Gojek moved to cloud-based payroll as it scaled up in SE Asia

Gojek moved to cloud-based payroll as it scaled up in SE Asia
Gojek's head of people operations Vishal Singh Kanwar. (Credit: Unit4)

Underwent HR transformation.

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Gojek moved to a cloud-based payroll system as it started to scale up operations in South East Asia to standardise processes and improve the employee experience.

Head of people operations Vishal Singh Kanwar told Unit4’s Experience4U virtual summit that he joined Gojek in 2019 during a period of aggressive scale-up and hiring.

Gojek is headquartered in Indonesia and produces a “super app” that covers more than 20 products, from transport and payment through to food delivery, shopping and entertainment.

“It’s called a super app because it’s a way of life,” Kanwar said.

“Everything you need to do, your basic needs, are all taken care of by the app.”

Kanwar said that within a month of joining Gojek in early 2019, it became clear the company did not have “clear, defined and consistent processes in the HR space.”

“Things like onboarding, offboarding, benefits and payroll were not consistent or documented, and that was because we were very new at the time,” he said.

“We didn’t have the HR presence in the organisation to build those kinds of things.

“So definitely there were opportunities for me and the team to stabilise, clean up, redesign the process, and then roll it out to all our employees in Singapore.”

Kanwar said there were process variations between different legal entities in Singapore alone.

“I realised different entities were doing things slightly differently, and that creates a difference in employee experience and a difference in processes,” he said.

The company embarked on a transformation to standardise and harmonise its HR processes for its operations outside of Indonesia and to create a more consistent employee experience.

Payroll, in particular, was identified as in need of “urgent redesign and stabilisation.”

“Payroll is very sensitive,” he said.

“It’s something you cannot get wrong because it has a very big negative impact on employees.”

Gojek underwent a request for proposals (RFP) process and ultimately decided to implement Unit4’s Prosoft system.

Kanwar said it took three months from the RFP to go-live for the new payroll system.

One of the advantages of the system is it allows process automation.

“We were very new in the market at the time so we were doing things very manually,” Kanwar said.

“We were growing very aggressively so the risk of human error was very high, and was a real problem for us. 

“Automation was needed to automate the process we had. 

“It may sound simple to move your payroll processing from an Excel spreadsheet to a system to process it, but the end outcome has a lot of great impact to the end-user and to the HR team.”

Unit 4 was also attractive because it was cloud-based and because the vendor was able to provide resources as well as good integrations with other systems, including Workday and SAP.

Kanwar said that Gojek and Unit 4 continue to have a productive working relationship.

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