Recently, there’s been a lot of discussion regarding Telkomsel’s investment in Indonesia’s ride-hailing decacorn Gojek (now GoTo). It’s interesting to see this from an economic and investment perspective, as the global telecommunication sector is facing many challenges with voice and message revenue continuing to decline. On the other side, Indonesia’s internet economy continues roaring high, reaching $70B and signifying an optimistic projection of $146B according to the e-Conomy SEA 2021 report by Google, Temasek, and Bain.
Harris Turino, an economist and member of The House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia, Commission VI, also a working committee member in Indonesia’s Stated Owned Enterprise investment in sharing economy company, explained his view. He stated that corporate action-wise, the Telkomsel investment in Gojek is necessary to overcome the voice and message business and global telco trend that continues to decline. Telkom needs to find a new revenue stream that will support its sustainable business growth as a telco company.
The investment in Gojek, the largest base ride-hailing in Indonesia, brought synergy more than business profit. Harris stated that the collaboration between these two giants company could bring social and economic value to the more extensive base. For instance, they could collaborate on a synergy program where gojek drivers or SMEs use Telkomsel as their provider and provide special packages.
Telkomsel invested in Gojek at a lower price than today’s IPO. It signed that there’s a lot of potential growth in the future and unrealized gain or loss in the capital market is part of the business activities. Harris also explained that this type of investment is executed by Telkom and other companies in the global market to stay competitive. He added, “A sharing economy company like Gojek is not for a short-term but long-term business plan as it’s not only considering gain/ loss but sustainable growth that will support company fundamentally and continue to contribute to the Indonesian economy.”