Grab Was Rejected By Taxi Operators, But It Has Since Beaten Uber In South Asia And Is The Market Leader In That Region.



“Today’s youth is tomorrow’s future,” is perhaps one of the most well-known statements, which can be seen practically anywhere. The younger generation is expected to create a better tomorrow by solving today’s issues, whether they have social or economic roots.


The rise of Grab is the story of a Malaysian start-up that enhanced the city’s social climate while also making cab booking more affordable and practical. The taxi sector in Malaysia had a bad reputation since customers were occasionally overcharged, women’s safety was an issue, and drivers’ financial situations were not ideal.


Anthony and Hooi Ling noted the crisis in their city and then began a business plan to create a ride-sharing service. In the on-demand industry, it has become a market leader thanks to ground-breaking innovations and the data revolution.


Grab has been a fierce competitor for Uber in South Asia from its beginnings. Due to a greater understanding of the customer’s needs, it swiftly gained popularity, overtaking Uber in South Asian markets.


Grab began operations as a ride-hailing service but has since expanded into several other sectors, solidifying its position as an on-demand “super app”. It has developed into a platform that offers numerous on-demand services all under one roof while operating in numerous locations throughout numerous nations.


Grab has even eclipsed Uber as the most widely used ride-hailing app in Southeast Asia, reaching the designation of a “Decacorn” — a company with a value of over $10 billion.




Anthony Tan and Hooi Ling Tan met while both were students at Harvard Business School. Despite coming from a rich family, Anthony longed to own his own business. However, his family intended for him to work for the family business when he returned from Harvard as predicted.


After returning, Anthony began working as the head of marketing at Tan Chong Motors, his family’s business. Having seen Asia’s transportation companies decline, he had the idea to launch his start-up similar to those that were successful in the United States.


When he discovered that his friends and family were grumbling about it, he knew he had to act. He called Hooi Ling Tan, a Harvard classmate who drafted a business proposal.


Anthony Tan and Tan Hooi Ling, two other Harvard graduates, introduced the “My Teksi” app to Malaysia in 2012 to make taxi journeys safer there.




Both Anthony and Hooi Ling initially encountered several rejections when they ventured out into the world and began contacting taxi firms. Nobody was very excited about the concept. One of the major problems Anthony and Tan had to deal with at the outset of their Grabtaxi endeavor was teaching the drivers how to use technology.


There was a lot to deal with while traveling in tight taxis in the sun, assisting unskilled drivers to grasp the technology and overcoming their reluctance to use it. The drivers weren’t wealthy enough to purchase smartphones, and they had no idea how to use the internet or GPS.


As a result, they had to pay for the phone and educate them on how to use it. In addition, there were additional business setbacks such as legacy problems, licensing, permission, and government approval concerns. They found it difficult to persuade even the proprietors of taxi fleets.


After repeated denials, one taxi firm with thirty taxis agreed to give it a try. Even more, Harvard Business School gave them $25,000 to launch their company and mobile app.


In 2012, the company finally got its start in a small, rented storage unit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. They started as My Teksi but it later became GrabTaxi.




After some time, Malaysians enthusiastically adopted GrabTaxi, giving the creators inspiration to accomplish more.


In August 2013, GrabTaxi opened up operations in the Philippines. In the same year, it also launched in Singapore and Thailand. With the introduction of 100 BYD e6 electric taxis in 2014, Grab and HDT Holdings created the largest fleet of e-taxis in Southeast Asia.


In 2014, GrabTaxi maintained its growth and expansion into new countries, initially starting in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, in February and Jakarta, Indonesia, in June.


To address the absence of public transportation during rush hours, the firm introduced GrabCar as an alternate mode of transportation in May 2014 through a certified partner. GrabCar uses personal automobiles rather than taxis. GrabTaxi introduced its first GrabBike service in Ho Chi Minh City in November 2014 as a test run.


By 2015, GrabBike’s motorbike service rides had become widely available in Indonesia and Vietnam. For both its drivers and passengers, GrabBike also offers medical insurance. In the Philippines, the business introduced GrabCar+ in February 2015 as a service that offers a fleet of more expensive vehicles. Grab debuted its GrabExpress courier service in November 2015.




GrabTaxi underwent a name change to “Grab” in January 2016 along with a new, updated logo.


In order to facilitate easy communication between passengers and drivers and to interpret messages when the set languages of the driver and passenger disagree, Grab implemented the “GrabChat” in-app instant messaging tool in October 2016.


Grab introduced its rewards programme, GrabRewards, as well as its taxi and car-sharing services, GrabShare, in December 2016.


Grab introduced the GrabCoach service in February 2017 to allow for the reservation of big passenger vehicles.


To comply with legislation requiring that children under 1.35 meters be buckled into a kid booster seat or child restraint, Grab created GrabFamily for young children under 7 years old in March 2017. Later that month, Grab introduced JustGrab, a simplified flat-fare system.


The Southeast Asian operations of Grab and Uber combined in March 2018. Grab acquired Uber as part of the transaction, and as a result, Grab expanded its food delivery services by taking over Uber’s assets and business operations, including UberEats.


In March 2018, Grab also introduced its eScooter rental service, known as GrabWheels.


Grab announced in April 2017 that it has acquired Kudo, an Indonesian startup in online payments. Grab’s earliest step into developing fintech services was the Kudo platform, which was integrated with the company’s payment system.


To enable users to use the app for transactions other than ride-hailing, Grab introduced the GrabPay payment service in November 2017 as a digital payment service among third-party merchants.


Grab purchased the financial technology company iKaaz Software Pvt Ltd in January 2018, and this company now powers all payment transactions through Grab’s super app in all of Southeast Asia.




Although it started with a vision to ease people’s travel issues, it soon began tackling the biggest problems including income inequality, aging infrastructure, and access inequality. The founders understood that Southeast Asia is full of potential but also has constraints.


Every day, millions of people encounter difficulties while commuting, placing food orders, conducting business, and a host of other activities. Therefore, Grab was developed to handle everything.


Now, that small business has grown into Southeast Asia’s largest mobile technology organization, serving the daily needs of millions of customers, drivers, shopkeepers, and business owners while also assisting millions of individuals in thriving.


Grab now provides digital payment, movie ticket, and hotel booking services throughout Southeast Asia in addition to transportation.




Accessible and practical


Grab set up all of its services following user requirements and needs. The Grab UI is incredibly user-friendly and tailored to its intended demographic.


With only a few clicks, customers may quickly and conveniently access their services anytime they want. It was careful to consider the nature of users and enhance their experience.


Grab offers Rewards


Grab offers its users a variety of incentives, and by utilizing Grab as your Southeast Asian ride-sharing service, you can accrue points. They also offer discounts on the next rides when you use these points.


A Positive Company Image


Grab is well-known for being a great firm. People prefer to Grab over other ride-sharing applications like Uber because of how inexpensive and accessible their services are.


Additionally, they pay their drivers decently and allow them to make a monthly income. A small gesture of gratitude toward a driver or staff can go a long way.


Grab has built trust


When it comes to creating relationships with clients, trust is essential, and a lack of trust and openness has long been a source of controversy with various ride-sharing applications such as Uber.


In a traffic jam? Pay a higher price.


Surge? Pay a higher price.


Do Drivers use a lengthy route? Pay a higher price.


Never with Grab.


Price transparency and pre-set pricing ensure that there are no unpleasant surprises for the consumer and that the cost is determined before the ride even begins. This builds the customer’s faith in the brand, lessens any sense of uncertainty, and motivates the driver to take the rider to their destination as quickly as possible.


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