Go-Jek is the latest ride-hailing company to enter the Singapore market in 2018.
There was much fanfare to their arrival in the Singapore market to replace Uber and give Grab a run for their money. Since the departure of Uber, Grab has consolidated its position as the ultimate market leader.
The Business Times reported that the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) claims Grab has an overwhelming market share of 80 to 90 per cent, while ComfortDelGro Taxi has 10 to 20 per cent. The other players have between 0 to 5 per cent market share, according to June data by CCCS.
Singaporeans were not happy with the Uber-Grab merger. Riders saw promotional codes removed and changes to the Grab Rewards system which made it harder for them to accumulate points for rewards. It took a massive online furore for Grab to postpone the changes.
The merger proved as a rude shock to many Uber drivers. They had to decide whether to either join Grab or find themselves another job.
Why is Go-Jek Important to Singapore
Drivers’ Earnings and Incentives Programs
Driver’s have complained that incentives have decreased and further deteriorated since the departure of Uber. Many drivers were furious when the last remaining weekly peak hour incentives were also removed and called the Emerald Circle Programme a smoke screen.
On the crucial weekend that Go-Jek started beta testing in Singapore, Grab planned a surprise Peak Hour Fare Booster for 30 November 2018 to 2 December 2018. The special incentive had no AR/CR/DR requirements and paid drivers an additional $5 for every completed trip during the weekend.
Grab reintroduced the highly-popular peak hour boost on 4 December 2018 and for the weekend of 14 December 2018.
The intention of the surprise incentive was widely viewed to disrupt the beta testing plans of Go-Jek.
Go-Jek is the LAST competitor to Grab
There has been no real competition ever since Uber left. Many start-ups have tried, you may still faintly remember names like Ryde, Jugnoo, Filo, Tada, URGE, SixTNC, Kardi and others. These companies do not have the financial arsenal to compete with a giant like Grab.
Drivers have been wishing for big players such as Didi Chuxing from China and Lyft from the United States to compete with Grab. Those familiar with the background of these companies should know that Didi Chuxing and Softbank are investors in Grab. Softbank is also an investor in US-based Lyft and Uber. In short, these companies fall under the same team and is unlikely to fight each other.
Google, Chinese internet giant Tencent Group and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings are the significant investors behind Go-Jek. Google and Temasek Holdings came in and funded Go-Jek to the tune of US$1.2billion in 2018.
Go-Jek is the only remaining player on another team that is capable of putting up a fight to Grab.
Better Time Ahead as Competition Heats up
Competition between Go-Jek and Grab is heating up and drivers can expect more rewards to be showered on them.
The first batch of Go-Jek drivers have already made attractive bonuses during the initial beta launch period. Drivers are excited to jump on the Go-Jek bandwagon to maximize their earnings during the early launch period. However, we advised drivers to exercise patience and manage their expectations on Go-Jek. We expect a big fight but Go-Jek will need time to build up their presence in Singapore.
Drivers can expect Grab to come up with more incentives and initiatives to derail the efforts of Go-Jek. The recent ad-hoc peak hour fare boost is an indication that they know who they are up against and what needs to be done to lock-in the drivers.
Exciting times ahead for the private-hire industry in 2019.