1. Building a sustainable app ecosystem for the Indonesian Police Force (POLRI).
  2. Indonesian government apps: Why do they suck?
  3. POLRI, meet Gojek.
  4. When Indonesian governments tried to be the Gojeks of their own…

And you might be asking? How was POLRI before the era of POLRI Super App?

The Indonesian Police Force consists of many, many autonomous regions and units, which we can divide by 2 factors: what they do and serve as, as well as where do they operate. Take their headquarters in South Jakarta for example, where they have dedicated units for headquarter management (Yanma), public relations (Humas), and of course, their IT department (TIK POLRI). TIK POLRI is what we currently work for to coordinate the digitalization of POLRI services in our POLRI Super App.

However, that central headquarter isn’t the only headquarter POLRI have in the Republic of Indonesia, we have many, many regional headquarters ranging from POLDA (Provincial), POLRES (City or Regency-based), and POLSEK (District-based) services. In many cases, each POLDA and POLRES may have individual apps and digital services, which again are often made through this traditional practice of digitalization bureaucrazy.

The result? Many local software houses, or should I say, tender winners, duplicated their own apps for use between POLDA and between POLRES all across the entire POLRI. Like this software company who mostly puts internal Police Force apps into their portfolio. And they seem still proud of it.

In POLRI, I’ve heard that they already have at least 200, or even 400 (according to some rumors) individual apps and digital services running on the entire country.

If each app is essentially a CRUD and at least have a dedicated Sign Up and Log In (SULI) features, then how much time is wasted to develop SULI features hundreds of times?

These are the three main problems currently faced by, not just many, but any Indonesian government instances. These issues will definitely continue to exist in the future.

However, there was an app, made by the minds of the Indonesian people, who finally teaches the government on how to do this “digitalization in the Industry 4.0 era”, in the right way.

Gojek, the local super app that (also) breaks government conventions.

And here comes the classic, seemingly unrelated tale of Gojek. Originally founded in 2010, with official app first released in 2015, Gojek has become a trendsetter of its own.

Its “you can also deliver stuff and order food right from our motorcycle driver network” thing have caused GrabTaxi (now Grab) and even Shopee, Traveloka, and AirAsia to have one.

Its super app ambitions, and the record for being the first unicorn startup in Indonesia, have encouraged and made every local startup to be unicorn as well 🦄 Oh right, one of the Gojek’s motto here is “Build startups within a startup”.

And one of the most epic moments, its big mobile app redesign in 2018 have finally made everyone wanted to be their own Gojek.

I’m not kidding. Like, this is what Grab used to be back then.

But since Gojek announced the new app design, Grab suddenly ended up like this.

When DANA escaped from its home from BlackBerry Messenger with the launch of their dedicated app in 2019, this is entirely looks like the same Gojek design from 2018, despite blue.

When state-owned banks and financial services agree to merge all their digital wallet apps into LinkAja in 2019, it certainly looks like Gojek, despite red.

And, OVO, who was looking like this:

…ended up being this instead.

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So hear me out, EVERYONE. NOW. WANTS. URGES. TO. BE. GOJEK.

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And as private companies are trying to become more and more like Gojek, the Indonesian government finally start to realize that something is really, really wrong with their own apps. To list some issues:

  • Government institutions are still stuck under “one app is only good for one CRUD service” mindset. Gojek, however, almost already had 20 services contained in one single app. So this isn’t just all about building simple CRUD projects, right?
  • Gojek, despite having substantial number of services, never got very bad app ratings in App Store and Google Play. At least not reaching below 2.5 stars. But many government apps still fall under the same landfill.
  • Gojek build things mostly at their own expertise. By the way, have you read Gojek’s official blog posts?

    No, not about that tasty GoFood and GoPay promos, but how they tackle and battle against their old codebase, aptly named Stan Marsh?

    I personally recommend reading Gojek Design/Tech/Engineering blog posts, they’re great at explaining and experimenting at things.
  • And finally, Gojek influences everyone to change. From the online drivers movement, rise in food delivery, new opportunities for cloud kitchen, up to that 2018 UI that makes it so original, to the point that other local apps are now start to look the same.

Gojek have collectively taught us how to transform the Indonesia’s digital economy and society, magnitudes of “better” than their own government. And so, the government shall learn and change how they approach their long-dreamed digital transformation, with all the right fundamentals and steps.


Thanks for reading this article! By the way, we’re also working on finishing these interesting posts. Revisit this site soon or follow us to see them once they’re published!

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