GOJEK ramps up data capabilities with the hire of group chief data officer

GOJEK has appointed Silicon Valley veteran Gautam Kotwal as group chief data officer. Based in Singapore, Kotwal will report to Kevin Aluwi, co-founder at GOJEK.

In this newly-created role, Kotwal will be responsible for managing GOJEK’s overall data strategy and teams across business intelligence, data engineering, data science, and fraud. He will also provide integrated oversight for all data-related functions at GOJEK, an area that is central to key business decision-making and unlocking new opportunities for the platform and its stakeholders.

According to Aluwi, Kotwal will play a key role in the company's efforts to capitalise on its exponential growth in the region and add more sophisticated data capabilities. "We believe that data, in combination with creative thinking and analysis, has the power to create solutions to problems faced by our users, partners, and economies," he said in a press statement.

Kotwal brings with him more than 20 years of Silicon Valley experience spanning leadership roles in engineering, data analytics, and machine learning. Prior to GOJEK, he was the chief analytics data officer at Albertson's, and before that, held data, analytics, and engineering leadership positions at Kohl’s and Netflix. Kotwal was one of the early engineers on the Netflix Streaming team, enabling the company’s growth through the launch of streaming services across TV, gaming platforms, and mobile.

Aluwi said Kotwal's significant track record in scaling and safeguarding technology systems for business growth will help GOJEK as it continues to serve its users through innovative, data-driven decision making. Kotwal said: “GOJEK is using technology to solve some of the most impactful consumer challenges in Southeast Asia, something which is aligned with my passion for scaling complex systems efficiently. I am very excited and look forward to working with our talented data teams to enhance GOJEK’s products and services for driver partners, merchants, and consumers in order to create lasting value for our users in Southeast Asia.”

GOJEK was established in Indonesia in 2010, and has 3,000 employees in its data function to date, spanning technology, operational, and administrative roles. Last month, the ride-hailing platform GOJEK launched a rewards programme called “Driver Milestones” to thank its Singapore driver-partners for their support and service, as it recorded 10 million completed trips in Singapore. It came six months after its launch of operations here. Meanwhile, it has also been mulling its entry into Malaysia.

Earlier in June, GOJEK Singapore also launched social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram, starting with postings of tongue-in-cheek illustrations. The illustrations paint relatable scenarios such as working overtime, infringed personal space on public transport and hot weather to highlight reasons for commuters to hire a GOJEK. In a statement to Marketing, a GOJEK spokesperson said the company will be publishing a series of “fun and educational” posts that users will find useful. They include videos, GIFs, memes, product updates and funky illustrations.