saw that the streets of Jakarta were a mess and that there was an informal community of ojek (motorcycle taxi) drivers who could easily act as a huge part of the solution to that mess, if only they were organised and working efficiently," he wrote.

"With just that initial desire to improve life for everyone, as well as a large amount of support from countless friends, partners and stakeholders, we've created Gojek. An iconic company that flies the flag for the future of Indonesia and South-east Asia," wrote Mr Nadiem.

He said he would leave Gojek in the capable hands of Mr Andre Soelistyo and Mr Kevin Aluwi as co-CEOs, both of whom have played central roles in moving the company along its path from an office in South Jakarta onto the global stage.

"We got very lucky as we progressed along that path, but I believe that luck in business only really becomes a valuable commodity if you have the brilliant minds needed to take advantage of it. Kevin and Andre have mentored me to be the leader I am today. They are quite simply Gojek's best," wrote Mr Nadiem.

"They have been running this company for a number of years and I have complete faith not just in their technical skills and ability to execute flawlessly, but also in their integrity and their desire to do the right thing every step of the way," he added.

"High emotions are involved in running a company like Gojek but Andre and Kevin are always the steady voices of reason, approaching problems with intelligence and compassion. I couldn't ask for better successors as the Gojek movement begins its next stage of growth," he wrote.

A joint statement released by Mr Andre and Mr Kevin said: "When a friend and mentor leaves a business you have built together, there is always going to be some sadness, but we are both determined that Gojek will go from strength to strength. We will continue to implement our vision as we focus on what the Gojek of the next 10 years is going to be like.


"This company has changed the lives of so many people in Indonesia and around the region, and our key priority is to ensure that we can continue to act as a positive force in society for the foreseeable future."

With the new structure, Mr Andre will focus on corporate functions and management of capital allocation, international expansion as well as the payments and financial services businesses, while Mr Kevin will focus on the product development elements of the Gojek business as well as marketing, organisational development and the transportation and food delivery businesses.