TECHNOLOGY

Grab Expands in Myanmar with Local Partnerships

The Southeast Asian ride-hailing app is seeing vast potential in the Golden Land

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BY Marishka M. Cabrera - 28 Jul 2017

grab myanmar

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Seeing the vast potential of Myanmar, Southeast Asian ride-hailing platform Grab recently announced its next phase of expansion in the country by making new investments in technology, driver care, and local partnerships.

After a four-month beta trial, data from the company reveals Grab driver-partners have reported a 30% improvement in monthly income on average, and there are now more than 5,000 drivers on the Grab platform. Further, these driver-partners now have access to banking and financial services through Grab’s partnerships with CB Bank and Wave Money, a mobile money platform.

“We are deeply appreciative of the opportunity to bring Grab’s service to Yangon and are encouraged by the receptiveness of the local community and the support from the government over the past four months,” Grab co-founder Hooi Ling Tan says in a statement.

Building on feedback from its beta trial, Grab is now fully operational in Yangon, she says, adding that the company is focused on bringing “a five-star experience” to drivers and passengers alike, while supporting the government in upgrading its transport infrastructure.

“We are investing in Myanmar for the long-term,” Tan says.

In order to deepen and localize the experience for the users in Myanmar, driver and passenger apps are now in Zawgyi and Unicode fonts in order to reflect Burmese language text, allowing more people to access the service. GrabChat, the in-app messaging system, will soon be upgraded to enable automatic translation of templated messages. These messages that are sent in Myanmar language will instantly be translated to English, depending on the recipient’s preferred language. Grab predicts that with this feature, regional travelers are less likely to cancel their ride bookings due to language barriers.

Other features introduced include the 24/7 customer call center set to be launched in August and the Driver Care Programme that aims to increase drivers’ incomes in a sustainable way, as well as help them develop new skills.

Local partnerships are also helping improve the transport experience in Myanmar. Mapping provider HERE Technologies, for instance, will collaborate with Grab so that GPS data collected from the Grab Driver app will allow both companies to maintain an accurate mapping database for efficient navigation and future city planning.