Former odd-jobber and GrabBike driver Syahrier. (Photo Courtesy of Grab)

This Former Odd-Jobber Shares His Struggle Before Joining GrabBike


FEBRUARY 22, 2021

Jakarta. From doing odd jobs to becoming an online motor taxi driver for ride-hailing app Grab, Syahrier's journey to make ends meet is quite the roller coaster ride.

With only a middle school diploma, Ucok —or so Syahrier is called— could only land manual, low-paying jobs. Garbage collector, ship's cook, electrician and sarong seller were only few of the many jobs that Ucok had taken.


"I was even once a handyman for drilled wells," Ucok said, as quoted from a written statement. 

In 2007, Ucok's older sibling hired him to work at a motorcycle garage. The former once offered Ucok to operate heavy equipment at a state-owned port Pelindo IV at Makassar. This was after Ucok began selling kerosene with the money he had collected from working at the garage.

Ucok also drove for a doctor back in 2018. But like many of his other jobs, the driver job only lasted for a short five months. This was because Ucok decided to join Grab at a friend's suggestion. When he first applied, Ucok doubted himself as he only had a middle school diploma.

Nonetheless, the Makassar-born man took on his first ride-hailing booking in early January 2019. Little did he know this would mark the end of his "job-hunting" phase.

"I'm thankful there are jobs that are open for middle school graduates. The job is not as difficult as back when I was a laborer," Ucok said.

Ucok admitted managing family time is easier as a GrabBike driver. With Grab, the father of three also began to save gold for his children's future  — something impossible to do during his days working odd jobs.

"I now have gold savings as a result of Grab's partnership with Pegadaian and this is all in GrabBenefits. I would like to thank Grab for giving various benefits to improve their partner's wellbeing. [Drivers] can pay for motorbikes in installments without down payment, purchase a house, gold among others," Ucok said.

Grab has also teamed up with state-owned pawnshop Pegadaian to enable saving and financing facilities for its driver-partners.