Interview Transcript

Looking back at your time at Grab, what are the biggest take-aways for you in recruiting drivers? What are the key lessons you’ve learned?

Okay, this is a good question, actually. What I learned is, when I do recruit with the Grab taxi, the taxi driver is they want to have the community so bad because they’re from outside. They feel like an outsider all the time. When they are in Bangkok, they feel like an outsider. They need a community. If you can show or be their community, you create a good community for them. If one day somebody is coming up against a brand and says Grab taxi sucks, this driver is going to come and protect you because they don’t feel that the brand is the business, but it’s the community. It’s the family. It’s something that makes them become someone. That’s what I learned from doing with the taxi driver. From Grab Car, it’s another level of delivering an experience that you have to deliver as a platform to the users as a driver. My learning is whatever you think, you need to think of if it is scalable and is this going to provide a good experience out of the user? If not, it’s not and/or, it’s or. It has to be scalable. It has to come with a good experience. If two combined, then whatever you do with the platform, it’s going to very well scale in the market.

What about your biggest take-aways and lessons in driving retention of drivers?

My most important moment when I was there, when I was working in that field is when I drive as a taxi driver myself. I would say that you must wear the same shoes as them to understand what they want. If you want to retain them, or you want to understand their tension on the street, you need to be in their shoes. I spent a day, almost one day driving as a taxi driver. I never take passenger on the roadside, and I spend one day, take passenger from the application from the platform only. Then you never know. You see a lot that you don’t see when you plan it out in the office. Something like the time you have to spend on the road to go to the customer. Then you get cancel. You get to feel the feeling of disappointment. Also, you go to a very crowded place and then you couldn’t find the customer. The application is fine, bring the customer to the drier already. It’s the driver and the customer’s responsibility to find each other.

Who is going to expect who to find? The customer is like, “I’m going to be here, I booked. I pay my money. Your job, you take my money. You come find me.” Then the customer didn’t know that the place that they are is no parking, you’re not allowed to park. It’s not a pickup point. The driver needs to take the risk of asking the customer to cross the street. That’s a big issue. If I have to cross the street to get to your car, why would I need an application to book you to my position? That is something that you have to be with them, you have to be in their shoes in order to provide them the understanding. After that, I post my picture onto the group, like I drive as a taxi driver. Whatever I say, the attention is different. I get more attention and whatever I say, whatever they say to me, they tend to come to us more because now we try what they feel.

You actually gained respect for the drivers?

Yes, that’s what we get.

Sign up to test our content quality with a free sample of 50+ interviews