Following the footsteps of Uber, southeast Asia’s cab hailing company Grab is also bringing a distinguished government insider to firm its steps in an important market.
The trend was popularized by Uber, which hired executives like Obama’s former adviser David Plouffe and many others, and following their example, its ride sharing counterpart Grab has hired former chief of Indonesia’s National Police.
Badrodin Haiti, who has served the national police force for a total of 35 years will now join the company as President Commissioner in Indonesia.
Grab, formerly known as Grab Taxi, is Southeast Asia’s leading ride-hailing platform which offers a large variety of services through its mobile app. It was founded in 2011 and in its short operational span of 5 years, it managed to reach a value of around $3 billion, raising $75 million only last year.
The company is giving Uber a very tough competition in Southeast Asia, where it claims to have 580,000 drivers and over 30 million app downloads across six countries. The most prominent front of competition is southeast Asia’s largest economy Indonesia, with a population of 250 million, where both these companies find themselves facing the $1.3 billion valued local startup, Gojek.
And not just taxis, the rivalry extends to the fields like motorbikes, shopping services and digital payment apps, in which all these companies have a presence.
Last year, the Indonesian Government laid out certain restrictions on these car hailing services. Several regulations were laid on cars in service and a ban on so called independent drivers, however, the motorbike taxis remained free from any restrictions. In this view, it seems to be a sensible decision at Grab’s end to bring an insider with them in order to come up with a strategy that lets them strengthen their impact in the Indonesian marketing.
Haiti’s duty will be to “oversee and ensure Grab Indonesia’s corporate governance and long-term sustainability in a supervisory role over Grab’s board of directors.”
Haiti has an experience of running the police in four Indonesian provinces, and has also been the chief and deputy chief of the national force. He believes the aggregator’s “values closely match” his own.
In a statement Haiti said;
I am delighted to join Grab Indonesia, a mission-oriented organization with a track record of improving lives in Indonesia and solving local problems. I will ensure that Grab continues to be a shining example of corporate accountability and citizenship.
Grab Indonesia MD Ridzki Kramadibrata said:
Mr. Haiti will play a guiding role to ensure Grab contributes constructively to the implementation of new transport regulations and safety guidelines.