19 PEOPLE TO WATCH IN 2019 - Business

Face to watch in 2019: Nadiem Makarim, CEO of Gojek

Mr Nadiem Makarim's company Gojek has announced plans to expand to Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines and Singapore.
Mr Nadiem Makarim's company Gojek has announced plans to expand to Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines and Singapore.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

When Mr Nadiem Makarim returned to Jakarta after graduating from Harvard Business School in 2011, he found the motorcycle-taxis, or "ojeks", in the Indonesian capital to be unreliable. Riders told him of the difficulties they faced while waiting for their customers.

With borrowed money and his own savings totalling US$100,000 (S$137,500), he launched the Gojek ride-hailing app in January 2015 with a pool of 700 riders. He hoped to find a better way to connect riders with their customers by shortening the long waiting times. As of February this year, his company is valued at US$5 billion (S$6.9 billion).

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 23, 2018, with the headline 'Nadiem Makarim, CEO of Gojek'. Print Edition | Subscribe