With well over a quarter of a billion residents and a capital city housing more people than London, Indonesia is a market primed for rideshare startups.
These new arrivals are, however, overshadowed by one company that’s been instrumental to the nation’s development, synonymous with both taxicabs and technology.
Jakarta-based Blue Bird Group celebrates 50 years in business this year. Beginning life as a startup in 1972, founder Mutiara Djokosoetono had a specific vision from the outset: to generate a culture that would fully embrace technology.
The company can point to a number of historic firsts – in the 1970s, Bluebird Group was the first transport provider with a call centre in Jakarta. And, making use of one of the earliest mobile tech platforms, the Group worked with BlackBerry’s parent company, Research in Motion, in 1997 to allow people to call for transport using the handset as a data device, rather than simply phoning in the call.
Today, in 2022, the company is continuing this technological journey and heading off competition from more recent startup rideshare companies.