Gojek helped boost local economy in Denpasar, survey shows

A scene from a traditional market in Bali. Photo: Unsplash
A scene from a traditional market in Bali. Photo: Unsplash

There’s no denying that many Indonesians have relied on various online services during the pandemic, so much so that a recent survey in Denpasar, Bali has shown that Indonesia’s super app Gojek has helped boost the city’s economy during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Bali has taken the biggest economic hit in Indonesia from the coronavirus outbreak, as the province recorded a negative growth of 10.98 percent due to the virtual absence of tourism, which is the dominant sector for the regional economy.

I Dewa Gede Karma Wisana, who heads the Faculty of Economics and Business at Universitas Indonesia (UI), said that a recent survey conducted by his faculty’s Institution of Demographics (LD FEB UI) showed that small and medium enterprises in Denpasar have managed to survive during the pandemic thanks to Gojek. 

“[Many] small and medium businesses who partnered with or used Gojek’s services felt supported in their struggle to survive during the pandemic with the technology offered [by the platform,” Dewa said at a virtual press conference on Tuesday. 

The national survey, conducted in May and July, involved more than 50,000 Gojek drivers and small business partners across the country. In Denpasar, there were about 3,800 respondents in total, the majority of whom took the survey online. 

The survey showed that Gojek partners received various social supports during the COVID-19 pandemic and that most of them, at 76 percent, were concerned about being infected by the coronavirus. However, 89 percent of the respondents said they will continue partnering with the platform, with about 71 percent of the driver partners optimistic about their income returning to normal.

The survey also focuses on social sellers, most of whom comprised women in their 30s running food businesses through WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, and e-commerce platforms, who rely on Gojek’s delivery service GoSend to reach their customers. Almost all of the respondents in this category, or 97 percent, said that GoSend has helped their businesses adapt during the pandemic.

In Denpasar, Gojek’s presence has also created a domino effect even for businesses outside of the app’s ecosystem, such as market sellers and garages, which are tied to Gojek’s partners operations.

LD FEB UI said that in 2019, Gojek contributed around IDR6.7 trillion (US$455,586,462) to Denpasar’s gross regional product, which represents about 12 percent of the total.

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