A Live Interview with GRAB CEO: Laying Hold Of Your Faith In Business
Grab CEO, Anthony Tan shares Laying Hold Of Your Faith In Business
Watch this interview video of the dynamic Grab Founder and CEO, Anthony Tan, shares passionately about his faith journey through his business – why he is doing what he is doing; what God is doing in and through his life and Grab; what is his divine calling and how the business is a part of that.
Anthony Tan – At the age of six, when kids said that they wanted to be doctors or firemen, Anthony Tan, Founder and Group CEO, Grab, said he wanted to be a businessman. Born into the family that ran the successful business of Tan Chong Motors in Malaysia, he could have simply joined the family business. Yet, the stories – how his grandfather started from a humble beginning to be the tycoon of the auto industry in Malaysia – egged Anthony to start something of his own; not just for the heck of it, but something that can make a social impact.
His first venture was when he was 11 years old and started trading comics with his friends, which he made some decent money out of.
His second big milestone was at the age of 14, when he volunteered to raise money for AIDS Foundation. “I think, that was a very critical lesson in understanding socio-organisations. You spend half the money and not more, impacting those you care about. Then you stop as you don’t have enough cash. That taught me how to self-sustain in the long-run.”
After graduating from Harvard Business School, he went on to gain valuable experience at Lazard Freres (Analyst), Renault Paris (Strategy Marketing) and Tan Chong Group (Head of Marketing & Head of Group Supply Chain), which he now uses in the expansion, marketing and product development plans for GrabTaxi in the region. His greatest satisfaction is seeing GrabTaxi change the daily lives of GrabTaxi’s customers and taxi drivers throughout the region. “Our drivers make 30-300 percent more every day. In the beginning, we had to convince them so hard to buy a US$30 smartphone. At our first trial, they didn’t even know how to switch it on. Now the same people are Skyping, Whatsapping, and doing so much more. Initially, we gave them microfinance, trained them on the tech, and now they fly with it”.
The other thing that thrills him is that the big majority of GrabTaxi riders every day are women. “We wanted our women to feel safe. I can put my girlfriend, mom, sister in the taxi and know they will reach the destination safely. This was very important to me right from the start.”
His advice to other entrepreneurs is that while raising funding for a startup is not fun, it is very doable. “I am less sharp than some of my sharpest teammates. But if you love others, love yourself and love what you are fighting for, that is something nobody can take from you. That is something that will see you through”.
How did Anthony Tan and Grab achieve so much in such a short span of time?
Simply put, Anthony understood his life’s mission, which was to make a social impact by empowering the lives of taxi drivers, and was bold enough to walk in his divine destiny. He was able to grab hold of the Father’s blessings through the Abrahamic covenant. He credits God for 99.99 per cent of his success. “That’s it, I’m just point 0.01. My contribution is merely being a part of the right family, right schools, right partners, right PR agency, the right media, and above all, being at the right place at the right time,” the CEO says philosophically.
Anthony also had godly counsel along the way. When faced with sabotage by his business enemies, his first reaction was to retaliate. But his mentor, Andy Mills (former CEO at Thomson Financial and a fellow Harvard alumni where both met at a Christian Fellowship) advised restraint, asking, “If Jesus was to run GrabTaxi, how will he deal with this?” The question struck Anthony like a thunderbolt. The other things that Mills told him was, “Five to six years down, when you return to Harvard to give a lecture in front of 90 eager students, and when they ask, ‘How did you build Grab?’, you got to be sure how you build it up. If you are doing something that you cannot tell those students, don’t do it.”
What do your success and divine destiny look like to you?
Perhaps you may be struggling with the spiritual strongholds that are holding you back in your career or business success, do you know what are those? Here is an upcoming workshop to help you discover and uncover those strongholds and learn how to overcome them and walk in your divine destiny with Godly victories and success. You can Break Free! (Learn more)