How Grab Became The Super App Of Southeast Asia

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

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)

For more business case studies, tactics and insights, make sure to subscribe to my youtube channel (youtube.com/c/scottdclary).

Welcome to success story, the mostuseful podcast in the world. I'm your host, Scott D clary. Thesuccess story podcast is part of the hub spot podcast network. The hup spotpodcast network has great podcast for business leaders, like the MARTEC podcast. Martych podcastis hosted by Benjamin Shapiro. Each week he tells stories of world classmarketers who use technology to create lasting success with their business and their careers.If any of these topics are interesting to you, you're going to want totune in. How Science is changing advertising, how to set up a cm soyou actually use it, private equities take on digital transformation, or whybig social is focused on newsletters. If these are topics that resonate with you, go listen to the MARTECH podcast. You can listen to it wherever youget your podcast or you can go to have spotcoms podcast network. Today isa startup case study. I'm going to break down the story of Grab,the company that surpassed Uber and Southeast Asia. It started as a ride sharing APPand now it does so much more, encompasses a ton of services. I'mgoing to walk through the origin story,...

...the founders, how they scaled up, focus on product led growth to encompass so many different offerings and someof the strategies they used to become a decacorn, or actually more than adecacorn, with an eleven billion dollar valuation. This is a startup case study.This is grabs growth story. In the last few years, southeast STAGIAhas seen a rapid increase in ride sharing APPS. One of these companies isgrab. If you want to go follow their story, you can go followthem on twitter at grab SG. This company saw an opportunity and took itby storm, quickly becoming one of the most successful startups in history. Grabeven beat Uber as the top ride sharing APP and Southeast Asia and has gonebeyond being a decacorn, meaning a company worth over ten billion dollars. Thisarticle will explore how they did it and what you can learn from their successstory. So where did grab start? Well, grab started as a taxibooking APP called my taxi found it in...

Malaysia. It was found in twothousand and twelve by Anthony. Can even go follow him on twitter at AnthonyPy underscore can and a computer science student, and his friend ten Hohoei link.You can go follow her on twitter at Whoi link can. The foundersdecided to expand into Singapore, Jakarta and Bangkok with my taxi, and thislater became grab taxi. In two thousand and fourteen, they decided to expandto the Philippines and Vietnam with their service known as grab bike. This becamea massive success, since most of these countries had no official taxi services.Citizens relied on taxis or private cars for transportation. So in two thousand andfourteen they moved into grab bike. They started to expand more. In Twothousand and sixteen, the startup was later rebranded as just grab, so theirride sharing service was available in Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines, Thailand andVietnam. They had also expand into the food delivery market with grab food,a similar model to Uber eats that allowed...

...people to order meals from restaurants partneredwith grab. To complete their service, grab also had a service where theycould request somebody to come pick you up and drive your car home, knownas grab car. This is almost like a designated driver service. So grabalso had grab pay, which I added on later, which was supported inmore than thirty different countries, making it easy for foreigners to pay bill.So now you see, they have grab bike, they have grab car,grab pay, they have all these different grab food, they have all thesedifferent APPS under one branch. They've turned themselves into a super APP, waybeyond just a ride sharing APP that was already, in it of itself,more popular than Uber and Southeast Asia. But how did they actually build thismammoth organization? Is Incredible Company. Let's just speak about how far they actuallygot and then I'm going to break down how they did it. So grabhas gone far since their early days in two thousand and twelve when it juststarted out as a taxi service. Today...

...it is the top, ahead ofUber, ahead of a lift, ahead of any other ride sharing APP,the top ride sharing APP in Southeast Asia, with millions of active users every dayand various services such as again, food delivery, motorcycle taxis, allin one APP. In November six and two thousand and sixteen, they becameSoutheast Asia's first Unicorn start up. By twenty in history, keep in mindin history, by two thousand and seventeen, Grad became the top ride sharing APPin Southeast Asia with over one hundred million downloads worldwide and a valuation ofover eleven billion dollars, making them the most start up, most valuable startup, out of all of Singapore. Now, how did they do this? How did they accomplish this incredible success story? How did grab beat Uber? How did they become the top ride sharing APP in Southeast Asia, andhow did they even expand successfully into other services such as food delivery and motorcycletaxi rides? There are a lot of variables the made grab successful, solet's break each differentiator, each variable down...

...so that we have an idea ofhow they came to this point. So the first thing they did very wellwas go hyper local. This was core in their strategy. So this iswhat allowed them to be more successful than Uber. They focused on the localmarket. So they knew that if they were going to launch a product ina market, they had to focus on the cultural nuances. They couldn't justcopy and paste. So when UBER EXPANDS INTO A new market, they usuallyjust take the business model that's worked in one region, say California, andthey take that business model and they implement it into you, a region inSoutheast Asia. So this is not the best way to take a product tomarket in a certain region. Grab understood this and every single rollout was hyperlocal, hyper personalized, for lack of better term, to that region.So by personalizing the rollout, making sure they didn't just copy and paste tostrategy, the marketing, how they position...

...themselves, how they on board anew customers and they didn't just copy paste that into every single place they went. They focused on optimizing each of those take to market pieces for that specificregion. That's how they won. When you adopt the hyperlocal strategy, youcan't just transplant the same strategy implemented and run one region or one country toanother. Cultural Nuances, region, specific knowledge, these are all integral atmaximizing the effectiveness of your take to market strategy and your growth strategy. Manycompanies copy and paste, grab does things that don't scale. Remember, whenyou're taking a hyperlocal strategy and you're taking that to a new region and you'reunderstanding the cultural nuances of that particular place, you are doing something 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, new cultures,new nuances, and you take that and that is hyperlocalization. That's how theyreally got a foothold in all these regions. They launched and beat out Uber.Secondly, they were a super APP...

...with all these features. They wereall in one. They have grab, grab food, grab fresh, grabcar, grab pay have many more upcoming projects. They are the go toAPP, where users only have to use them for everything they could possibly need. So being able to deploy new features, that product led growth, that productfocus, to quickly film needs in a new market allowed them to bea onestop shop, which definitely helped them with their product led growth strategy andultimately increase the size of their Tam, or total addressable market, because theyhad all of these features. So they were hyper product focus. They rolledout new things that their customers were asking for. They were also accessible andconvenient. So grab focuses on accessibility for its users. You can download theAPP on your phone and start using it right away. This makes it easyfor customers to access their services anytime they want with just a few clicks.When competing against Uber, Uber made a ton of assumptions in terms of accessibilityand this accessibility also, and convenience also...

...ties into that hyperlocalization strategy. Sowhat Uber did was they made assumptions in every market that they entered, thateverybody uses smartphones and everybody pays with credit cards, and they copy and pasteedthat strategy in every single region where Uber launched. Keep in mind grab,Uber did not accept cash until two thousand and fifteen grab realize, because again, they wanted to understand the nuances of that local culture or local region thatthey were going to launch into. The Not all drivers use smartphones, veryfew customers use credit cards where they had actually launched, meaning they were focusingon the actual habits of users in certain parts of the world, for example, like accepting cash from day one, which they did. Luber didn't dothat. Always focused on being accessible and convenient for customers in the region,understanding the nuances of the region where they launched and being accessible and convenient forcustomers in that particular region. They also added in a reward system. Now, this is not the end all, but they did have various rewards thatthey gave out to their users. You could earn points by using grabs,your ride sharing service in Southeast Asia.

The points include the discounts on futurerights or against other services they offered. This wasn't the the best, youknow, strategy is going to make or break a company, but it didn'thurt and people do love rewards. So again, loyalty is always a greatthing to include in your product. They focused on their company image. Sograb is known to be an excellent company that treats their drivers right. Theytreat their employees right. There's been a lot of contention over how drivers areclassified the benefits of drivers get. They always treated their drivers fairly regarding compensationand money they can earn every month, and a little driver and or employeeappreciation really goes a long way. They also really focused on trust, andtrust is paramount when building a relationship with your customers, and the lack oftrust and transparency has always been a point of contention with various right sharing appslike Uber, because think about your Uber Experience Right if you're stuck in traffic, maybe you pay more because your ride takes longer. If there's a lackof available Uber cars drivers, then there's...

...a surge price. You have topay more. If a driver takes a longer route and doesn't take you directlyfrom 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 makesure there are never surprises for customers and the pricing the set before theride even starts. disincreases the trust in the brand, reduces any uncertainty feltby the customer and incentivises the driver to get the passenger from point a topoint B as quickly and efficiently as possible because they're always going to be makingthat preset price. So there was no ambiguity but how much you were goingto be paying when you use grab. That increased trust. It increased thelikelihood of somebody feeling comfortable using graph for the first time. These are allthings that they noted were lacking in other ride sharing services and they carry theseover and they double down on them. So they made the consumer experience asfrictionless as possible. And lastly, they focused on their own people. Sowe spoke about how they compensated drivers properly, but they went a step further.So when you look at the strategies...

...of several successful startups, one thingis clear. You have to focus on your people. That means they've alwaysfocus on their drivers and their passengers, and you can see this and justsome of the things that I just spoke about. They focused on their passengersand their drivers, but how do you actually build that into the culture ofyour company? Well, for their passengers, they had support teams available seven everysingle day, three three hundred and sixty five to answer any questions issuesthat may arise, and they provided free training sessions for new drivers as wellas opposed to potentially an uber driver that just is approved and starts driving dayone. They also actively incorporated employee feedbacks that they know that they're doing thebest possible job they can at serving their customers and their employees. Listening toyour employees, incorporating feedback into your company culture, into your product development,into your customer success strategy. This is something that they always focused on.So they actually went on record at one point, their head of people unctionYin explain saying our grabbers are at the...

...forefront of solving some of the mostsignificant challenges in this incredibly diverse region, from traffic congestion to income equality tofinancial inclusion. The entire executive team at grab has always focused on learning fromthe frontline individuals, from the frontline employees, and listening and actioning. So itis not just a top down organization it truly does value the feedback fromthe actual drivers and the employees. Grab identifies problems before they spiral a lotof control by listening to their employees. They implement solutions quickly. Realize fullwell the people who work in your business are very likely to have the mostmeaningful and useful insights that you can use to better serve your employees and yourcustomers, and that's something that they built into their culture from day one.So what do we learn from grab? A couple lessons on, of course, how to hyperlocalize, take the market and growth strategy, how to betterserve your employees and your customers and how...

...to make your product easier to usefrictionless. And when you combine all of these things in the right conditions,you see what a startup like grab can do. It is now Southeast Asia'snumber one ride sharing APP. It has a ton of other services all underone roof that make it a true super APP. It didn't get it didn'tstart there. You know, Rome wasn't built in a day. It doestake time to build up that complex a product. But if you focus onthe right things, if you focus on serving your employees, your customers andthe places where your customers live, in the regions that you want to serveproperly effectively. You can get there. The main takeaway with all of thisis start slow, do things that don't scale, do things the right wayand you will eventually take your company to hopefully, we're grab is right now, and even if you achieve a fraction of the success that grabs achieved,I would say that's a big win.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (20)