Go-Jek is getting a new look. In Thailand and Vietnam, at least.
The Indonesian ride-hailer has unveiled the names and branding for the “autonomous” units that it’s establishing in the two countries as part of its US$500 million regional expansion plan.
In Vietnam, Go-Jek’s services will be provided by Go-Viet. It will begin beta testing in July before a full launch in the following months, Go-Jek said in a statement.
In Thailand, on the other hand, Go-Jek’s local unit Get is still in “consultations” with “various local stakeholders including the government, driver-partners, and consumers.”
Both new companies will initially offer ride-hailing and logistics services, with food delivery and digital payments set to follow at a later date, Go-Jek said.
A risky gamble
What’s striking about the Go-Viet and Get brands is how much they appear to diverge – in a visual sense, at least – from Go-Jek’s own branding.
When the Indonesian firm announced plans for its first international expansion effort last month, it said operations in new markets will be run by local founding teams. Go-Jek itself would provide technological support and expertise to these “local companies,” which would be free to “determine their own brands and identities to ensure good traction in each new market.”
Go-Jek co-founder and CEO Nadiem Makarim told Channel NewsAsia at the time that the firm would “put a lot of trust in the autonomy of the local teams and have them make autonomous and critical strategic decisions about where to go.”
However, analysts have expressed some concern over this “autonomous” approach, noting that it could dilute or damage the Go-Jek brand if anything were to go awry in its new markets.
Go-Jek’s archrival Grab has also pursued a partnership model in order to tap into Singapore’s bike-sharing market. Earlier today, its key partner in the space, oBike, announced a halt to its operations in the city-state as it has decided not to attempt to obtain regulatory approval to continue its service.
The knock-on effect of this for Grab is that it had to suspend new sign-ups to its GrabCycle bike-sharing marketplace due to a lack of available bicycles. Grab’s headache here may provide Go-Jek with food for thought as it pushes on with its own “autonomous” partnering strategy in the region.