Dare to dream: Will e-hailers rejoice with a spoil from Grab’s Nasdaq listing?

THEY say charity starts at home, henceforth we should prioritise family members when spreading our generosity.

This brings to mind the humble beginning of Grab – Southeast Asia’s biggest e-hailing and food delivery firm – which is en route to a bumper listing in Nasdaq.

Will it remember its roots by channelling “a small portion” of its newfound wealth to its current pool of 80,000 e-hailing drivers?

Recall that Grab – founded in 2012 – had its origin as a Malaysia taxi-hailing service prior to its expansion into food, grocery and parcel delivery to digital payments, lending and other financial services (thus achieving a superapp status).

In fact, both founders Anthony Tan (the company’s CEO) and Hooi Ling Tan (unrelated) who oversees Grab’s operations, including corporate strategy and technology, are Malaysians themselves.

The latest development is that the Singapore-based company is going public in the US via a merger with special-purpose acquisition company Altimeter Growth Corp by securing a valuation of nearly US$40 bil.

“Well, we don’t expect anything from Grab’s megabuck listing as this is a different level of business altogether,” Grab Drivers Malaysia Association president Arif Asyraf Ali told FocusM. “By if Grab wishes to consider a token gift for its pool of e-hailers, this would surely be a great morale booster to all e-hailers”.

Arif Asyraf Ali

Arif had earlier deemed such likelihood as “impossible” given e-hailers are treated as “partners” as opposed to “employees” but relented after FocusM pledged “to table their case before Grab”.

“If ever Grab were to dole out something for its drivers, we are not asking for all 80,000 of us to be rewarded … suffice that the reward should go to drivers who fulfil the five-star criteria,” he suggested.

“Come to think of it, this can be a good way to boost loyalty, not forgetting that such gift can lessen the financial burden of the deserving drivers or even serve as an ‘insurance policy’ in time of need”.

Headquartered in Singapore, Grab currently operates across eight markets in the region, counting Indonesia as its biggest market.

The company has about 7,000 employees and has tech centres in Singapore, Beijing, Seattle, Bangalore, Ho Chi Minh City and Club-Napoca in Romania. – April 14, 2021

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