#Didyouknow: Behind the scenes of some of our familiar Grab services, we have a dedicated Grab Partner Aide team always ready to assist our partner drivers and ensure that our passengers are safe. We got in the front seat with our Partner Aide team — Mohd Eisham, who manages the team, along with his two Senior Executives, Mohamed Arzath and Muhammad Nasir — to find out who they are, what they do, and how the team keeps Southeast Asia moving.
What does the Partner Aide team do?
Eisham: I manage the Grab’s Partner Aide team, which is a part of our larger Partner Quality team. We ensure that Grab upholds a safe and quality platform for our drivers, passengers and the wider Grab community as a whole. Besides Transport, my team also supports other product verticals like GrabFood, GrabWheels and Grab Rentals.
For Transport, we make sure that our driver partners abide by the rules in the Code of Conduct, as well as the rules set by Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA), and that they present a good front to our passengers. For GrabFood, we ensure that our delivery partners wear the proper attire and carry the issued thermal bags to maintain the quality of the food orders. At the same time, we are also out there to gather feedback and assist our partners whenever we can.
My team will also be on the lookout for stray GrabWheels e-scooters and make sure that they are parked in the proper lots. This is to prevent the e-scooters from obstructing pathways and causing inconvenience to the public.
Arzath: As Partner Aide Executives, we get to meet new drivers everyday. They let us know their concerns, feedback and suggestions on a daily basis. It’s great being able to hear from them first-hand when you’re on the ground.
Some of the main things we look out for are the drivers’ Private Hire Car Driver’s Vocational Licence (PDVL) or Taxi Driver’s Vocational Licence (TDVL) licence. We also make sure they display their Private Hire decals clearly and also check on the validity of the vehicles’ commercial insurance. All these are in line with LTA’s guidelines so we help our drivers prevent any unnecessary trouble they might get into with the authorities if they don’t follow them closely.
What does a typical day look like for a Partner Aide Executive?
Nasir: Before we set off for the day, there will be a briefing on the areas of deployments and vehicle mode. We cover all the cardinal points on the island and move out on either cars or motorcycles, depending on the location.
Eisham: As part of our ground duties, random checks will be conducted on our driver partners and we will approach them once we confirm their identity and that they are indeed on our platform.
Nasir: We also have a standard procedure to follow to ensure the safety of both us and the drivers. For example, we will never stop vehicles that are on the move or drivers that have passengers on board. We only approach them when their cars are stationary, parked or when they are taking a break.
Eisham: When the team detects a driver partner with issues, he or she will be flagged up to relevant teams for follow ups. This includes violation of rules, assisting driver partners’ needs or escalating relevant feedback. On the other hand, my team also runs a Spot & Reward Campaign, where we give out goodies like the electric air purifier to those who meet the requirements. This is to acknowledge and rewarding the great effort put in by the driver partners.
What happens when things don’t go smoothly?
Arzath: Sometimes, we have to deal with drivers who become aggressive. Just recently, one of our teammates had to engage with an aggressive driver. He had just finished up on the routine checks and was about to leave, when the driver started hurling vulgarities at him.
It’s not easy to stay calm when someone is turning aggressive. However, we are always reminded to never retaliate, and to de-escalate the situation as quickly as possible by simply walking away and ending the conversation.
Eisham: I always remind the team to remain professional at all times and try to assist our partners as much as we can, within our means. Sometimes, drivers will vent their frustrations but we must remain cool and not take things personally. We will try our best to hear them out.
That’s what makes our work that much more important. We are not only Partner Aide Executives, we are also the first ones to hear our drivers’ concerns and feedback. Letting our driver partners know that Grab is listening, and are on the ground with them, is crucial.
Guidelines change all the time. How do you make sure everyone is kept up to date?
Nasir: We are put in a very unique position where we have to juggle information from LTA, Grab and our driver partner community. It’s not just about knowing the latest updates from every stakeholder, it’s also being able to deliver the information to the drivers as well. From product knowledge, to new LTA rulings, and feedback from the drivers, it’s key that we’re able to keep track of it all on top of our usual duties.
Arzath: When it comes to new updates with the Grab app, or changes in LTA regulations, not all our driver partners are able to keep up, especially our more senior drivers who are not as tech savvy or updated with the news. During our ground engagement, we will assist and remind them.
We feel the most appreciated when we assist drivers with their rental vehicles during a breakdown. Once they contact Grab, the Partner Aide team is deployed to pick up a replacement vehicle and bring it down to do a swap on the spot. This saves the drivers’ time because they don’t have to travel to the workshop on their own and can resume business without delay. We also make sure our database is updated immediately with the new car plate number so that the transition is seamless for the drivers.
What keeps the team going?
Eisham: The team faces different challenges every day. Be it rain, shine or midnight shifts, we muscle through it all. The work we do can’t be pushed aside or scheduled to another day, we keep at it to ensure that Grab remains safe and reliable.
On special occasions like New Year Countdowns or other big events — we will put in extra effort to look out for driver partners who are in need. During times like this, the need for assistance will also increase and we need to be there for them.
Arzath: Fortnightly, Grab holds the Grab-A-Drink sessions, where drivers are invited to come down, grab a drink and mingle with Grabbers from various teams. They get to talk to other drivers as well as bringing up burning questions or issues they face. The turnouts so far have been very good, so we are planning to continue to support the sessions.
Nasir: We see ourselves as Partner Aide — ensuring both Grab drivers and passengers are able to safely and reliably use our platform comfortably. No matter the incident, we’ll always do our best to help our drivers. It could go from a vehicle breakdown to an app malfunction or even a punctured tyre. We’ve seen them all, and it’s great knowing that these drivers are appreciative of the work we do.
Thanks for reading till this point, but what better way to experience the Partner Aide team than to see them live in action! We spent a day hanging out with them, watch the video here: