Published on 17 Nov 2020

Grabtaxi - What's Tech Got To Do With It?

Case Study by Boey Yew Tung

GrabTaxi is a smartphone-based taxi booking application (app) that was pioneered in Malaysia. When the company first started in 2012, its challenge was how to get taxi drivers to come onboard its platform. Taxi drivers were rather ambivalent about this new technology unlike commuters who seemed generally enthusiastic. GrabTaxi quickly extended its operations outside Malaysia to 26 cities in Southeast Asia including Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. Taxi companies in these cities tend to be large, entrenched players operating in an oligopolistic market.

Meanwhile in some of these countries, government regulations and existing laws were being reviewed in the light of new business models evolving in the ‘sharing economy’. Competition was intensifying. In 2012, Uber founded in 2009 from California entered Southeast Asia through Singapore. As of 2015, other direct competitors included EasyTaxi, MoobTaxi and Hailo. In addition, Didi Kuaidi from China, Lyft from the US and Ola from India, among others, were expected to enter the Southeast Asia market. As a result of these developments in the market place, GrabTaxi needed to rethink its business model to sustain future growth.

Read the report here.