Nur Yasmin, Jakarta – Grab's ride-hailing, food delivery and digital retail services have strengthened Indonesia's economic resiliency and increased the income of millions of Grab partners across Indonesia before the pandemic, a study from the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, or CSIS, showed.
"The gig economy sector through a digital platform such as Grab has an important role in maintaining a country's economic resiliency," Yose Rizal Damuri, head of CSIS Economic Department, said on Friday.
"It also improves informal workers' life quality by 12 percent and their financial inclusion. That will boost the Indonesia economy in the long term," he said.
CSIS conducted their study in January 2020, two months before Indonesia confirmed its first Covid-19 case. The research looked into the improvements experienced by the ride-hailing app workers and its impact on Indonesia's economy.
The research firm analyzed over 5,000 workers in all four Grab's services in 12 cities – Greater Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung, Medan, Makassar, Semarang, Yogyakarta, Denpasar, Palembang, Bandar Lampung, Balikpapan, and Manado. Grab said earlier that it had more than 5 million partners working on its platform.
Combined, Grab's gig workers in GrabBike, GrabCar, GrabFood, and GrabKios contributed Rp 77.4 trillion ($5.45 billion) to the Indonesia economy in 2019. The number rose by almost 60 percent compared to Rp 48.9 trillion a year earlier.
GrabBike alone contributes Rp 26.2 trillion to the economy, while Grabcar chips in Rp 10.8 trillion in 2019. GrabFood merchant adds in Rp 37.3 trillion to the economy, and GrabKios contributes Rp 3.1 trillion.
With the new normal protocol, people will depend on the digital ecosystem more than ever. CSIS suggested that the gig economy would have an essential role in supporting the national economy post-pandemic.
"GrabFood and GrabKios can help the micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises adapt to the new reality, while GrabBike and GrabCar would make it easier to distribute goods and enable millions of people to make money during this difficult time," CSIS said in a statement.
The study found Grab services had improved gig workers' income and sales.
Average GrabBike drivers' monthly income rises by 124 percent to Rp 4.6 percent after joining Grab. The study also finds that 31 percent of GrabBike drivers and 26 percent of GrabCar drivers did not have any income source before working for Grab.
GrabFood, have helped merchants to create new businesses and subsequently increased employment.
About 35 percent of GrabFood and 17 percent of GrabKios merchants experience sales increase after joining Grab. Merchants now receive Rp 10 million a month after joining Grab.
Additionally, 12 percent of the merchants said they could start their business because of the platform.
After joining the Grab ecosystem, workers and merchants also experience more stable financial security, which enables them to access financial services.
About 18 percent of GrabBike and 12 percent of GrabCar drivers opened their first savings account after joining Grab.
More than 40 percent of GrabBike drivers, 34 percent of GrabCar drivers, and 50 percent of GrabFood merchants said now they could apply for a loan easier than before.