Grab’s Synergy Strategy Aims to Boost Profitability and Tourism

The Southeast Asian super app, Grab, which operates locally, is eyeing breakeven before the end of the third quarter, with a view to achieve group-wide profitability through its “One Grab” synergy strategy.

In a collaborative effort with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the company is working to boost tourist numbers, with the goal of helping Thailand reach a milestone of 25 million visitors in 2023.

“We expect to break even on our earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation before the group target of the fourth quarter because of cautious spending and the rebound of the transport business,” declared Worachat Luxkanalode, the country head of Grab Thailand.

The One Grab model promotes integrated collaboration and inter-business synergy for better operational efficiency and user retention on its platform.

As an example, those using Grab’s ride-hailing services may be rewarded with food order discounts.

Following the pandemic, the company’s ride-hailing service has seen a revival, particularly amongst tourists.

Mr. Worachat revealed that Grab is aiming for tourist customers to make up 35% of its total transport service soon, a level comparable to pre-pandemic times.

According to Mr. Worachat, the number of travellers utilising Grab had a surge of 25% in the initial four months of the current year.

He indicated that the company anticipates strong growth in its transport services this year.

To achieve its goal, Grab plans to lure more tourists to Thailand by delivering Thai tourism-related content to its users across eight Southeast Asian countries.

Grab has also forged a partnership with the Chinese super app WeChat, allowing tourists from the mainland to utilise its service, as stated by Mr. Worachat.

The “Amazing Thailand, Travel confidently with Grab” initiative, a joint effort with TAT, is poised to endorse Thai tourism among local and foreign visitors while stimulating the economy through promotional and interactive activities.

The initiative encompasses the roll-out of Grab & Go tourist guidebooks in English and Chinese.

These guides feature a curated list of tourist hotspots, dining establishments, festivals, and activities in Bangkok, Pattaya, Chiang Mai, and Phuket.

Foreign visitors can find these guides in the GrabCar Premium service or at various tourism locations such as hotels, restaurants, and alliances of TAT.

Grab boasts several hundred thousand drivers, with 1,000 operating electric vehicles (EVs). The company’s ambition is to have 10% of the fleet operating EVs within the next three years.

As per Mr. Worachat, the primary revenue for the company still stems from food delivery and messenger services, with transport, financial services, and enterprise businesses such as advertising.

He also reported that the company has successfully turned its food business profitable, thanks to increased customers spending on orders.

Nithee Seeprae, TAT’s Deputy Governor for Digitalisation, Research and Development, remarked that since Thailand’s borders were fully opened, there’s been a substantial uptick in foreign tourists, with a count of 9.9 million foreign visitors so far this year.

“We expect to have up to 25-30 million visitors to Thailand this year,” added Mr. Nithee.

Last year, Thailand welcomed 10 million international tourists.

TAT also plans to share data with Grab, enabling TAT to analyze tourist behaviours in a privacy-respecting manner. Additionally, TAT will provide tourism content support for Grab passengers.