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Following is the full the transcript of an exclusive CNBC interview with Anthony Tan, CEO and Co-founder, Grab, after they have made a significant announcement about Grab Ventures today.
The Interviewed by CNBC’s Dan Murphy.
Dan Murphy: Let's bring in our next guest. Joining us exclusively here on CNBC, is Anthony Tan, the CEO and co-founder of Grab. Anthony, welcome back to CNBC.
Anthony Tan: Thank you so much for having me.
Anthony: Grab Ventures is our super innovation arm. It's really about investing into the next generation of tech leaders. So one is- Why would they think about choosing us? A few reasons. One, we have over a hundred million installed base across Southeast Asia. We are in 217 cities in eight countries, tremendous reach that we can offer other startups. We have the largest land fleet, over three million drivers, close to three million agents on the ground. So just that kind of supply network that we can support startups that work with us. Third, is we have payment licenses and the e-payments wallet in many countries across the region. Again working with us, you already have a mobile payments wallet platform that you can leverage upon. Now, we've been very blessed to have many startups approach us. So how are we going to choose which startup that we're going to pick? We can only pick say eight to 10 over the next year. A few key criteria- One, are they at a growth stage startup? Or are they too early or too late? We feel a startup that is, whether based in Singapore or Thailand or Indonesia or wherever it may be, but they want to go regional. That, we can add a lot of value.
A: Actually, our balance sheet is behind it. And as you know, we've been very blessed with a sizable balance sheet, so that balance sheet is behind our venture portfolio companies. Some could be wholly owned, some we take a minority position but we help them grow up to serve our customers. So our balance sheet is behind it.
A: We don't focus ourselves on internally. We focus on what is right for the customer. And what is right for the customer is hey, think about your life- You need to go in the morning to work, we are there for you. At lunch, you don't want to go through the traffic? Hey, I’m going to book my meal through GrabFood. In the evening, I’m in no rush to get back, I’m going to jump in GrabShuttle. During the day, you want to buy your coffee, you can use GrabPay. So we want to be that everyday app that serves you. So in fact, we are very focused and that focus is on the customer and how do we serve that customer extremely well.
A: We work with every country's governments, whether it is Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines. It's about working hand in hand and how to solve- all they care about is a few things. One, do we share the same agenda? A lot of governments what do they care about? They care about creating lots of jobs or lots of income opportunities. That's something that Grab is very good at. Today, we've created over 6 million income opportunities. Now, we are going to grow from 6 million to 20 million, 20 million to 50 million. Our goal with Grab Ventures portfolio companies is how do you together, as one ecosystem, reach a hundred million micro-entrepreneurs and enable them to bring them to a new economic reality. That's what governments care about.
A: How I see it is, one, focus on the customer, work with the government. Two, on competition, I think today it is a very competitive environment. We see many competitors entering the markets or many say they will enter, many have entered and the competition will continue to intensify. So for us we don't focus on the competition, we focus on the customer.
A: Grab is very clear. We are battle tested. We have fought much bigger competitors versus Easy Taxi, Rocket Internet when they were bigger than us. We fought Uber, tooth and nail. They were much bigger and are still bigger than us globally. We have shown every time we can rise above the challenge. Now, we believe competition makes us stronger and a great verse that I’ve learned, iron sharpens iron, how do we get stronger? Number two is we think about, in Indonesia for example, yes, we came in later, we admit it. But even though we came in later, if you look at the data, when you look at the number of transactions, you look at revenue, you look at bookings, you look at drivers, we are the number one ride hailing company in Indonesia, even by coming in later. Let's talk about the wider region. Southeast Asia is tremendously complex. Operating one country is one thing. People can say they want to be regional, they want to go out. But you have to work with many governments, different ministries within each government, you have to work with multiple partners in each country, which are very different, different languages, different dialects. So the complexity goes exponential. We have proven that we can execute successfully in every one of these markets.
A: Very simple. In ten years, five years, three years, hopefully even shorter, you would say Grab has enabled a hundred million micro-businesses across Southeast Asia. Grab, with its portfolio of companies and its ecosystem, has alleviated poverty, has brought a new economic reality to Southeast Asia.
D: Anthony, we really appreciate you joining us today here on CNBC, thank you so much again.
Source : CNBC Interview