Leadership Spotlight: How the desire to make an impact has shaped Catherine Sutjahyo’s career


Leadership Spotlight: How the desire to make an impact has shaped Catherine Sutjahyo’s career

Earlier this year, GoTo named Catherine Hindra Sutjahyo President of On-Demand Services (ODS), as part of a strengthened leadership structure. Catherine is no stranger to GoTo’s on-demand business, having been with Gojek for close to seven years, first as its Chief Food Officer and later taking on the role of Head of Indonesia Sales and Ops as well.

The beginnings

Born and raised in Indonesia, Catherine always knew that she wanted to work in a job that would allow her to make an impact in the country. After completing her education at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and spending a few years navigating her early career in the tech and start-up scene in Singapore and India, Catherine felt it was time to return home.

“I’ve always wanted to do something for Indonesia and work for a company that is helping to solve problems for society. In the early years of my career, I traveled to many different countries for work, and being able to experience life in different countries made me realize that Indonesia has such huge potential.”

Catherine returned to Indonesia in 2010 where, two years later, she joined e-commerce platform Zalora, then Alfacart, before finding her way to Gojek. And as they say, the rest is history.

Gojek journey

Catherine joined Gojek in 2017 to head up GoFood, the company’s food delivery business. As Chief Food Officer, she led the expansion of the GoFood platform and the development of innovative products for merchants and consumers in the GoFood ecosystem. In just a few years, GoFood grew exponentially, from having 150,000 merchants in 2018 to more than one million merchants today, making it one of Indonesia and Southeast Asia’s largest food delivery platforms.

“In Indonesia, small businesses are a key driver for the economy, so ensuring that they can build a sustainable livelihood is very important. This is why we do what we do - we want to ensure that every merchant out there, no matter their size, can reach new customers, learn new skills and expand their business. GoFood’s integration with Tokopedia and initiatives such as GoFood Partners Community are all part of our efforts to give merchants opportunities to grow and earn more.”

Beyond food merchants, another focus area for Catherine is empowering Gojek’s driver-partners and their families and helping to increase their standard of living. One of the ways this is done is through the Swadaya program, which helps reduce expenses for driver-partners by providing them with discounts on fuel, vehicle maintenance, telecommunications data packages and more. Since its launch, millions of driver-partners and their families have benefitted from Swadaya, and the program has even expanded beyond Indonesia to include driver-partners from Vietnam as well. As the operating environment and driver needs continue to change, Swadaya will likewise continue to evolve in the future.

Creating impact at scale

Asked what she finds most fulfilling about working at GoTo, Catherine said: “What has always stood out the most to me is how the spirit of Gotong Royong - which means communities helping one another - is part of everything Gojek does. We believe that true success can only be achieved when everyone is able to share in it, and this is at the heart of what we do.”

For Catherine, one of the most significant projects that she has worked on is the Gotong Royong Share Program. Launched last year as part of GoTo’s IPO, the program enabled long-serving driver-partners to receive share grants, while loyal merchants and consumers could purchase shares via a fixed allocation, making GoTo one of the first companies in the world to introduce such an inclusive share ownership program.

“Our driver-partners, merchants and consumers have been with us through the highs and lows and they are the reason we are here today, so enabling them to benefit from our IPO is something we always wanted to do. Seeing the positive reactions to the program from all of them was truly the most rewarding part of our IPO journey,” Catherine explained.

Building an enduring business

Having played a key role in Gojek’s growth journey over the years, Catherine is now stepping into a new role as President of On-Demand Services. In this role, she will lead the Gojek business as a whole - from its transport and logistics products to food delivery services - and take charge of Gojek’s international markets of Singapore and Vietnam.

Looking to the rest of the year, a priority for Catherine will be developing new products that continue to meet the changing needs of consumers - a commitment that is particularly important given the wide range of people who use Gojek’s services. For instance, one of Gojek’s latest innovations in Indonesia is GoFood Mode Hemat (Economy Mode), a feature that allows consumers to enjoy lower delivery fees for food orders within a 2km radius if they are willing to wait slightly longer. In its international markets, Gojek will also focus on strengthening its suite of products and services in Singapore and Vietnam.

While Catherine has grown with the company and seen it through several milestones over the years, making an impact continues to be at the heart of what motivates her: “Having the opportunity to lead the Gojek business is a great honor but also an immense responsibility. Gojek’s products and services impact the lives of millions of people, from the driver-partners and merchants who rely on us for their income to consumers who use our app for their daily needs.” Catherine noted, “We owe it to all our users to give them the best experience on our platform while ensuring that our business can remain sustainable for generations to come.”

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