Grab expands ops in Yangon with new app and partnerships

Image credit: Don Mammoser /

Ride-hailing platform Grab has announced its next phase of expansion in Myanmar with new investments in technology, driver care and local partnerships to improve the user experience and expand Grab’s ride-hailing service in Yangon.

Grab co-founder Hooi Ling Tan sadi that following the completion of a four-month beta trial, Grab is now fully operational in Yangon. Since the trial was launched, driver-partners have reported a 30% improvement in monthly income on average, and there are now more than 5,000 drivers on the Grab platform. All driver-partners now have access to banking and financial services through the company’s partnerships with CB Bank and Wave Money.

The next phase of expansion will build on feedback from the beta trial, to include a more user-friendly app, upskilling and improving the well-being of driver-partners, and creating more job opportunities for locals.

“We are investing in Myanmar for the long-term,” Tan said.

Grab’s newly localized driver and passenger apps are now in Zawgyi and Unicode fonts, enabling commuters using different mobile devices to enjoy the convenience of ride-hailing. The lack of language barrier also means that all licensed taxi drivers can use the Grab app with ease to serve passenger bookings, ensuring that no drivers are left behind.

Grab’s in-app messaging feature, GrabChat, will soon be upgraded to allow automatic translation of templated messages. Templated messages that are sent in Myanmar language will be instantly translated to English, depending on the recipient’s preferred language. With this feature, regional travelers are less likely to cancel their ride bookings due to language barriers, preventing loss of income for driver-partners.

The new app also features an emergency button for passengers to quickly dial the local police, in a single tap, without leaving the Grab app.

As ride-hailing usage increases, Grab also plans to set up a new 24/7 customer call center next month to address any concerns, feedback and questions from driver-partners and passengers who can tap on the “Contact Us” button within the app to reach the call center

For its network of more than 5,000 drivers, Grab has introduced a new Grab Driver Care program that focuses on increasing net incomes in a sustainable way, while helping them develop new skills. Grab will continue to work with business partners to offer special discounts that will reduce driver-partners’ operating costs.

Currently, driver-partners can get discounted mobile data plans from Telenor and are also entitled to free personal accident insurance coverage.

Selected driver-partners can also take a free four-hour English language course to enable them to better serve international travelers.

Other projects in Yangon include a strategic collaboration agreement with mapping provider Here Technologies to collect data from Grab driver apps to create a more accurate mapping database, as well as identify and regularly update suitable pick-up and drop-off points at various locations.

Grab and Junction Centre Group are bringing GrabVenue enterprise terminals to Yangon, as part of a pilot project to improve the shopper experience at Junction City.

These terminals, which will be available end-August, will enable concierges to make multiple Grab bookings on behalf of mall visitors, or provide visitors the freedom to book Grab rides without needing their own internet connection or smartphones.

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