Quick Bytes: Conversation with a GrabFinancial Business Analyst

Zhi Zhi Loh is an ex-national Water Polo player, lover of comic books, and a Business Intelligence Insight Analyst with GrabFinancial’s Regional Payments Analytics team at Grab. We sat him down over a cup of coffee on a hump day mid-afternoon and engaged in conversation.

Zhi Zhi Loh: GrabFinancial Business Intelligence Insight Analyst

Tell us more about your role and the kind of work that you do at Grab.

Z: “I’m a Business Intelligence Insight Analyst with the Regional Payments Analytics team at Grab. We support different stakeholders within the GrabFinancial group, including the Strategy team, the Country teams, Business teams and Operational teams.

We support all these different teams in terms of reporting, analytics, and identifying potential merchants to have partnerships with.

What kind of impact do you see yourself and your team creating?

Z: “We work really closely with the Strategy team on product ideas that GrabFinancial can bring to the market. In Singapore, we are all very familiar with financial transactions, i.e. debit cards, credit cards and cashless payments — but I think the impact is really in our other markets.

Through supporting the strategy team in their planning, and the country business teams with their work on the ground, we get a first hand view of not only how the business is doing, but also how our users are being impacted. Through enabling cashless payments, and eventually financial services, we can bring positive change to the lives of not only our consumers, but our merchants and drivers too.”

Do you have any interesting stories or takeaways to share from your time so far at Grab?

Z: “It’s been a really eye-opening experience working at Grab. So far, I’ve been to the Grab Vietnam office and just seeing the passion the team has there is incredibly invigorating.

In each market we operate in, we hire locally, and we must remember that these Grabbers are the very ones who have family and friends directly impacted by the products that we provide in our Grab ecosystem. You can really see their passion for bringing solutions to their country and it’s amazing.

For me, I’ve had the opportunity to work in Singapore and to travel overseas as well. Seeing how much the regional teams want to bring change to their country — almost like a personal dedication — and knowing they have that chance to provide financial inclusion and create opportunities for their family and friends, it’s truly inspiring. Especially with the knowledge that they get to enjoy the fruits of their labour firsthand, and we get to be a part of that.”

With that in mind, how does that affect your perspective uniquely on the work that you do here?

Z: “I think coming into Grab, I had some idea of what sort of impact we could create, but interacting with the local teams brings more context, and makes our work that much more real.

Saying that our work is impacting lives — I know sounds very grand or cliché — has truth. I think the business is growing, and right now, it might be impacting just a small group of people in their countries but I can really envision how things can change in the future.

In Singapore, maybe we don’t think much of concepts like cashless transactions and mobile banking. However, in the region, paying for monthly fees require physical trips to the bank, inefficient text message notifications, amongst other things that sound very distant or foreign to us. But for them it’s a reality, and it’s something we can help change and improve on to make lives better — just as how transport has done already — we get to better their lives through payments.”

Lastly, why did you join Grab?

Z: “Personally, I wanted a change. I worked in a Multinational Company (MNC) before this, and I wanted a change of pace, and a new trajectory for personal growth. Back when I joined in March, payments was still a developing team. Joining the team, I felt personally aligned with the vision that Grab had as a whole.

The vision and mission of moving everyone really resonated with me, and now Grab is becoming the Everyday Super App. The Super App sort of turns some people off in terms of name, but in truth it’s really bringing the sort of convenience — just see what has been done in China and India with Alipay or WeChat pay — to so many people, and I think that’s what will really change our region.”

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