PETALING JAYA: As the country accelerates towards greater digitalisation, Grab will be introducing the Grab Digital Small-Biz (GDS) programme aimed at helping small businesses adapt to the ‘new normal’.
This programme includes tools and initiatives that help offline businesses transition online, and help those already on the Grab platform expand their visibility and adapt their operations to an increasingly digital world.
In Malaysia, through the different initiatives to mitigate the impact of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic on businesses, gig workers and communities, Grab saw over 10,000 individuals joining the gig economy while it reported two times more merchants moving their businesses online.
“Covid-19 has accelerated change. Small business and micro-entrepreneurs who moved online saw a 25 per cent increase in online revenue through the Grab platform during this period.
“But as self-employed workers, whose earnings are variable and dependent on the health of the wider economy, many saw their income drop significantly.
“Flexibility of our platform allowed us to activate more than 100,000 drivers as delivery-partners to provide them with an alternative source of income across our food, mart and delivery services,” Grab Malaysia managing director Sean Goh, shared.
Between March and April 2020, Grab committed over US$40 million to partner relief efforts and rolled out over 100 initiatives regionally to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on our partners and communities.
In Malaysia, Grab rolled out 11 initiatives to support small businesses, driver- and delivery-partners, frontliners, as well as communities impacted by Covid-19.
Through initiatives to help traditional and offline businesses make the shift online, 133 traditional Ramadan bazaar vendors to an online platform, who were able to fulfill more than 66,000 orders through the Grab e-Kitchen Bazar Ramadan.
Grab also expanded GrabMart to five cities across Malaysia within three weeks to bring on board more types of businesses such as pharmacies, florists, grocery stores and others, to create more earning opportunities for delivery-partners.
“We have seen the adoption of online services grow exponentially, almost overnight. This is spurring innovation, but is also putting us at risk of widening the digital divide.
“Small and medium enterprises are the backbone of the Malaysian economy-comprising 98.5 per cent of all business establishments in Malaysia, but the vast majority of these businesses are offline.
“They will need to leverage technology or risk falling further behind. Through the GDS programme, we hope to help small businesses navigate this new normal.
“We will draw on our technology and reach, to find new ways of doing business that can inclusively support everyone,” added Goh.
The GDS programme aims to facilitate the digitalisation of small businesses – either by giving them a digital shopfront on the Grab platform or through e-payments integration. It also aims to address the needs of small businesses that are already on the Grab platform.
Grab also said it is committed to actively working with government agencies to ensure that traditional ecosystems are not left behind in this period of transformation and to help realise the vision behind the National Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana).