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THE GRAB WAY: How Do We Stay On Mission

Anthony Tan  By Anthony Tan

This is an excerpt of The Grab Way. Read the full document here: https://bit.ly/3iiPun9

Our mission won’t be easy to steward. On some days it will feel like threading a needle with your toes whilst blindfolded.

We’ve learned that for us to achieve this mission, Grab needs to be one team that supports each other to do the best work of our lives.

To ensure we build that kind of organisation, we have our 4Hs.

The 4Hs serve as our guide for how Grabbers should lead, collaborate, solve problems, and support each other through the ups and downs of this journey.

They are a culmination of our learnings thus far about what’s worked and what’s important, and will continually evolve as we learn more.

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Consumer first.

  • As creators and stewards of marketplaces, we will constantly have to balance the needs of all sides of the marketplace to sustain its health over the long term.
  • While we will always strive to achieve the best outcomes for all our stakeholders within the constraints of our mission, there will be times when we will need to make difficult trade offs. In these moments, we will prioritise the needs of consumers first, partners second (merchant, driver, delivery, agent and business partners), and Grab last.
  • This is premised on the beliefs that building healthy marketplaces is core to us achieving our mission, and that love and trust of paying end-consumers ultimately determines the health and success of any marketplace.
  • In making decisions, we strive to take a long-term view of consumer and partner value to the Grab ecosystem instead of focusing solely on the short-term.


  • We recognise that we are stronger as OneGrab vs. as individual functions or business lines. We therefore actively work to overcome and break silos across verticals, functions, and hierarchies.
  • We work as teams (not individuals) and always endeavour to bring the best of Grab together to put our best foot forward for our stakeholders.
  • We before me. We put Grab’s interests ahead of our team’s interests, and similarly our team’s interests ahead of our individual interests.

Leaders coach, serve, and inspire.

  • Leaders at Grab are servant-leaders who do not view power as something to hoard or lord over others.
  • They help Grabbers grow and succeed by coaching and inspiring everyone they work with, leading by example, and rolling up their sleeves to solve problems with their teams.
  • Blaming, shaming, and coercive tactics are not part of their DNA.
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Kaizen, in big and small ways. 

  • We recognise that the path to achieving our mission is going to involve its fair share of twists and turns, requiring us to continuously adapt to new information and changing circumstances.
  • Kaizen is the spirit of adaptability that Grab needs to navigate this winding road.
  • Adaptability implies that we inspire and encourage our colleagues to solve problems as they arise. It implies that we constantly improve how we work.
  • And it implies that we seek disruptive innovations to continue to advance our mission.
  • In an organisation that is growing as fast as ours, it is easy to neglect the spirit of adaptability.
  • When busyness kicks in, reflection, ideation, and experimentation are often replaced by blame, pressure, and a fear of failure.
  • Instead, we have to remain steadfast in seeking help and feedback, reflecting on our impact, ideating, problem-solving as a team, and experimenting with courage.
  • With experimentation will come failure – that’s okay, as long as we own up to and learn from our mistakes.

Build on ground truths.

  • The best solutions come from a deep understanding of the target audience and problems being solved.
  • To achieve this, we believe it’s important to personally go to the ground, apply our five senses to understand and experience the problems, and speak to stakeholders.
  • In doing so, we allow our conscious and unconscious assumptions to be challenged, and round out our understanding with insights often not evident from data and second hand information alone.
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Act with integrity. Build trust. 

  • Trust is both a key enabler of our mission and the secret sauce for high performing teams. So we work to do the right thing, honour our word and not compromise our integrity.
  • Likewise, trust is the foundation upon which successful marketplaces are built. So we constantly strive to establish and build trust amongst all participants of the marketplaces we steward.

Steward resources wisely.

  • We use resources that have been entrusted to us responsibly and with careful consideration—evaluating whether the result is worth the investment, or whether something can be done in a more efficient manner.
  • This will enable us to keep our costs competitive, and offer unbeatable value to our consumers and partners.
  • That said, we are also not pennywise and pound foolish. We recognise that prudent investment is what drives growth.
  • This requires strategic discipline as well as wisdom to pick our battles, take calculated risks, and balance between our short- and long-term investments.
  • We recognise that Grabbers dedicate a significant portion of our precious time to the company, and we respect every second by using it effectively, avoiding wasted or duplicative effort.
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Learn from every experience.

  • We recognise that no matter how experienced or accomplished we are, we will always have room to learn and grow.
  • So we actively seek out the learning from every encounter and experience. As we execute on our mission, the best source of learning often comes from the very people we seek to serve – our consumers, partners, communities and Grabbers.

Seek first to understand, then to be understood. 

  • We listen actively, with an open heart and mind (being conscious of our biases), and always begin by assuming good intent.
  • We continuously work to improve our understanding and appreciation of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, so we can be better contextual listeners.
  • We solve problems by fully understanding each other’s context, intent and challenges, so that we can work on finding win-win solutions together.

Debate, align, execute.

  • In the pursuit of our mission and in the spirit of kaizen, we value diversity of opinions and perspectives, and healthy respectful debate.
  • In making decisions, while we seek alignment from all relevant parties wherever possible, when teams are at an impasse, we escalate quickly up the chain of command so that we can keep moving forward.
  • Once a decision is made, we cease all debate, commit to making the best of it, and follow through with the appropriate execution regardless of whether or not we agree with the chosen path. – GRAB NEWS
* Writer is Group CEO & Co-founder at Grab

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