From giving drivers English lessons to rewarding users with necklaces, this transportation matching technology company is all about building a community
Out of all the campaigns GrabTaxi Thailand runs for its drivers, its initiative to help them learn basic English is probably the strongest, says Buranit Moskwa, Country Head, GrabTaxi Thailand.
The transportation matching company’s Thailand-based entity has been organising regular classes for the drivers on its platform to improve their command over the English language.
These classes are held throughout the year and are open to all drivers. For logistical reasons, there is a cap on the number of students being admitted to each class.
“We’re trying to make sure we can get more drivers to come in,” Moskwa tells e27. “We can see that they have more courage to talk to foreigners,” she adds.
At the end of the day, drivers go home with an extra skillset, which will come in handy in a tourist-friendly country like Thailand.
But this is more than making sure that its drivers are equipped with the right skills to speak to potential customers; this is a way for GrabTaxi Thailand to show that it cares about their welfare.
Other initiatives for its drivers include GrabSchool (a programme to be held on this Saturday that will allow the children of GrabTaxi drivers to learn more about entrepreneurship and business) and GrabLife (a life insurance package for qualifying drivers). Moskwa declined to share details on how the company plans to choose drivers to be covered under GrabLife.
Often, drivers also come into the GrabTaxi office for parties, activities and lunches. There is also a 24X7 support hotline which drivers can call into, should they need help.
Moskwa says that according to a survey conduced by the company, 50 per cent of its drivers have seen an increase in their income and number of jobs per day, in addition to improved job security and pride in being a taxi driver.
But for many of these drivers, technology is still a hard nut to crack. This is something Moskwa and her team are working on, day by day, to ensure that the drivers know how to use the main app perfectly.
With a press conference held earlier today, GrabTaxi Thailand celebrated its second-year anniversary. To thank its users, or passengers to be more specific, the company is giving out two gold necklaces every hour on November 31 and December 1, says Moskwa.
“There is constantly something going on,” she adds, “for festivals, holidays… The majority of users can learn about our campaigns online.”
In the last six months, GrabTaxi claims to have doubled its driver community regionally — from 83,000 to 160,000 drivers today. It has over five million downloads globally and has operations in 28 cities. It is also no longer a “taxi-matching company”, as it also offers other services such as private car-sharing and motorbike services.
Want to hear more from Buranit Moskwa on what she thinks about startup culture and developing a community? She will be speaking at Echelon Thailand this November 26 – 27. Join us as we connect the Mekong region through Bangkok, Thailand in two action-packed days. Learn more about Echelon Thailand here.
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