It has been around six months since Southeast Asia’s leading superapp Grab moved out of its former office at Guoco Towers, but it’s only today (August 11) that it officially launched its new Singapore headquarters (HQ), in line with its 10th anniversary celebrations.
This is its second HQ in the region, following its other one in Jakarta, Indonesia, which serves as Grab’s regional innovation hub for small businesses.
Located at one-north business park, this new nine-storey facility spans more than 42,000 sqm. The building houses about 3,000 Grabbers, including its newly-formed digibank team. It also features a R&D Centre, as well as its first GrabMerchant Centre.
“It seemed like only yesterday that our early Grab team and I worked out of the driver’s room in a rental car office. At that time, our v1 app did only one thing — book a ride. It didn’t even give an estimated time of arrival or offer cashless payments, which are features we take for granted today,” said Anthony Tan, co-founder and Group CEO of Grab at the opening event today.
“We wouldn’t have imagined that one day, we’d have our own campus in the tech hub of Singapore, housing an R&D team that is developing hyperlocal solutions to solve real problems for Southeast Asia. I am so grateful to our private sector and government partners, as well as our Grabbers, for having worked so hard to make this campus a reality.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong, who graced the event, commented that Grab’s journey for the past decade has indeed been an inspiring one. Just like the Singapore story, Grab adopts a similar narrative — an “underdog [that succeeds] against all odds and [make] the impossible possible.”
Grab had humble beginnings and has successfully grown “from virtually nothing” into a tech giant, as it confronts and overcome challenges along the way.
“10 years ago, most of us used our phones to talk, maybe to search the internet, but certainly not to purchase goods and services. [Grab] had to convince both drivers and riders to use a new platform no one had heard of. And [it] had to confront the complex and fragmented Southeast Asian market, which was difficult to penetrate and expand into, as well as face larger competitors,” said DPM Wong.
“But like Singapore, Grab addressed [its] challenges head on — [it] converted vulnerabilities into opportunities. And like Singapore, Grab survived and prospered through the sheer grit, ingenuity and hard work of its people. That is why today, Grab has grown from a small ride-hailing platform to a leading super-app in Southeast Asia.”
Grab started out as a mere ride-hailing company, but it has since expanded its services to cover a wide range of verticals, including deliveries and financial services.
Today, it is present in 480 cities in eight countries across SEA, with millions of users onboard.
Last month on July 4, Grab achieved its 10 billionth journey, making it a “happy convergence of serving 10 billion rides and orders in 10 years”. It was a huge milestone for the company, which Tan feels is only made possible with everyone’s “unwavering trust, partnership and support”.
This latest unveiling of Grab’s Singapore HQ is another milestone that the company is proud of, and it’s a testament of how far they’ve come for the last decade.
As it seeks to foster a strong pipeline of local tech talent, Grab is also actively hiring across the company — this is a continuous effort on its part.
“Together, let’s continue to leverage tech for good and create opportunities for everyone to grow in this digital economy, to shape a better, and more sustainable Southeast Asia,” summed up Tan in his opening speech.
Featured Image Credit: Grab
Grab turns 10 – launches GrabMerchant and GrabScholar schemes, targeted at SMEs and students
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