Digital skills development is one of the main challenges facing Southeast Asia. It’s a concern for Grab, Southeast Asian self-labelled ‘super app’, leading it to initiate a social impact program to empower people in the region to gain access to technology, digital services, and upskilling.
Anthony Tan, the Group CEO and co-founder Grab, on Tuesday announced the ‘Grab for Good’ program in partnership with Microsoft Corp, who is also an investor in Grab since 2018.
“Southeast Asia is poised to become the world’s fourth largest economy by 2030, yet the hard truth is that not everyone has equal access to opportunity and equal chances to succeed with the region’s growth,” said Tan at the conference.
Tan explained Grab’s collaboration with Microsoft Corp will include supporting technical talent among young people in universities across Southeast Asia, to ensure they are ready to join the workforce. It will also include empowering driver partners and their families to thrive in the digital economy through the development of digital skills, and lastly, by creating a pathway for driver partners to pursue tech-enabled careers.
With these ways, Grab expects some goals to be achieved by 2025, including helping over 5 million traditional businesses, and small merchants digitize their workflows and processes, and training 20,000 students through its tech talent initiatives.
At the event, Grab also released its social impact report 2018-2019, in which it claims it has contributed USD 5.8 billion to Southeast Asia’s economy in between March 2018 and 2019. The number is derived from the actual income data from drivers and merchants on the Grab platform, including a revenue estimation from a study by Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and Tenggara Strategics.
Besides empowering the digital talent and upskilling its drivers and partners, Grab also initiated a regional “Break the Silence” campaign that enables the deaf and hearing-impaired to better participate in the digital economy through Grab’s system. Grab says it has over 500 deaf driver-partners on the platform and plans to double the number over the course of the coming year.