A hyperlocal debut: How Grab’s recent listing is a homage to partners and MSMEs in the Philippines and Southeast Asia

Published December 7, 2021, 2:58 PM

by MB Lifestyle

Grab has recently concluded its historic public debut on Nasdaq last Dec. 2, with a bell-ringing ceremony that took place in Singapore, with images of driver-, delivery-, and merchant-partners as well as employees from all across Grab’s vast network in Southeast Asia displayed on Nasdaq’s LED Billboard in Times Square New York throughout the day.

Apart from being a tech platform and a superapp, what sets Grab apart from the rest of the pack is that it is truly hyperlocal with the way it does and solves for things. Southeast Asia is a vast region with hundreds of millions of people with different cultures and needs to address. Through the years, Grab has been relentlessly tailoring its technology, products, and solutions to suit different market conditions—one of the company’s key edge in winning its battle against Uber in Southeast Asia. Which is why when Grab debuted on Nasdaq last Dec. 2, it brought its bell-ringing ceremony in Southeast Asia, and took the opportunity to pay homage to its partners, merchants, and employees who are pivotal in Grab’s journey leading to this incredible milestone.

Indeed, it is a milestone not just for Grab, but for millions of local partners and MSMEs—and these include a number of Pinoy Grab drivers, riders, and merchants such as Justin Liu of Angel’s Pizza and Sheril Lazaro, a Grab delivery-partner.

Justin Liu, owner of Angel’s Pizza, marvels at how much his venture has grown in the past few years, especially despite the pandemic. It was not too long ago that his start-up enterprise was trying to break into the very competitive market. He longed to reach out to more customers, but  it was an uphill battle. One day, he decided to join Grab’s growing network of merchant-partners, hoping to reach more customers through the platform.

To his surprise, orders came one after the other, allowing her business to expand and hire more people. Currently, Angel’s Pizza’s Spinach Dip pizza is one of the best-selling pizza flavors in the GrabFood platform.

Sheril Lazaro is one of GrabFood’s delivery-partners. She lost her job when the lockdown started, so she signed up to be one of the platform’s delivery-partners. She did not think he would be able to make as much as she previously did, but to her surprise, her earnings from Grab have surpassed her expectations. In fact, she has been able to pay for the needs of her family, helping them through the pandemic.

With Grab’s NASDAQ debut, both shared how delighted they are to be part of the company’s successes throughout Asia. “I am very honored to be a part of this celebration as Grab gets listed in the US. Being able to be recognized through our contributions as small entrepreneurs just shows how much Grab values its partnership with us, and reinforces how we are all part of this big milestone with them,” said Liu.

He shared how Grab has helped merchants like his to raise their operational standards with training and guidance on food safety, food handling, and hygiene protocols, with the goal of improving customer satisfaction. Grab also continuously provides merchant partners with insights and data on customer trends to help them address evolving customer preferences. Grab’s platform innovations such as long-distance delivery and special promos have also helped merchants keep consumers happy.

Nakakatuwang malaman na ang isang kompanya na walang sawang naghahatid ng tulong sa mga malilit na mga negosyo at mga ordinaryong tao katulad ko ay patuloy na nabibigyan ng pagkakataon para maibahagi pa ito sa mas madaming taong nangagailangan. Sa pagtrabaho ko sa Grab, nakita ko talaga kung gaano nila pinapahalagaan kaming mga riders, na umaabot hanggang sa aming mga customer (I am proud that Grab, a homegrown company that partners with small businesses and ordinary people like myself, is succeeding and that it continues to grow. Grab has repeatedly shown us how much they care for us and the local community all this time),” shared Lazaro.

She recalls how Grab came to the assistance of delivery partners during the pandemic by providing them a host of benefits that matter the most. Foremost  of these was providing delivery partners with early access to vaccines, as Grab rallied for delivery riders to be considered economic frontliners. Grab also rolled out rewards and incentives, on top of post-vaccination livelihood protection and medical assistance. Other incentives include fuel discounts, price-friendly rice meals, and training opportunities, to name a few.

The sentiments of Liu and Lazaro are shared by the thousands of merchants and delivery partners who have seen their businesses grow with Grab as their enabler, creating opportunities for small entrepreneurs and local communities to be part of an ecosystem of growth and innovation. With its NASDAQ listing, Grab is better placed to take its community of merchant and driver- and delivery-partners further in their journey of growth.

Reinforcing their commitment of being able to provide the everyday needs of the everyday Filipino through its services, Grab Philippines country head Grace Vera Cruz shared on LinkedIn how significant this milestone is not just for the company, but to Grab’s stakeholders in the Philippines as well. “Grab’s debut at NASDAQ will enable the company to accelerate its efforts to help support more Filipinos. Through this milestone, we are hopeful that we will be able to reach more small business owners and driver- and delivery-partners like Justin and Sheril in more parts of the country,” Vera Cruz concluded.