Islamic Lifestyle

Indonesian Islamic school launches ride hailing app

JAKARTA – A company born out of an Islamic school in Indonesia has launched its own ride hailing app that it says already has close to 40,000 customers.

The Buroq app launched by PT Buroq Sakti Terbang in September already has around 38,000 customers and 2,500 drivers, the company told Salaam Gateway. It currently operates in a few cities in different parts of Java, including its home base Kediri, as well as in Malang, Surabaya and Jakarta.

The app came out of Universitas Wahidiyah in East Java, which is part of the private Sufi-leaning Wahidiyah Islamic school system that also includes 100 kindergartens, 50 elementary schools, 20 junior high schools, 12 senior high schools, 12 Islamic boarding schools and 900 cooperatives.

“I asked my students if they can make a ride hailing app. We have an IT technical faculty in our Wahidiyah University and in just a week, they made it,” Wahidiyah schools founder K.H. Abdul Latif Madjid told Salaam Gateway.

The app, named after the animal that transported Prophet Mohamed (pbuh) during the Isra’ and Mi’raj, currently offers three services: rides on two wheels, rides on four wheels, and food delivery.

Declining to reveal how much was invested in the development of the app, Abdul Latif said the company and app are not backed by big capital or investors but are a service by the Wahidiyah community primarily for its own people. He stresses, however, that the Buroq app is open for use by all Indonesians.

“I’m not seeking profits because I didn’t put in any capital when I created Buroq,” said the founder.

The Buroq app and business, according to Abdul Latif, are meant as an avenue to improve the economic situation of the Wahidiyah community.

“I am aware that the world has moved to the digital economy and we want to move in this direction just like Alibaba did with its ecosystem,” Abdul Latif added.

Despite offering the same basic services and adopting the same green as its ubiquitous competitors Gojek and Grab, Buroq claims it does not position itself as a direct commercial rival to the two tech giants.  

“We don’t want to compete with other apps. Instead, we are open to collaborate with as many parties as possible for mutual benefit,” Abdul Latif said.

The app partners with several Islamic banks including BRI Syariah, to facilitate its payment gateway and e-wallet called Buroq Pay.

“We also want to handle each of society’s needs, including transportation, e-commerce, everything,” said Abdul Latif.

(Reporting by Yosi Winosa; Editing by Emmy Abdul Alim

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