Grab to cut costs and freeze salaries, cites uncertain macroeconomic situation

Grab to cut costs and freeze salaries, cites uncertain macroeconomic situation
FILE PHOTO: A Grab logo is pictured at the Money 20/20 Asia Fintech Trade Show in Singapore Mar 21, 2019. REUTERS/Anshuman Daga

SINGAPORE: Grab, Southeast Asia’s biggest ride-hailing and food delivery firm, is rolling out cost-cutting measures to cope with an uncertain macroeconomic situation, the Singapore-based company’s chief executive told staff in a memo.

The measures include a freeze on most hirings, salary freezes for senior managers, and cuts in travel and expense budgets, according to the memo, whose contents were confirmed by a company spokesperson.

“None of these decisions were easy, but are meant to help us get leaner and fitter, as we accelerate even faster towards sustainable, profitable growth,” CEO Anthony Tan said in the memo, which was sent to the staff on Wednesday (Dec 14) and was viewed by Reuters. “More so than ever, all Grabbers need to adopt a frugal and prudent mindset as we prepare for 2023.”

Last month, Grab raised its 2022 revenue forecast, reported a narrower adjusted operating loss, and said its food and grocery delivery business broke even three quarters ahead of the company’s expectations.

Tan said in the memo that Southeast Asia has not, and will not, be spared from rising prices and interest rates, and the consequent effects on growth.

Grab’s new measures “will also help us avert knee-jerk reactions that may interrupt our plans down the road”, he said.

Decade-old Grab, a household name in eight Southeast Asian countries, has been trying to stem losses by focusing on higher-paying customers and lowering spending on incentives. Singapore-based Grab had about 8,800 staff at the end of 2021.

Source: Reuters/cm