Grab cuts 5% of staff across Southeast Asia


Singapore-founded and headquartered ride-hailing, delivery and e-commerce company Grab is embarking on a cost-savings programme and will lay off five per cent of its staff company-wide, which translates into around 360 people.

The retrenchments will take place in all markets in Southeast Asia where Grab is active – in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines in more than 500 cities and towns in the region.

The company’s CEO Anthony Tan said on June 16 that the necessity to cut expenses and “refresh” business plans and targets came as Grab is dealing with an economic downturn in the region and slow recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Tan noted that the disease has had a “broad impact” on businesses and the economy, and Grab now had to take step to “adjust to the challenges.”

“Since February, we have seen the stark impact of Covid-19 on businesses globally, ours included. At the same time, it has become clear that the pandemic will likely result in a prolonged recession and we have to prepare for what may be a long recovery period,” Tan said in a note to employees.

Delivery segment getting more important

He, however, added that the layoffs will happen in company segments other than the delivery arm to which more staff will be allocated. In turn, the company plans to eliminate some non-core projects and “consolidate functions.”

Grab, backed by investors such as Softbank, Honda, Toyota, Microsoft and SK Holding, is Southeast Asia’s most valuable startup last valued at $14 billion and the largest ride-hailing firm in the region. The value accumulated as Grab in the past years expanded beyond ride-hailing into food delivery and other services such as mobile payment, ticket and hotel booking, online entertainment, insurance and corporate e-commerce services. But demand for ride-hailing services and most other non-core offerings collapsed this year as countries around the world went into lockdown.

Back in April, Tan said that Covid-19 presented the “single biggest crisis” Grab had faced in the eight years since its founding. He warned at the time that the startup would have to make “tough decisions” about cutting costs and managing capital.

However, the now announced staff cuts would be “the last organisation-wide layoff this year,“ Tan said.

Singapore-founded and headquartered ride-hailing, delivery and e-commerce company Grab is embarking on a cost-savings programme and will lay off five per cent of its staff company-wide, which translates into around 360 people. The retrenchments will take place in all markets in Southeast Asia where Grab is active – in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines in more than 500 cities and towns in the region. The company's CEO Anthony Tan said on June 16 that the necessity to cut expenses and “refresh” business plans and targets came as Grab is dealing with an economic downturn in...


Singapore-founded and headquartered ride-hailing, delivery and e-commerce company Grab is embarking on a cost-savings programme and will lay off five per cent of its staff company-wide, which translates into around 360 people.

The retrenchments will take place in all markets in Southeast Asia where Grab is active – in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines in more than 500 cities and towns in the region.

The company’s CEO Anthony Tan said on June 16 that the necessity to cut expenses and “refresh” business plans and targets came as Grab is dealing with an economic downturn in the region and slow recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Tan noted that the disease has had a “broad impact” on businesses and the economy, and Grab now had to take step to “adjust to the challenges.”

“Since February, we have seen the stark impact of Covid-19 on businesses globally, ours included. At the same time, it has become clear that the pandemic will likely result in a prolonged recession and we have to prepare for what may be a long recovery period,” Tan said in a note to employees.

Delivery segment getting more important

He, however, added that the layoffs will happen in company segments other than the delivery arm to which more staff will be allocated. In turn, the company plans to eliminate some non-core projects and “consolidate functions.”

Grab, backed by investors such as Softbank, Honda, Toyota, Microsoft and SK Holding, is Southeast Asia’s most valuable startup last valued at $14 billion and the largest ride-hailing firm in the region. The value accumulated as Grab in the past years expanded beyond ride-hailing into food delivery and other services such as mobile payment, ticket and hotel booking, online entertainment, insurance and corporate e-commerce services. But demand for ride-hailing services and most other non-core offerings collapsed this year as countries around the world went into lockdown.

Back in April, Tan said that Covid-19 presented the “single biggest crisis” Grab had faced in the eight years since its founding. He warned at the time that the startup would have to make “tough decisions” about cutting costs and managing capital.

However, the now announced staff cuts would be “the last organisation-wide layoff this year,“ Tan said.

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