Back in business school where we met, we both took a class called Business at the Base of the Pyramid (BBOP) and were greatly inspired by the story of Lapdesk
, a for-profit social enterprise (FOPSE) dedicated to eradicating the shortage of classroom desks at public schools.
This case study and BBOP made us realise that businesses can create double bottom lines—i.e. deliver profits and social impact at the same time—and sparked a dream of building a company that would be a force for good for Southeast Asia, the place we call home.
We started off as a ride-hailing company, helping drivers earn a livelihood, only to open our eyes and see the millions of everyday entrepreneurs: the tuk tuk driver in Phnom Penh, the wet market fishmonger, the Chinatown chicken rice seller we’ve known for the past 20 years.
With more than 70 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in SEA, employing over 140 million people and accounting for 99% of all businesses in the region, everyday entrepreneurs are the bedrock of our economy and the reason Grab expanded its services to become the superapp to millions of such entrepreneurs.