Gojek Vietnam General Manager: “When you feel like quitting, come back to the question of why you started”

June 18, 2021 - 09:20
These encouraging words were shared by Gojek Vietnam’s General Manager Phùng Tuấn Đức, at the closing ceremony of a recent vocational training course that was held as part of the company’s ‘So no one is left behind’ program.

These encouraging words were shared by Gojek Vietnam’s General Manager Phùng Tuấn Đức, at the closing ceremony of a recent vocational training course that was held as part of the company’s ‘So no one is left behind’ program.

The conclusion of the training course also marked the starting point for participants to realize their dreams of becoming owners of small eateries, enabling them to earn a stable income and enjoy a better life.

To lower the barriers to entry for aspiring small business owners, the training courses focus on food and drink selections that are low cost, easy to make at home and in high demand among Vietnamese consumers. 

Helping families overcome challenges and achieve their goals

Đào Công Sang, a Gojek driver-partner, found it challenging to be out on the roads for most of the day: “I am separated and raising two children by myself. While this job gives me a stable income and I have become familiar with the routine of going out early and coming back late at night, I still feel guilty when I do not have as much time for my children. I feel sorry for them.”

Sang has been dreaming of setting up a small food business from home, which would allow him "to have more time for my kids and give them a better life."

He was thrilled when he heard about the ‘So no one is left behind’ program. Organized by Gojek Vietnam in collaboration with CafeTek HTV and the Ho Chi Minh City Women's Cultural House, the program provides vocational training to family members of Gojek driver-partners. Sang said: “I have been passionate about cooking for a long time and always wanted to join a training program, but I couldn't take a break from work to find a suitable course. As soon as I learned about Gojek’s training program to support micro-entrepreneurs, I registered immediately.

“In the training program, I was given step-by-step guidance on how to prepare food and drinks, and learned the basic entrepreneurial skills needed to set up an online store. It has been very helpful.”

Phạm Thị Oanh, 57, one of the older trainees of the course, has always had a passion for cooking but never had the courage to start her own business.

She said: “When my son, a Gojek driver-partner, told me about the training program, I immediately asked him to help me register. I wish to open an online store, so that I can share my love for cooking and be financially independent.”

Sang and Oanh are among the many people who are on a journey to realize their dreams of having their own online stores. Starting a business is not easy, and it is even harder for people without entrepreneurial skills like Sang and Oanh.

Most of them have never run a business and do not know the concepts of business management, marketing or financial management. Some do not even know how to use a smartphone. Gojek’s training program is thus a launch pad for them, bringing them one step closer to achieving their dreams.

Launched in May this year, the latest phase of the ‘So no one is left behind’ program provides vocational training for family members of Gojek driver-partners to help them set up their own online business.

The aim of the program is to create new opportunities for more people to earn an income and improve their livelihoods, while reducing barriers to socio-economic growth.

In the first phase of the project last year, Gojek Vietnam and CafeTek HTV worked together to help small and micro merchants significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to shift their business online and offer food delivery on GoFood.

Amid the challenges brought about by the pandemic, many participating merchants faced challenges in reaching customers due to social distancing measures, the location and size of their restaurants, and a lack of familiarity with smartphone technology.

The first phase of the program helped the merchants to significantly overcome these barriers by giving them access to new customers. These merchants are also continuing to offer online food delivery as an option now, as it provides them with an additional source of income and supplements in-store dining. 

Following the success of the first phase, Gojek and CafeTek collaborated with the Ho Chi Minh City Women’s Cultural House in the second phase this year to organise a series of training sessions for driver-partners’ family members. The aim is to help them develop basic entrepreneurial skills so that they can start their own businesses.

After the completion of the training, Gojek will provide support for participants to start their own food business and join the GoFood platform, so that they can benefit from GoFood’s strengths and resources in areas such as marketing, order management and business management. By being part of GoFood, these merchants will also be able to easily access millions of consumers in Gojek’s ecosystem.

Phùng Tuấn Đức, Gojek Vietnam General Manager, said: “Supporting our driver-partners and micro, small and medium enterprises is at the heart of everything we do at Gojek. By enabling micro-entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and be part of the digital economy, we aim to empower them to earn an income and improve their livelihoods, and in turn contribute to the socio-economic development of Việt Nam.”

Phùng Tuấn Đức (middle) signs an agreement with partners in the launch of the latest phase of the ‘So no one is left behind’ program.

With passion and determination, nothing is impossible

At the closing ceremony of the training program, Đức told the trainees: “We are all facing changes and uncertainty, which will require us to work harder and be more flexible and determined. In the process of starting your own business, your path may be smooth or it may be filled with challenges, but let's think of them as tests of your passion and determination.

“I hope that whenever you are tired and feel like quitting, you will come back to the basic question of ‘Why did I start?’. The answer will probably be because you have a dream, an ambition to be your own boss or a desire to improve your income for yourself and your family.”

Gojek has also recently announced two new initiatives to support its driver and merchant partners as well as consumers amid the unpredictable COVID-19 developments in Việt Nam.

The company is offering driver-partners directly impacted by COVID-19 cash support of up to VNĐ200,000 (US$8.6) per day, and additional incentives for fulfilling GoFood orders, given that the number of food orders have been increasing in recent months.

It will also offer consumers free delivery for all GoFood orders in key districts in Ho Chi Minh City and Hà Nội as part of the campaign ‘Freeship zone: As long as the shop is open, Gojek will provide freeship.’ The campaign aims to remove consumers’ hesitation when they need to place multiple orders. This in turn helps to stimulate demand, bring more consumers and additional income-earning opportunities to Gojek merchants.

The latest phase of the ‘So no one is left behind’ program is part of Gojek’s GoForward initiative, a key pillar of the company’s sustainability strategy, and focuses on improving social and economic opportunities for everyone in the Gojek ecosystem.

The program supports the company’s commitment to becoming a platform with Zero Barriers. This is detailed in Gojek’s first annual Sustainability Report released in late April, which outlines the company’s “Three Zeros” commitments: Zero Emissions, Zero Waste and Zero Barriers.

Gojek is committed to helping people from all walks of life gain access to new income-earning opportunities, while leveraging its technological strengths to consistently create greater value for the community.

Through such programs and initiatives, more entrepreneurs will have opportunities to achieve their dreams and achieve a stable and fulfilling life. —VNS