Grab co-founders Anthony Tan and Tan Hooi Ling first met each other when they were pursuing an MBA at Harvard Business School.
Back in their home country of Malaysia, taxis were not a preferred choice of transportation. Securing a taxi was difficult, and many overseas travelers would often complain about being overcharged by drivers.
Many were also afraid to hop into taxis alone, fearing for their personal safety — even Hooi Ling used to pretend to be on the phone during late-night taxi rides back in the day.
When they took part in their school’s business competition, they both wanted to tackle this problem. They shared an idea that the mobile phone revolution could help deliver safe and reliable on-demand transportation.
They clinched second place and won US$25,000 for their idea, which became their starting capital for Grab.
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