This article was published on 15 April 2020. Click here for Part 1 of the article.
CEO Anthony Tan and Head of People Chin Yin Ong spoke about how Grab is responding to the COVID-19 situation at our global town hall in March (Check out the video highlights here). It’s our top priority to ensure the safety of our community, and to protect the livelihoods of our driver, delivery and merchant partners across Southeast Asia.
In the second part of this article, we’ll be sharing how we’ve been ensuring the safety of both our Grab users and business partners. We will also highlight the expansions of products and services that are relevant in this global situation that serves as additional ways for our business partners to gain income. Read on below!
Many of our products and services depend on our dedicated business partners on the frontline. We have implemented several measures to enhance the wellbeing of our drivers, riders and merchants during these trying times.
Optimising app features to increase safety measures
To support social distancing, GrabShare & GrabHitch have been proactively suspended across all markets. Most of our operating cities have also enabled contactless delivery and cashless transactions. Our product team has sought to implement these efforts in record time in a bid to reduce any risk of contamination or infection between driver-partners and users (e.g. contactless delivery arrangements via GrabChat)
We have also strengthened our health and safety hotline in all operating cities. This primary channel allows merchants, drivers and users to get in touch with the relevant authorities should they suspect someone they have interacted with (e.g. User’s Grab driver, Rider’s food receiver) is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. The Philippines has also rolled out a community-driven initiative called GrabBayanihan, which seeks to help address the economic and medical pain points brought about by the recent outbreak.
Partners receiving the support & relief funding they need
For driver- or rider-partners who have been tested positive for COVID-19, or are under official quarantine, we provide relief support to tide them through their downtime. Grab provides financial assistance to driver-partners through one-off income support. For example, Grab Singapore has allowed the maintenance of Emerald tier for the affected month, and vehicles rented from GrabRentals (or our affiliated partners) will be reimbursed their rental fee during the quarantine period. (More information on how we’re supporting our driver/rider-partners can be found in the links below)
Our endeavours to ensure the wellbeing of our various business partners are also reflected through donations. We set up a Partner Relief Fund where Grabbers donated their GrabFlex (employee allowance) dollars to the Partner Relief Fund. Grab then did a 1:1 match for all amounts donated.
In Singapore, a sizeable portion of the proceeds went to the Community Development Council (CDC) Student Meal scheme. which helps to defray the cost of buying meals for 12,000 students from low-income families, who are currently on home-based learning (HBL) during the circuit breaker period.
Safety is always top priority
Grab users around the world will be able to see the safety measures we have placed by opening the Grab app. There are information tiles in the app, and longer form notices on our various social media platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram). We also have frequent social media content to ensure news on features that promote social distancing are made known to users (e.g. Contactless delivery).
Due to the high pervasiveness of technology, ensuring that users have easy access to information is top priority. Ranon Li, Senior Manager for Regional Safety & Quality, explains “The platform safety team was one of the first teams at Grab to respond in early February when the Covid-19 outbreak hit Southeast Asia. Within a few days, we had set up processes to work with governments to conduct contact tracing and mitigate community spread via our platform, and this has been ongoing 24/7 until today.”.
Supporting our medical frontliners
Earlier in the year when Covid-19 started, we quickly launched GrabCare, a dedicated transport fleet for healthcare workers in Singapore, in under a week. We couldn’t have done it without the support of thousands of volunteer drivers. This service offers a convenient way for healthcare workers to travel to and from work daily, while also providing additional income opportunities for our drivers
Creating more income opportunities for partners, and services for users
To meet the needs of customers who cannot commute easily during this period, we also expanded the GrabMart and GrabAssistant services to more countries. The expansion of these services, and the reskilling provided to driver-partners to fulfil delivery orders provides both earning opportunities through the Grab platform, and benefits Grab users who require access to essential products at stores. For countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, our on-demand concierge service, GrabAssistant has been / will be launched. This service allows users to hire delivery-partners to handle important errands, or help buy essential products at stores not listed on GrabMart. Having this additional function gives more delivery options to meet their daily needs.
Education/Prevention as #OneGrab
While we approach COVID-19 through ensuring measures are in place for our Grabbers, partners and users, they all share the same sentiment: Education and prevention is of paramount importance. As such, all markets have rolled out communications to all three pertinent audience groups across various platforms.
Grab users around the world are continuously getting information through our various platforms. Our social media channels push COVID-related measures and updates on a regular cadence. In Malaysia, Grab users receive government-related announcements at the top of the in-app main screen. Ebi Azly Abdullah, Head, Public & Government Affairs explains, “During a major crisis like this, rumours and fake news often spread like wildfire, particularly on online platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook. As we have millions of users who access our app daily, we feel we can do our part by partnering with the National Security Council to provide official communication on Covid-19 through the Grab app.”
As this global situation continuously evolves, so does Grab. We’re extremely proud to see the commitment our Grabbers have made in keeping our partners, Grabbers and customers healthy and safe amidst COVID-19. This article has covered only some of the many teams tirelessly working around the clock to ensure the best for everyone. To quote Bill Gates, “Our true work is not our job, that is what we do, not what we were created to do. Our true work is to look after each other, to protect each other and to be of benefit to one another.” Thank you Grabbers for uniting and showing the world our 4H Principles (Heart, Hunger, Honor & Humility) through our actions.
Need more information on how Grab is handling the COVID-19 situation? Check out these links: