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Go-Jek's and Grab's motorbikes have swarmed onto taxi operator Blue Bird's turf in Indonesia. (Photo by Dimas Ardian)
Company in focus

Grab and Go-Jek face resurgent rival in Blue Bird

Indonesia's taxi trailblazer bets on connected cabs and regulatory lift

SHOTARO TANI, Nikkei staff writer | Indonesia

JAKARTA -- Before smartphones were everywhere, before Grab and Go-Jek were multibillion-dollar unicorns, before anyone had even imagined online ride-hailing, Blue Bird was the innovator in Indonesia's transportation market.

The taxi company, founded in 1972 by the grandmother of its current President Director Noni Purnomo, was the first in the country to operate metered cabs. Its sky-blue cars came to symbolize the bustle of Jakarta. Blue Bird was at the forefront of the cellphone-powered transportation revolution, too, launching a reservation app for BlackBerry in 2011, not long after Uber's first ride in the U.S.

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