GrabTaxi has grown into a big name in the industry from a small Malaysian startup in a short period of time. In Southeast Asia, it is considered to be a strong rival for Uber. Cheryl Goh is the Group Vice President of Marketing at GrabTaxi and has been associated with it for 2.5 years. She shared the story of GrabTaxi’s growth during her session at WIT Bootcamp. Here are some takeaways that will help future entrepreneurs in their journey:
#1- Tailor around the customer
To grow business successfully, it is very important to tailor the product around the needs of customers. GrabTaxi changed the picture of taxi business in Malaysia because it was necessary. The cab drivers there didn’t follow the standard practices and would often haggle on prices. GrabTaxi worked hard to change the way they work which eventually resulted in their success in the region.
Startups today don’t just need a good product. They need a good product that has been built around the needs of the customer.
#2- To build global, go hyperlocal
In Malaysia, the major issue with cabs was unreliability while in Singapore, efficiency was an issue. GrabTaxi had to take different approaches for the two markets to achieve the same result, fast and reliable cab service.
As travel brands cover wide geography, it is very important for them to study the new markets thoroughly and strategize accordingly. This is important not only while building the product but also while marketing it.
#3- Try to exceed expectations
Cheryl shared how in Malaysia they call drivers who have got advanced bookings for mornings to make sure the customers get their cab on time as a large number of people use GrabTaxi to book cabs to airport. They keep putting in similar efforts to ensure that they can deliver the best to their customers.
It is very important to have a team that believes strongly in the product and is ready to put in all the efforts required.
#4- Adapt to the needs
Along with the cab service, GrabTaxi introduced premium sedan cars, bikes and package delivery services. While it appears that the additions will eat into the primary business, they found their relevance at different spots in the life cycle of a typical user.
For travel startups, it is important to diversify according to the needs of customers.
#5- Make people believe in the cause
GrabTaxi started off with a mission to make public transport safe, efficient, fast and reliable. These were genuine problems faced by the customers and addressing these issues helped them gain the goodwill of customers.
Your business shouldn’t be about profits and monetization opportunities from day one. If you are solving a real problem, people will believe in you and will receive your product well.
You can find more stories of other sessions as well as all the other activities at TravelRave here.