Grab to launch three new ride-hailing services in Myanmar this year

The firm will introduce GrabShuttle, GrabCall, and Grab Web Booking

Photo:Shutterstock.com

Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing giant Grab has announced plans to introduce three new ride-hailing services in Myanmar this year after posting “substantial growth” in the local market in 2018, according to a company announcement.

Grab Myanmar acting country manager Alvin Loh revealed that the company will focus on expanding three new ride-hailing services in the capital Yangon this year. These services are GrabShuttle, a bus service that targets office workers and university students; GrabCall, which will offer bookings of taxi rides via call centre agents; and Grab Web Booking, which allows hotel guests and office workers to book rides through an online portal.

The introduction of the new ride-hailing services comes as the company claimed that it enjoyed a 300% growth in terms of daily rides last year, from a year earlier, but it did not divulge any numbers of the rides or it’s growing from a base of how many rides.

“We are still not at a level where many people in Yangon can use it on a regular basis,” Loh said at a meeting with local reporters.

Local competition

Loh expressed confidence that Grab will dominate the local market, saying new services and features will drive the company’s growth this year. However, it will not be a smooth ride for Grab in Myanmar, especially with the entry of Vietnam-based ride-hailing company FastGo, which targets two million users and 100,000 drivers within its first year of operations, according to a Myanmar Times report.

Aside from FastGo, Grab is also up against local ride-hailing startups Oway Ride, OK Taxi, and GetRide.

While Grab has become an established brand in Myanmar, it is having difficulties attracting more drivers because local players are now doing their part in growing their market share, according to U Aung Myint, operations head of the company behind OK Taxi.

OK Taxi currently does not collect commission from its drivers while GetRide also defers collecting a percentage of fares from its drivers until April. U Aung Myint admits Myanmar is not an easy market to compete in. A proof to that would be HelloCab, a local ride-hailing startup that shut down due to competitive pressure in 2018.

According to Grab’s Loh, the company will continue to innovate to improve the experiences of its drivers and passengers in Myanmar.

Editor: Ben Jiang