Indonesia names former Gojek CEO Makarim as education and culture minister

Nadiem Makarim, founder of the Indonesian ride-hailing and online payment firm Gojek waves to journalists as he arrives at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta, Indonesia, October 21, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan

Gojek co-founder and former CEO Nadiem Makarim was on Wednesday named Indonesia’s new education and culture minister.

The announcement by President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo ended speculation on Makarim’s role in the new cabinet, following an announcement on Monday of the latter’s departure from Gojek.

At 35, Makarim will become Indonesia’s youngest minister.

In his new role, he will be in charge of organizing early childhood education, elementary education, secondary education and community education affairs and the management of culture within the Indonesian government.

Makarim made headlines on Monday when, to the surprise of many, he appeared at the state palace ahead of a cabinet announcement by President Jokowi, who was sworn in for a second term on Sunday.

Local media and observers had speculated that Makarim could assume a role in a newly created digital economy ministry or in education. A role in the education ministry is likely to assuage concerns over a potential conflict of interest since he is understood to still hold a stake in Gojek.

Gojek subsequently announced that its group president Andre Soelistyo and co-founder Kevin Aluwi will become the new co-CEOs after Makarim’s departure.

Makarim founded Gojek in 2010 as a motorbike (or ojek) hailing service and has since scaled it to become Indonesia’s first decacorn, or a startup valued at $10 billion or more. Today, it offers a range of services, including food delivery, ride-hailing, digital payments, shopping, hyper-local delivery and lifestyle services. As of 2018, Gojek claims to have processed more than $9 billion annualized gross transaction value (GTV) across all its markets, including Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.