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Getting Behind the Wheel: A Singaporean’s Journey from Grab Passenger to Driver

When working as an operations director for a marketing company, Grab was his go-to app whenever he had to meet clients around Singapore. Realising how frequently he used our ride-hailing service, Dennis Chua decided to make a career switch.

Read on to find out why.

$2,200 in 20 hours — Why Not?

In 2015, when Dennis Chua started his events management and brand marketing company, it required him to meet clients across Singapore. To offset his travel costs, the plucky entrepreneur decided to drive part-time with Grab, which helped him to cover car rental fees, and petrol and parking charges.
“I used to spend about $1,200 each month on transportation, [which included Grab rides]. Now, I spend the same amount, renting a car for $400 a week,” Dennis said.
By driving with Grab, he is able to earn a side income every month as well as own a car — something he would not otherwise be able to afford as a private car owner.
“I make about $2,200 a month, which covers all my transportation and fuel costs and gives me the ability to move freely about Singapore,” he adds.

Networking Made Easy

Driving with Grab not only offsets Dennis’ transportation costs and earns him some extra money, it also helps to open doors for his events and marketing business.
In just three months, Dennis managed to convert four passengers into potential customers. All it took was a car ride and conversation.
“When passengers ask if I drive full-time or part-time, I tell them about my job and pass them my name card. I was pleasantly surprised when I received my first call for a quotation from one of my Grab customers in my first month of driving,” he enthuses.
As a Singaporean, it is probably no surprise to hear that locals may not always be comfortable approaching potential customers on the streets. This was an issue that Dennis initially struggled with, especially in the fast-paced environment we live in. After all, how often have you brushed aside a financial consultant because you were rushing to make an appointment or meet your Grab driver?
By driving with Grab, however, Dennis is able to converse with complete strangers in a comfortable setting, allowing him to share more about his business with interested passengers.
“It provides the environment for me to have conversations with strangers about my company, which is not something I can simply approach someone on the street about,” he concurred.

Driving A Start-up Business

It’s not simply about widening his network, though. Being a Grab driver has also taught Dennis some valuable interpersonal lessons that have come in handy in his line of work in events and marketing.
“The almost-daily practice I get in learning to read people when driving with Grab has helped me respond appropriately during pitches so I don’t come off as too pushy or too indifferent when talking to clients,” he said.
For the successful start-up man, driving with Grab is a meaningful experience that has helped him to build strong communication and time-management skills — both important to his business and personal life.
“[Passengers] are usually surprised that I can juggle running a company, driving part-time, maintaining a relationship with my girlfriend and still have a social life. Becoming a GrabCar driver has benefited me,” he laughs.

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