Opinion: Speculations around the new Gojek-Tokopedia CEO role arise, innovation key

Marketing Magazine

After months of speculation, Gojek is reportedly merging with Indonesian eCommerce platform Tokopedia to form GoTo and Gojek’s co-CEO Andre Soelistyo will lead the new entity, Bloomberg reported quoting its sources. Following the merger, Gojek’s shareholders will control 58% of the new holding company while Tokopedia’s owners have the rest, Bloomberg said.

Partner at Quest Ventures Jeffrey Seah said Gojek has always been the surrogate benchmark for Indonesia’s tech ecosystem coming of age. “The narrative on it has always been the alpha lead, from talent, funding, expansion and govt support. Gojek will bring this outsized ‘first and foremost’ mindset to Tokopedia,” he added.

Seah explained that previously, the fight centred around the vertical space – Gojek versus Grab versus Uber. With Makarim’s elevation to the government has an added sense of national duty and Indonesia’s Pancasila state ideology to Gojek’s role in the Indonesian society beyond tech, he added. Pancasila was formulated by former President Sukarno and comprises principles that include the unity of Indonesia and the idea of being governed by wise policies.

“Grab and Gojek’s tense merger dance – and the supposed desire of Grab to acquire – has built up a siege mentality mindset in the Indonesian tech ecosystem. With the merger, how far the merged entity should grow with this siege mentality and the speed to achieve the progress markers might be a source of friction,” Seah said. This will be especially evident in the expansion plans outside of the Indonesian diaspora into the burgeoning Southeast Asia market of which Indonesia is the foremost market. “The new company will eventually go global but it will push through via the Indonesian diaspora and expand,” he added.

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