Saturday, 2024 February 24

[Tuning In] Monica Oudang on how Gojek’s YABB foundation has supported the informal sector during the pandemic

Monica Oudang is the Chairwoman of the Yayasan Anak Bangsa Bisa (YABB) foundation, launched in March 2020 by Indonesia-headquartered ride-hailing firm Gojek. YABB aims to create more sustainable livelihoods, specifically for people working in the informal sectorOudang previously served as Gojek’s Chief Human Resources Officer, where she supported the firm’s employment growth from 100 employees to over 4000 in five years.

This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

KrASIA (Kr): Can you tell us more about your background and how you started your journey with Gojek?

Monica Oudang (MO): I think I am one of the most fortunate people, as I was able to identify my passions, even if it did take quite a while. In college, I majored in finance because it was the hottest industry back then, and worked in the finance sector for a few years. Although it paid well, I was craving to do something more.

I started to think about what I enjoy, and I realized interacting with people is something I love doing. Hence, I started working in the marketing sector for a television station. But somehow, life took me to a different path. I met my husband and started a family. These new family obligations made me take a step back in my career.

However, I started to miss the interactions at work, and I realized that I just enjoy working too much. So, I decided to start my own business, which then expanded into a human resources (HR) consulting firm. This was how I met Nadiem Makarim (Gojek’s founder and current Indonesian Minister of Education and Culture) in 2015, and how I subsequently ended up working in Gojek.

When I first joined Gojek in 2015, my responsibilities were not only limited to HR. There were around 100 people, including those in the call center, and we were located in a one-floor office space with one working toilet. I used multiple hats; handling PR and recruiting drivers as well. I remember when we first launched our app and recruited our initial drivers, I also got to train them on how to use smartphones. Fast forward five years to today, we have over 2 million drivers. It has been an amazing experience for me, and I can truly feel the impact we are creating.

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