Named as a new emerging economic region, Southeast Asia has enormous growth of investment related to new digital economy. Thousands of new digital startups call this region home, disrupt the way business works in most developed countries in the region. Grab, one of the most influential startups in Southeast Asia, started in Malaysia and moved its headquarter to Singapore. And now, Indonesia is trying to make the company its next national unicorn.
As reported by CNN Indonesia, Indonesia's Communication and Information Technology Minister Rudiantara is trying to convince Grab to move the company's headquarter to the archipelagic country. Rudiantara said Grab already have its market, most of its drivers are work, and has done numerous investment and acquisition, in Indonesia. "Why not moving the headquarter to Indonesia? And become Indonesia's unicorn," he said.
Unicorn is a title for a digital company that reaches US$ 1 million valuation. Indonesia now has four unicorns including Go-Jek, a digital ride-hailing company. Go-Jek is well known as Grab main competitor in the region and currently is expanding the business outside Indonesia, such as to Thailand and Vietnam.
Becoming Indonesia's unicorn will give Grab many incentives provided by the Indonesian government: tax cut and ease of business administration. These incentives might be a way for Indonesia to prove it is a haven for digital startups, specifically for many that have big impact to the country's economy.
Meanwhile, Managing Director of Grab Indonesia, Ridzki Kramadibrata, said that the company will consider the invitation. "That is a good invitation and prove that the government is very welcome to international company which has its focus in Indonesia," Ridzki replied.
Indonesia is a big market, said Ridzki, and it's citizens are easy to adopt new technology. It could become an advantage for the company's strategy to grow at the region.
Until this February, Grab has operated in 137 cities and claims to be the market leader in ride hailing industry with 65 percent market share in Indonesia. Grab also cooperated with OVO, an electronic wallet service in Indonesia that is adopted in most major shopping malls in the country.
With multiple reasons for Grab to move their headquarter to Indonesia, will Grab CEO Anthony Tan make the call? We could only wait.