Grab is a ride-sharing company based in Singapore. Anthony Tan is the CEO and co-founder of Grab. He came up with the idea for MyTeksi back in 2012 after a friend of his complained that riding taxis in Malaysia was horrible. Tan thought about ways to improve the ride-sharing experience in Southeast Asia. His idea of creating a mobile app similar to Uber was deemed as difficult to pull off. But Tan’s resilience and hard work made it possible to turn his dream into reality, making Grab the largest mobile technology company in Southeast Asia.
The intention was to provide people with a safer way to hail a ride without worrying about their safety. Grab Taxi provided features like location-sharing and driver-tracking. Which made customers a lot less reluctant to use the app as their ride-hailing companion.
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Grab and Anthony Tan
The Journey of 234 Miles
Tan initially started by launching an app, locally known as MyTeksi along with his Harvard buddy Tan Hooi Ling. With Tan’s fund and Harvard’s $25,000 fund, they approached several taxi companies to sign up as their assigned drivers. Many owners of the company refused to support them as they believed MyTeksi would fail. But, like a knight in shining armor, a small taxi company gave them a chance.
From there started this remarkable journey which has traveled over to 8 countries. Grab Taxi expanded to the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand in 2013. In 2014, it traveled across Vietnam and Indonesia. The company headquarters was moved to Singapore in the same year.
Look At The Numbers!
At the age of 38, Anthony Tan acquired the 38th position in Forbes “Malaysia’s 50 richest” list with a net worth of $300 million. The company holds a value of $14 billion.
Grab has 6000 people who make the company run smoother every day. With their app being downloaded more than 100 million times, Grab operates in 225 cities. From Grab Taxi to Grab Holdings Inc., the company broadened its services in other fields such as car-hailing, bike riding, food delivery service, insurance for drivers, parcel delivery, payment service, helping with business ventures, etc.
Over the years, Grab merged and partnered up with other major ride-sharing companies across the globe, such as- Uber Japan Taxi, and Careem (UAE).
Tan Is The Man
In 2012, Anthony Tan left his family company, Tan Chong Motors to start Grab. He completed his Graduation in Economics and Public Policy from the Chicago University in 2004 and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 2011. Tan’s wife, Chloe Tong, is the daughter of Tong KooiOng. He is the founder of Phileo Allied Bank and also the owner of Edge Media Group. The couple has two children.
Anthony Tan’s father Tan Heng Chew, the president of Tan Chong Motor. He believed in getting his children ready for the tough world of business. Tan accompanied his father in union meetings from a young age which made him see the world with a different set of eyes. Even though his father made sure to toughen up Tan to survive in the business world. Tan professed his success wouldn’t have been possible without the help of his mother.
Tan’s mother, KhorSweeWah worked as the marketing director for the family company. When Tan first came up with the idea of Grab Taxi, his father dismissed him and told him to stay in the family business. It was Tan’s mother who accompanied him to investor meetings and also provided him with funds to start the business.
Tan’s Harvard classmate and Grab co-founder Tan Hooi Ling referred to him to be one of the most hard-working people she’s ever met. Together, they brought Grab where it stands today.
They came up with the idea for Grab Taxi by looking at other ride-sharing apps that focused on the customer’s demand for more and better rides. But, Tan and Hooi Ling decided to keep their focus on safety. Their vision was to find a safe way for customers to hail a ride. Also, better driving conditions for the drivers as the reputation of the Malaysian Taxi service at that time was not good. Many passengers faced trouble, especially females. Hooi Ling herself used to pretend to talk to her mother on the phone while riding a taxi at night as a precaution. That’s why their app MyTeksi (Grab Taxi) introduced the location-sharing feature. Where the passengers could share their real-time location to anyone they wished. This made them feel more at ease with using the app.
To conclude, Anthony Tan managed to soar into the sky because he believed in himself. His resilience allowed him to achieve what he dreamed of and now he has it all. His idea was noble and driven by the passion that not only gave him his fortune but also made the lives of many normal people easier.