Grab is shifting gears and looking to hire 350 individuals to support its growth plans. These include the expansion of products and services to support the digitalisation of micro-SMEs, the delivery of digital financial services across Southeast Asia, as well as the development of the upcoming digibank which will be managed by a Grab-Singtel consortium. The news was announced during an MOI signing with IMDA and Digital Industry Singapore to support the development of Singapore’s tech ecosystem, through the development of its tech talent and R&D capabilities here. The programmes seek to enhance the deep technical skills of experienced professionals, and provide hands-on training opportunities to individuals keen to explore roles in the tech sector.
Some of these hires will come from fields including AI, cybersecurity, data science, software engineering, as well as product management and design. They would be involved in projects to improve merchants’ abilities to offer better and tailored products to their customers; as well as to improve the user experience of the merchant app, which will be an all-in-one solution featuring modularised Grab services to select from.
Many of them would also be powering Grab’s innovation engine that uses deep tech to build and enhance services for its users meaningfully; as well as building stronger integrations with local partners. Besides tech roles, Grab will be offering new employment opportunities in areas such as finance, operations, legal, public affairs and business development.
“Despite the challenges brought forth by COVID-19, the tech industry continues to hold promise for new and renewed opportunities for talent. Grab will work closely with IMDA and DISG to grow the talent pool in Singapore, as the country advances towards a future-ready digital economy,” said Tan Hooi-Ling, co-founder, Grab. Tan added that “as a Singapore-based tech company, Grab fully supports the development of the tech ecosystem here”.
“We are building products that positively impact millions across Southeast Asia, and we want to continue deepening our R&D capabilities and push the boundaries of innovation, right here at our strategic base. This is only possible with the support of Grabbers across different business functions, who are continually learning and adapting to new technologies and customers’ requirements,” Tan said.
Lew Chuen Hong, chief executive, IMDA said,“To secure our digital future, Singapore must be the place where companies choose to build unique digital products that cater for global markets. This is the only way that Singapore can sustainably capture value and differentiate ourselves in the Digital Economy. We are pleased to partner Grab, to strengthen Singapore’s tech ecosystem in these two key areas – to build ` our local talent in product development, and grow Singapore as the base for high-end R&D in tech.”
The hiring comes a year after Grab faced the need to cut its workforce by 5%, affecting about 360 individuals. During the time, Grab also pulled non-core projects, consolidated functions for greater efficiency, and right-sized teams to better match changing business needs. That said, the company also doubled down on delivery verticals and redeployed employees to meet the growing customer demand for deliveries. This ultimately led to Grab’s total group net revenues growing approximately 70% year-on-year in 2020 compared to 2019, despite a competitive environment. Its group revenues have returned to well over 100% of pre-COVID levels and met its growth and profitability targets. At the same time, its monthly earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) throughout 2020 was reduced by approximately 80% as a result of disciplined spending and being prudent in stewarding its shareholder capital.