Nadiem Makarim

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Nadiem Makarim
Nadiem Makarim.jpg
29th Minister of Education and Culture of Indonesia
Assumed office
23 October 2019
PresidentJoko Widodo
Preceded byMuhadjir Effendy
Personal details
Nadiem Anwar Makarim

(1984-07-04) 4 July 1984 (age 35)
Nationality Indonesia
Spouse(s)Franka Franklin
Alma materHarvard University
Brown University

Nadiem Anwar Makarim (born 4 July 1984) is the current minister of education and culture of the Republic of Indonesia.[1] He founded Go-Jek in 2010, a transportation network company and logistic startup company that became Indonesia's first startup valued over US$10 billion.[2] He was appointed as Minister of Education and Culture by President Joko Widodo on his second term's cabinet and subsequently resigned from his post at Go-Jek.[3][4]

Personal life[edit]

Nadiem was born in Singapore on 4 July 1984, to Nono Anwar Makarim and Atika Algadri. His father is an activist, lawyer and is of Minangkabau-Arabian descent. His maternal grandfather is Hamid Algadri. He has two sisters, Hana Makarim, and Rayya Makarim known as a filmmaker. He married Franka Franklin and they have two daughters.[5]


Nadiem attended high school in Jakarta and United World College of Southeast Asia (UWC SEA), Singapore, and then went to Brown University for a BA in International Relations. He did his MBA at Harvard University.[6][7]

Career and business[edit]

Makarim started his career at McKinsey & Company as management consultant in Jakarta. He left to co-found Zalora, an online fashion shop, then left Zalora to become Chief Innovation Officer at Kartuku, a payments service provider.

McKinsey & Company (2006–2009)[edit]

After graduating from Harvard University with an MBA, Nadiem decided to come back home to Indonesia and got a job in McKinsey & Co. Nadiem worked as a Mckinsey consultant for 3 years.[8]

Zalora Indonesia (2011–2012)[edit]

Nadiem became Co-Founder and Managing Director for Zalora Indonesia in 2011. In 2012, Nadiem made the decision to leave Zalora to focus on building his own startup, including Gojek which at that time had 15 employees and 450 drivers. He claims to have learned enough from Zalora, which was his main goal in accepting the position in the first place. In Zalora, Nadiem had the chance to build a mega startup and work with some of the best talent across the region.[9]

Kartuku (2013–2014)[edit]

After leaving Zalora and while developing Gojek, Nadiem also worked as a Chief Innovation Officer of Kartuku.[10] In the early days, Kartuku didn't have any competition in cashless payment solutions in Indonesia.[11] Kartuku was then acquired by Gojek to strengthen GoPay.[12]

Gojek (2010–2019)[edit]

In 2010 Nadiem created Gojek, which is today a decacorn company with valuation over US$10 billion.[13] Gojek was first established as a call centre, offering only courier delivery and two-wheeled ride-hailing services. Today, Gojek has transformed into a super app, providing more than 20 services, ranging from transportation, food delivery, groceries, massage, house cleaning, logistics to a cashless digital payment platform called GoPay.[12]

Makarim often uses a motorcycle taxi, known in Indonesia as an Ojek. He saw this as a business opportunity and developed it into Go-Jek, founded in 2010.[14][15]

Go-Jek was well received, and eventually received US$1,3 billion funding from investors, in a 2018-round led by Alphabet Inc's Google, Inc and Tencent Holdings. It thereby became the first Indonesian Unicorn.[16] By 2019, the firm was worth up to US$10 billion[17]


  • In 2016, Nadiem received the The Straits Times Asian of the Year award, and was the first Indonesian to receive the award since it was first established in 2012. The Asian of the Year award is given to an individual or group that has significantly contributed to increasing the welfare of people in their countries or Asia at large. Some previous recipients include the founder of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Myanmar President Thein Sein. The award came as the company focuses on increasing the welfare of the informal sector. At the same time, it can help provide a livelihood for Indonesians by changing the traditional business market and model.[18]
  • In 2018, Nadiem made it to Bloomberg 50 annual list of innovators. Bloomberg assessed that there was no other technology platform (app) that changed the lives of Indonesian as fast and as integrated as Gojek. Gojek app was launched in 2015 with a focus on two-wheel ride-hailing, and developed into a platform to pay bills, order food, and book cleaning services. “The Bloomberg 50” includes prominent figures in the business, entertainment, finance, politics, science and technology world. Nadiem's track record of expanding Gojek to the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam led him to be included in the Bloomberg 50 list alongside Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Spotify Founder Daniel Ek, pop star Taylor Swift and K-Pop idol group BTS.[19]
  • In May 2019, Nadiem was the youngest figure from Asia to receive the 24th Nikkei Asia Prize for economic and business innovation. Nadiem doubled the prize to Rp 860 million and donated the amount as education scholarship for Gojek drivers’ children. The Nikkei Asia Prize is given to individuals or organisations that contribute to the development of Asia. This award was given to Nadiem due to Gojek's contributions to the economy, easing customer's daily life, and increasing the income of their partners.[20] Gojek contributed Rp 55 trillion (US$3.85 Billion) towards the Indonesian economy, with the average income of GoRide and GoCar partners increasing by 45% and 42% after joining Gojek, and culinary SMEs transaction volume increasing 55% after becoming GoFood merchant.[21]
  • In 2017, Gojek made it to Fortune’s Top 50 Companies That Changed The World, ranking 17th worldwide.[22] In 2019 Gojek once again made it to Fortune's Top 50 Companies That Changed The World, and was the only Southeast Asian company to have been included twice in the list - this year leaping to number 11 out of 52 global companies.[22]
  • In November 2019, Nadiem is the only Indonesian to be included on 100 Next list for Leaders category by the Time magazine TIME 100 Next 2019: Nadiem Makarim. Time's 100 Next list this year is to recognize the influence of rising starts who are shaping the future in their respective fields.

International organizations[edit]

With Melinda Gates and the Minister of Finance of Indonesia, Sri Mulyani, Nadiem served as one of the commissioners of Pathways for Prosperity for Technology and Inclusive Development that focuses on helping developing countries to adapt with various new digital innovations that change the working culture.[23]


  1. ^ "Indonesian President Jokowi announces new Cabinet". The Straits Times. 23 October 2019. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  2. ^ "In brief: Go-Jek is Southeast Asia's second 'decacorn' with estimated $10b valuation". Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  3. ^ "Daftar Lengkap Menteri Kabinet Indonesia Maju Jokowi". nasional. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  4. ^ Pham, Sherisse (21 October 2019). "Gojek CEO quits ride-hailing startup for Indonesian government job". CNN. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  5. ^ "Biography of Nadiem Makarim". Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  6. ^ Detikinet, Tim (23 July 2019). "Riwayat Nadiem Makarim dan Perjuangan Membesarkan Gojek". detikinet (in Indonesian). Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  7. ^ Hutton, Jeffrey (1 September 2016). "The Taxi Wars of Jakarta". Harvard Business School - Alumni. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  8. ^ "Profil Nadiem Makarim". VIVA.
  9. ^ "Tech in Asia Indonesia - Komunitas Online Startup di Asia". Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  10. ^ Sungkar, Aulia R. (20 June 2015). "Innovating ideas to revolutionize 'ojek'". The Jakarta Post.
  11. ^ "Tech in Asia Indonesia - Komunitas Online Startup di Asia".
  12. ^ a b Ayuwuragil, Kustin. "Perkuat Gopay, Gojek Caplok Kartuku, Midtrans dan Mapan". teknologi. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Go-Jek founded from frustation". Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  15. ^ "Face to watch in 2019: Nadiem Makarim, CEO of Gojek". Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  16. ^ "Go-Jek raises US$1 billion in round led by Google, Tencent, JD". Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  17. ^ "Go-Jek begins services in Thailand, says Philippine launch to be 'pretty fast': CEO". Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  18. ^ "Go-Jek founder Nadiem Makarim receives Asian of the Year award". Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  19. ^ "The Bloomberg 50". Bloomberg Businessweek.
  20. ^ "Termuda se-Asia, Nadiem Makarim Raih Penghargaan Nikkei Asia Prize -". 29 May 2019.
  21. ^
  22. ^ a b GmbH, finanzen net. "GO-JEK Makes it Into Fortune's Change The World List, The Only Company from Southeast Asia on the List | Markets Insider".
  23. ^ Keeton-Olsen, Danielle. "Digitization Key To Boosting Developing Economies, Says Report From Melinda Gates, Go-Jek's Nadiem Makarim". Forbes.
Business positions
Preceded by
CEO of Gojek
Succeeded by
Kevin Aluwi and Andre Soelistyo