Launching GrabTaxi Premium, GrabTaxi Directly Challenges Uber’s Existence

Avi Tejo Bhaskoro - 20 November 2014

Apparently, GrabTaxi doesn’t want to give the market of luxurious taxi services to Uber without a fight. In fact, the company has just launched its latest service called “Premium”, which refers to the use of luxurious (premium) cars for users’ transportation, just like what Uber offers.

It seems that the service is purposely created as an alternative to Uber whose presence in Indonesia has never been smoothly welcomed by entities in the country. FYI, Indonesia is the third country to have such service after the Philippines and Singapore. However, while customers in those two countries get it in a separated service called the GrabCar, Indonesian customers may access the service directly from GrabTaxi’s main service through its app which was introduced last June 2014.

Frankly speaking, nothing is special with the service, just like ordering regular taxi services. Good news is, despite the fact that the service is still in beta version, all of its features run smoothly.

To use the service, users need to update their app’s version first, to enable the “Premium” option which is located right under the main menu. Users only need to pick the location where they want to be picked up and dropped off. Unfortunately, when I tried to access the service, there was no luxurious car available near me, probably due to the fact that the service is still being focused in the city center. Overall, it still offers the same experience, where users may look at the rate range and give special notes to the driver.

There has yet been any information regarding the company’s method of partnering with owners of the luxurious cars, but I assume that it won’t be poles apart from Uber’s method.

Learning a lesson from Uber’s problematic entrance to Indonesia, GrabTaxi claimed that they have administered everything related to license and retribution to the Government of DKI Jakarta. As Vivanews had it, the company claimed that it has had the approval from DKI Jakarta’s temporary Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok) who was previously being skeptical towards Uber.

“We’ve met Ahok and completed every single detail of the administration process. We have even become a public company,” said GrabTaxi’s Driver Loyalty & Rentetion Herman Iswanto.

That being said, it’s undeniable that GrabTaxi threatens Uber’s existence in the industry. This is due to the fact that besides having successfully administered the licensing process, it has also partnered with a telco, not to mention its massive capital for doing businesses in Indonesia.

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