15th December 2021 - 5 min read
Many parts of our lives were impacted as a result of the pandemic. How we viewed our social life, work, relationships, health, and so on, saw a change while we adjusted our ways, abiding by newly enforced national health measures. Due to the Movement Control Order (MCO), people stayed at home to minimise the chances of spreading the virus so consequently, businesses that largely depended on in-store purchases were heavily affected.
Businesses of all sizes took their operations online in hopes of sustaining through the series of Covid-19 waves. Although the government has always envisioned a digital nation, the pandemic undoubtedly propelled digital transformation for many Malaysian businesses.
As an all-in-one app that offers anything from fresh produce to ride-hailing, Grab has become a platform that has helped catapult businesses to center-stage – increasing visibility to all kinds of consumers.
On top of that, Grab had increased their undertaking in the past year and a half to further assist small and medium-sized enterprises in their digital transformation journey as well as to help reach more consumers. This aligns with their vision of wanting to provide equal access and opportunity for MSMEs to sustain during this challenging period through their platform.
GrabMart, Grab’s on-demand everyday goods delivery service, as well as GrabPay, their very own e-wallet, expanded its reach beyond Klang Valley. Not only that, they also enhanced their operations so it’s easier for businesses to digitalise their business and embed themselves onto the Grab platform.
Grab also launched a number of initiatives to assist additional MSMEs like Pasar by GrabMart, Food Courts by GrabFood, and The GrabFood Small Business Programme. Pasar by GrabMart and Food Courts by GrabFood enable users to order either a multitude of hawker favourites or from different food court vendors with just a single delivery fee. On the other hand, The GrabFood Small Business Programme is a holistic approach that helps small businesses adapt to the growing demand for delivery services.
In an attempt to synergise for the greater good of businesses, Grab has also worked hand in hand with the government as well as state agencies’ resources in finding more impactful and innovative solutions. In doing so, Grab collaborated with Platform Selangor (formed by the Menteri Besar of Selangor Incorporate), [email protected] (formed by the Kementerian Pembangunan Luar Bandar), and Damansara Asset Sdn Bhd (Johor Corporation’s property services arm), as well as the recently launched Minggu Peniaga Kecil and Retail Digitalisation Initiative to help MSMEs take on digital transformation.
Following the onboarding of thousands of MSMEs onto the Grab platform, their access to millions of Grab consumers nationwide resulted in a steep increase in sales revenue, recording numbers in the ten thousands.
Grab also teamed up with MDEC for the 2020 Shop Malaysia Online (SMO) campaign, which was part of the government’s Short-Term Economic Recovery Plan. SMO was a highly effective endeavour in which numerous digital platforms, including Grab, collaborated to not only digitalise MSMEs, but also to encourage and drive consumers to support and spend money on them through co-funded marketing.
As a result, 8.2 million consumers shopped online, affecting 202,000 businesses, while the MSME Onboarding project assisted 33,000 new MSMEs in joining various eCommerce platforms – all in 2020.
As a business that took part in last year and the current SMO campaign, Desonny Tuzan, owner of Charlie’s Cafe and Bakery felt grateful to the government for their support. With an F&B restaurant facing the repercussions of health measures and dine-in restrictions, having his business participate in the national campaign greatly increased brand awareness and scale accordingly to serve customers from different areas.
“The far-reaching impact national campaigns such as SMO have on small locally owned businesses like ours is indescribable. It has not only increased our exposure, but helped us scale to serve consumers far and wide, which is something we could never imagine possible.”
– Desonny Tuzan, owner of Charlie’s Cafe and Bakery
Lim Cai Jin, co-founder of Handmade Heroes, a local beauty brand that was featured on Vogue’s YouTube channel, shared that although their sales took a hit from the pandemic due to the disruption to their supply chain, business performance has been promising.
“I really hope to see more similar government-led campaigns and partnerships with platforms as it does not just empower businesses who are already online, but also encourages traditional merchants to embrace eCommerce to grow their businesses,”
– Lim Cai Jin, co-founder of Handmade Heroes
Director of emerging fashion label The Lady’s Closet, Casslene Ng, was pleasantly surprised and happy with the reception the brand received from both new and returning customers.
“We thought they would be conservative with their spending due to the economic impact, but we are surprised. I suppose they are attracted to the SMO discounts, and since they are earning GrabRewards points, they can use it to redeem vouchers to shop more!”
– Casslene Ng, Director of The Lady’s Closet
Grab users are constantly enticed by the rising number of available merchants on Grab, along with its attractive discounts of up to 50% off on meals, groceries, beauty, and more. Not only are they spoiled for choice, but the platform also gives them the avenue to discover thousands of businesses that they otherwise would not have known.
Regardless of the fact that SMO is an example of what can be accomplished through a public-private partnership, Malaysia is still in the early phases of bringing MSMEs online, with just 36% of MSMEs participating in the platform economy. Grab looks to continue exploring collaborative works with the government to positively impact more businesses and consumers especially those in the non-urban regions.
To find out more about Grab’s SMO campaign which ends on 30 November 2021, click here.
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