Purnomo Prawiro, 69
JULY 04, 2016
Blue Bird Group
$650 million (2015) $560 million (2016) Once the uncontested king of the taxi business, Purnomo is facing a difficult period as the industry comes under siege from app-based transport applications like Uber and Grab.
Formerly known as the most user-friendly taxi business, Blue Bird used that reputation to push aggressively into new markets, often upsetting small local operators. Now it is Blue Bird’s turn to confront the creative destruction of IT-based competition.
Reports that the company backed a major demonstration of taxi drivers in Jakarta in March that turned ugly have done nothing to improve the company’s public face.
Purnomo’s daughter Noni Purnomo has taken charge of the business and is having to look for a way out of its current problems. Blue Bird has strong foundations to take on the new opposition: it has nationwide operations with more than 24,000 taxis, limousines, buses and trucks.