The Jakarta Post
As gig economy gains mainstream traction, a survey conducted by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and Tenggara Strategics shows that ride-hailing app Grab Indonesia’s services in Medan, North Sumatra has made a significant contribution to the local economy.
According to the survey, Grab contributed Rp 2.66 trillion (US$190 million) to the local economy in 2018 by creating jobs and incomes for its drivers and business partners, cementing its position as one of the essential economic pillars in the region.
Based on the survey conducted between November and December of last year, GrabBike drivers in the region generated a total income of Rp 1.06 trillion throughout 2018, followed by GrabFood drivers with Rp 1.3 trillion, GrabCar drivers with Rp 541 billion and GrabKios partners with Rp 34 billion.
Furthermore, the report shows that GrabBike drivers’ income increased 72 percent, whereas GrabCar drivers’ revenue increased 86 percent.
Tenggara Strategics researcher Stella Kusumawardhani said the app was especially vital to the creation of new jobs in the region. Prior to working with Grab, 31 percent of GrabBike drivers and individual GrabKios agents, as well as 29 percent of GrabCar drivers had not held jobs with steady income, she said. Their individual revenues increased 72 to 86 percent once they joined Grab, she added.
“Based on the survey results, we are able to conclude that Grab has had a massive impact on the lives of people in Medan,” she said during a discussion panel organized by Grab in Medan on Tuesday.
In addition to Medan, Stella said her research team had also conducted similar surveys within the same period in several major cities across the country, including Jakarta; Bandung, West Java; Surabaya, East Java; and Makassar, South Sulawesi.
“The survey results show that the new jobs created by Grab had contributed Rp 48,9 trillion to the national economy,” she said, adding that revenue generated by around 300,000 drivers and 40,000 business partners who were previously unemployed, contributed Rp 16.4 trillion to the company’s overall financial input last year.
Besides gauging workers’ welfare, Stella said the research team also measured factors that accounted for customer satisfaction and people’s welfare as affected by the company’s range of services. Customer satisfaction could be measured from “customer surplus” – benefits gained from purchasing goods and services at lower prices, she said.
Grab Indonesia spokesperson Shally Pristine said on a larger scale, the company contributed Rp 81.5 trillion to the economy of Southeast Asia as of March.
Amid the increasing popularity of Grab’s services, Shally said the company strove to make the app’s features and services more accessible to people with disabilities as part of its Grab for Good initiative. (rfa)