Marketing Excellence Awards 2023 Singapore
GrabCar for Women in Indonesia created after internal study, netizens question added price tag

GrabCar for Women in Indonesia created after internal study, netizens question added price tag

share on

Grab Indonesia has launched GrabCar for Women, a service dedicated to ensuing that women feel calmer and more comfortable while travelling, according to Grab in a statement to MARKETING-INTERACTIVE. The initiative, which was done in conjunction with International Women's Day (IWD), stipulates that driver-partners for the service must pass a psychological test that will look at their personality and traits and asses them for any inclination towards sexual violence or other criminal behaviors.

Don't miss: Safety beyond gender: Why Grab's new safety ad featuring women is causing a stir

Additionally, driver-partners are not allowed to smoke during the trip, and they are required to ensure that their vehicle remains clean with regular checks. 

According to Twitter users, GrabCar for Women is priced at an additional 3,000 rupiah as compared to GrabCar Protect, which offers users the option for a fully vaccinated driver and higher hygiene standards.

In the tweets seen by MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, the user argued that regular Grabs should be able to ensure the safety of women and questioned why it was necessary for women to pay more for what should be the bare minimum. 

twitter grab car for women

In response to the tweet, users jumped in arguing that everyone deserves to be safe and to have a clean and pleasant ride and that this new initiative reflected badly on regular Grab drivers.

whatsapp image 2023 03 28 at 11.48.32

Despite the uproar seen online, according to media intelligence company CARMA, Grab continues to enjoy a positive sentiment of 17.4% in Indonesia. However, social conversation around Grab remains negative at 16% as a result of the 'GrabCar for Women' initiative.

Keywords associated with the brand also stand at "security" and "manners" which questions if safety was a priority before this IWD initiative, according to a spokesperson at CARMA. 

Despite the negative online sentiments, a spokesperson at Grab noted that GrabCar for Women was created based on the preferences of female consumers as noted during an "internal study" that was conducted. 

"For example, hygiene and cleanliness is a top priority for [women], so we equipped GrabCar for Women vehicles and driver-partners with special fragrances. [We also assigned] driver-partners that do not smoke or vape. The vehicles are also checked once a week to ensure cleanliness," said Grab. 

The ride-hailing service then added that while it has only rolled out GrabCar for Women in seven sub-districts in Indonesia, it has been received "very positively" by female consumers. It was also seen "good adoption rates" for the service. 

It added that it wanted to emphasise that all Grab driver-partners undergo mandatory training including customer service, sexual violence/harassment prevention, safe driving and others.

This is not exclusive to GrabCar for Women driver-partners. We also consistently encourage all our driver-partners to keep their vehicles clean.

The initiative comes just weeks after Grab ended up in a similar blunder over an IWD ad that stirred up some discussions around safety of women in cars. Titled When she sleeps, the ad aims to convey Grab’s prioritisation of female passengers’ safety on grab rides. In the ad, we see a few women slumped over, falling asleep, and the voiceover says, “Isn’t it nice when women can travel without worry?” The tagline of the campaign is "Most boring ride ever". 

Ostensibly, this seems to be a fairly commendable effort on Grab’s part, considering past reporting of female rideshare drivers and passengers facing increasing risk of being assaulted.

However, some netizens pointed out the fact that Grab was celebrating making its rides safe for women and argued that in actuality, safety should be a given. Equating safety to boredom seems to have rubbed some people the wrong way.

Related articles:
Grab's Q4 2022 earnings exceed expectations in latest report
GrabAds hires new Indonesia head
Grab moves MP Tin Pei Ling to 'corporate development' role after social outcry: PR professionals weigh in

share on

Follow us on our Telegram channel for the latest updates in the marketing and advertising scene.

Free newsletter

Get the daily lowdown on Asia's top marketing stories.

We break down the big and messy topics of the day so you're updated on the most important developments in Asia's marketing development – for free.

subscribe now open in new window