A Design for Life

 

For Fariz Junaidi the motivation to join Grab was clear – spend more time on the product design side of things. He tells us how Grab has lived up to his hopes and how important good design is to the company.

 

Before joining Grab I worked with a strategic design consultancy, it was good but unfortunately the work tended to concentrate on the ‘strategic’ side of things. I’m a designer so what really drives me is creating things, making things that make a difference to people. Working mainly on strategy was a little frustrating, there was design involved but mostly it was done by the clients themselves and I had to look on and go ‘I want to do that’!

What I love most about working with Grab is that I’m free to focus on the strategic side and the design side. Here I get to have ideas and see them come to fruition, to know that the work you’re doing can make a difference. At Grab we’re fully focussed on the impact that our work has for our consumers, driver- and merchant-partners. That seems like an obvious statement to make but actually in other companies that’s not always the case. I find that the focus here is always clear – how can we make things better for everybody?

One of the great things about Grab is that, although it’s a big company, it almost doesn’t  realise that it is! It’s in that sweet spot between being an established tech company and thinking like a start-up. It’s the best of both worlds, you have the support of amazing people across each and every department and things run smoothly, but then there are times when you’re bootstrapping and trying to get things done – and everybody is there to lend a hand.

I think that sense of togetherness is one of the things that is so central to Grab. I’ve always believed that you can’t impose a culture on a company, it has to develop organically, and it’s the people at Grab that make it such a welcoming and unique place to be. There are many employee driven groups, supported by the company, that cover everything from sports to social issues. 

 

Beyond that is the familiar notion of ‘work-life balance’ which almost becomes a cliché to talk about. For me it’s very simple. I love my work, but it is work. So while I’m always very happy to spend as much time as is necessary solving the issues that I’m presented with (and yes, sometimes I look up and wonder where the day’s gone), I’d be less happy if that was all I was able to do. We’re a company of doers, not of clock watchers. What that means is that there are some days that are shorter, some that are longer.

That means that I have a really nice balance. I’ve more than enough time to explore hobbies, sports and interests in my personal life. Enough time to embrace the joy of family and friends. And enough time to feel completely fulfilled at work. Call it yin and yang, harmony, balance, whatever you like – for me it’s just like good design, you just know when it’s right.