Why Uber was good for Grab
Uber left the region about a year and a half ago it definitely left a void. Uber was great for for the market and the customers.
Uber, however, was good for Grab as well. Here’re a few reasons:
Drivers acted as evangelists
Drivers had the choice of working for either. The cost to switch was nearly 0. As a result drivers were eager to point out how Grab was better not only for the customers but for them as well.
Drivers were competing as well so service was better
Drivers were aware that they were also representing the platform and competition was fierce. So, they cared more about their service because they had the preferred platform. l
Uber would have helped navigate regulation
Uber is quite experienced in that. Grab managed to secure delays and concessions. I think there have been three notifications so far saying that there are fewer drivers. Uber has dealt with this longer and would have probably made the process more efficient.
Uber has a strong product team
And they are quite focused. That made everyone better partly because of the competition but partly because good ideas could be rapidly copied.
A concrete example is that Uber Pool works but GrabShare is dead.
Without Uber, I’ve noticed a few not so great things about Grab:
Service level is slipping
This is a catch-all that includes several things. The drivers on average seem less polite. The drivers seem less accomodating (eg. refusing to go into the apartment complexes). Often it takes a lot longer to get a ride. There’s a lot more cancellations and excuses. Getting a ride from the airport is still a hastle.
Getting more expensive
Obviously, less coupons, but also the loyalty programme has been gutted pretty badly. There’s no need for a loyalty programme if there’s no competitors.
Fine-tuning has stopped
Even though the transportation isn’t really solved they need to seek growth so they have decided to be the daily app. This means that they don’t need to focus on the transporation any more. They’ve the vast majority of the share, there’s no need to expand disproportionate effort to capture the remaining tiny part.
So then they’ve launched a hundred and one other services — none of which work if it’s raining though.
Competing is difficult, but it’s good for you.
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