How Grab Became The Super App Of Southeast Asia

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Growth Story is a weekly podcast that breaks down the strategy and tactics utilized by high growth companies, in a short case study format hosted by Scott D. Clary (@scottdclary)

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Welcome to success Tory the most usefulpodcast in the world. I'm your host Scott de Clary, the successor podcast,is part of the hub spot. PODCAST network, the Hobson podcast newerk, hasgreat podcast for business leaders like the Mar Tech, podcast Markit podcast ishosted by Benjamin sopire each week. He tells stories of world class marketerswho use technology to create lasting success with their business and theircareers. If any of these topics are interesting to you, you're going towant to tune in how science is changing advertising how to set up a serm, soyou actually use it private equities, take on digital transformation or whybig social is focused on newsletters. If these are topics that resonate withyou go listen to the MAR TEC podcast, you can listen to it wherever you getyour podcast or you can go to have potch podcast network. Today is astartup case study. I'm going to break down the story of grab the company thatsurpassed Uber and South East Asia. It started as a ride sharing up and now itdoes so much more. It encompasses a ton of services, I'm going to walk throughthe origin story of the founders, how...

...they scaled up, focus on product, ledgrowth to encompass so many different offerings and some of the strategiesthey use to become a decachord or actually more than a decachord with aneleven billion dollar valuation. This is a start up case study. This isgrab's growth story. In the last few years, South East Aga has seen a rapidincrease in ride sharing APPs one of these companies is grab. If you want togo, follow their story, you can go. Follow them on twitter at grab SG thiscompanies on opportunity and took it by storm quickly becoming one of the mostsuccessful startups in history grab even beat Uber as the top ride, sharingAPP in South East Asia and has gone beyond being a Decachord, meaning acompany worth over ten billion dollars. This article will explore how they didit and what you can learn from their success story. So, where did grab startwell grab started as a taxi booking APP...

...called my taxi founded in Malaysia. Itwas found in two thousand and twelve by Anthony Tan, even go follow him ontwitter, at Anthony Py under score Tan and a computer science student and hisfriend Tan Hoi Ling. You can go follow her on twitter. At who eeling can thefounders decided to expand into Singapore to Karta and Van Cock with mytaxi, and this later became grab taxi in two thousand and fourteen theydecided to expand the Philippines in Vietnam, with their service known asgrab bike. This became a massive success since most of these countrieshad no official taxi services, citizens relied on taxis or private cars fortransportation, so in two thousand and fourteen they moved into grab bike.They started to expand more in two thousand and sixteen the startup waslater rebranded as just grab, so their ride sharing service was available inMalaysia, Singapore and the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. They had alsoexpend into the food delivery market with grab food. A similar model to overeat that allowed people to order meals...

...from restaurants, partner, with grab tocomplete their service grab, also had a service where they could requestsomebody to come pick you up and drive your car home known as grab a car. Thisis almost like a designated driver service, so grave also had grab pay,which I added on later, which was supported in more than thirty differentcountries, making it easy for foreigners to pay bills. So now you seeto have grab bike, they have grab car grab pay. They have all these differentgrab food. They have all these different APPS under one branch, sothey've turned themselves into a super APP way beyond just a ride. Sharing upthat was already in it of itself more popular than Uber and South East Asia.But how did they actually build this mammoth organization, this incrediblecompany? Let's just speak about how far they actually got and then I'm going tobreak down how they did it. So grab has gone far since their early days in twothousand and twelve, when it just started out as a taxi service. Today,it is the top ahead of Ooberman, ahead...

...of a lift ahead of any other rightcharing at the top ride sharing up in South East Asia, with millions ofactive users every day in various services, such as again food delivery,motorcycle taxis all in one APP in November six and two thousand andsixteen they became South East ages. First Unicorn Start up by twenty inhistory, keep in mind in history by two thousand and Seventeen Grad became thetop ride, sharing APP in South East Asia, with over one hundred milliondownloads world wide and evaluation of over eleven billion dollars, makingthem the most start up most valuable start up out of all of Singapore. Now,how did they do this? How did they accomplish this incredible successstory? How did grab be over? How did they become the top ride, sharing AP inSouth East Asia, and how did they even expand successfully into other services,such as food delivery and motorcycle taxi rights? There are a lot ofvariables that made graph successful,...

...so let's break each differentiator eachvariable down, so that we have an idea of how they came to this point. So thefirst thing they did very well was go hyper local. This was core in theirstrategy, so this is what allowed them to be more successful than Uber. Theyfocused on the local market, so they knew that if they were going to launcha product in a market they had to focus on the cultural nuances they couldn'tjust copy in pace. So when UBER EXPANDS INTO A new market, they usually justtake the business model, that's work in one region, say California, and theytake that business model and they implement it into a region in SouthEast Asia. So this is not the best way to take a product to market in acertain region. Grab understood this, and every single roll out was hyperlocal, hyper personalized for lack of better term to that region. So bypersonalizing the roll out making sure they didn't just copy and pace thestrategy, the marketing, how they...

...position themselves, how they on boardnew customers- and they didn't just copy pace that into every single placethey went. They focused on optimizing each of those take to market pieces forthat specific region, that's how they want. When you adopt a hyperlocalstrategy, you can't just transplant the same strategy, implemented a run oneregion or one country to another cultural nuances, region, specificknowledge. These are all integral and maximizing the effectiveness of yourtake to market strategy and your growth strategy. Many companies copy and pastegrab does things that don't scale remember when you're taking ahyperlocal strategy and you're taking that to a new region and yourunderstanding, the cultural nuances of that particular place. You are doingsomething that doesn't scale. However, then you find a way to scale it.Eventually, you find a way to scale how you understand: New Regions, newcultures, new nuances, and you take that, and that is hyperlocal ization,that's how they really got a foothold in all these regions they launched andbeat out Ober. Secondly, they were a...

...super APP with all these features. Theywere all in one. They have grab grab food grab fresh grab. Car Grab pay havemany more upcoming projects; they are the go to APP where users only have touse them for everything they could possibly need so being able to deploynew features that product led growth, that product focus to quickly fillneeds in a new market allowed them to be a one stoff shop which definitelyhelped them with their product, late growth strategy and ultimately increasethe size of their Tam or total addressable market, because they hadall of these features, so they were hyper product focus they rolled out newthings that their customers were asking for. They were also accessible andconvenient. So grab focuses on accessibility for its users. You candownload the APP on your phone and start using it right away. This makesit easy for customers to access their services any time they want with. As afew clicks, when competing against Uber Uber made a ton of assumptions in termsof accessibility, and this accessibility also inconvenience alsoties into that hyper localization...

...strategy. So what Uber did was theymade assumptions in every market that they entered, that everybody usessmartphones and everybody pays with credit cards and the copy and pace ofthat strategy in every single region, where UBER launched, keep in mind,huber did not accept cash until two thousand and fifteen grab realized,because again they wanted to understand the nuances of that local culture orlocal region that they were going to launch into the not all drivers usesmartphones. Very few customers use credit cards where they had actuallylaunched, meaning they were focusing on the actual habits of users in certainparts of the world, for example like accepting cash from day, one which theydid uber didn't do that always focused on being accessible and convenient forcustomers in the region, understanding the nuances of the region where theylaunched and being accessible and community for customers in thatparticular region. They also added in a reward system. Now this is not the endall, but they did have various rewards. They gave out to their users. You couldearn points by using grabs your ride, sharing service in South East Asia. Thepoints include discounts on future...

...rights or against other services. Theyoffered. This wasn't the the best. You know strategy this going to make herbreak a company, but it didn't hurt and people do love rewards. So again,loyalty is always a great thing to include in your product. They focus ontheir company image. So grab is known to be an excellent company that treatstheir drivers right. They treat their employees right. There's been a lot ofcontention over how drivers are classified the benefits of drivers, getthey always treated their drivers fairly regarding compensation and moneythey can earn every month and a little driver and or employee appreciationreally goes a long way. They also really focused on trust and trust isparamount when building a relationship with your customers and the lack oftrust and transparency has always been a point of contention with variousright sharing apps like Uber, because think about your over experience rightif you're stuck in traffic, maybe you pay more because your ride takes longer.If there's a lack of available oper...

...cars drivers, then there's a surgeprice. You have to pay more if a driver takes a longer route and doesn't takeyou direct from point a to point B, you're going to pay a little bit more.This is not the case with grab so price transparency. Preset pricing make surethere are never surprises for customers and the pricing they set before theride even starts. This increases. The trust in the brand reduces anyuncertainty felt by the customer and then sentive the driver to get thepassenger from point a to point B as quickly and efficiently as possible,because they're always going to be making that preset price. So there wasno ambiguity, but how much you were going to be paying when you use grabthat increased trust. It increased the likelihood of somebody feelingcomfortable using Grad for the first time. These are all things that theynoted were lacking in other right sharing services and they carried theseover and they doubled down on them till they made the consumer experience asfrictionless as possible and, lastly, they focused on their own people. So wespoke about how they compensated drivers properly, but they went a stepfurther. So when you look at strategies...

...of several successful startups, onething is clear: you have to focus on your people. That means they've alwaysfocused on their drivers and their passengers, and you can see this andjust some of the things that I just spoke about. They focus on theirpassengers and their drivers. But how do you actually build that into theculture of your company? Well, for their passengers? They had supportteams available twenty or seven every single day, three three and sixty fiveto answer any questions, issues that may arise and they provided freetraining sessions for new drivers as well as opposed to potentially a Nubadriver that just is approved and starts driving day one. They also activelyincorporated employee feedbacks that they know that they're doing the bestpossible job they can at serving their customers and their employees.Listening to your employees, incorporating feedback into yourcompany culture into your product development and to your customersuccess strategy. This is something that they always focused on, so theyactually went on record at one point. Their head of people, Unction Yen,explain saying our grabbers are at the...

...forefront of solving some of the mostsignificant challenges in this incredibly diverse region, from trafficingestion to income, equality to financial inclusion. The entireexecutive team at grab has always focused on learning from the front line:Individuals from the front line, employees and listening and actioning.So it is not just a top down organization, it truly does value thefeedback from the actual drivers and the employees grab identifies problemsbefore they spire a lot of control by listening to their employees. Theyimplement solutions quickly, realize full well that people who work in yourbusiness are very likely to have the most meaningful and useful insightsthat you can use to better serve your employees and your customers and thatsomething that they built into their culture from day one. So what do welearn from grab a couple lessons on, of course, how to hyper localize? I taketo market and growth strategy, how to better serve your employees and yourcustomers and how to make your product...

...easier to use frictionless, and whenyou combine all of these things in the right conditions, you see what a startup like grab can do. It is now Southeast Asia's number one ride,charing APP. It has a ton of other services, all under one roof that makeit a true super APP. It didn't get it didn't start there. You know Romewasn't built in a day. It does take time to build up that complex ofproduct, but if you focus on the right things, if you focus on serving youremployees, your customers and the places where your customers live in theregions that you want to serve properly effectively, you can get there. Themain takeaway with all of this is start slow. Do things that don't scale? Dothings the right way and you will eventually take your company tohopefully, where grab is right now and even if you achieve a fraction of thesuccessive grabs achieved, I would say: That's a big win.

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