Staff Reporters
Jun 17, 2021

Asia-Pacific Power List 2021: Cheryl Goh, Grab

Goh has pivoted a brand that depends on mobility to focus on emerging needs for healthcare workers and home delivery.

Asia-Pacific Power List 2021: Cheryl Goh, Grab
Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers

Cheryl Goh

Group VP, marketing and sustainability
Member since 2018

As a company that relies on people being out and about, Grab and its CMO Cheryl Goh have had to find new and innovative ways to keep the brand relevant to consumers through much of 2020. 

For example, in the beginning of the pandemic, healthcare professionals were shunned in public. So in less than 72 hours the company introduced GrabCare, which allowed volunteer drivers to opt-in to ferry healthcare professionals to and from healthcare facilities. Then, Grab expanded its instant grocery delivery service, GrabMart, from two to eight countries, helping business to connect with people to provide daily essentials.

At a time when its original ride-hailing business took a back seat—pardon the pun—Goh and her team have had to constantly find new ways to keep tweaking the brand’s purpose. For example, Grab acted to curb misinformation by making spaces within its app for governments to push out official information. In Malaysia, the firm helped distribute RM750 million into the hands of an estimated 15 million e-wallet and essentially doubled a government aid payment with vouchers usable for Grab services or at restaurants or shops nationwide. The company also allocated up to $20 million in cash from its GrabforGood fund to fully subsidise the cost of vaccines for eligible driver- and delivery-partners who were not covered by a national vaccination program. 

Even as all this was happening, Goh was also busy launching an assortment of campaigns to keep people talking about Grab. For instance, during Ramadan, she launched the multi-channel ‘Bisalah’ campaign in Indonesia to showcase how the superapp helps consumers navigate their daily lives. In Thailand, the ‘Free your hunger’ campaign showcased the variety of food that GrabFood offers and included brand ambassadors, a short film, game shows, promotions and special menu items. In Singapore, the GrabFood Bank campaign aimed to help food businesses get more familiar with the platform. 

A key focus for Goh through 2020 was GrabForGood, an initiative to drive digital and financial inclusion. The brand also created GrabAcademy, where her team of marketers worked with government and sector experts to create content and training programmes to teach merchants how to build compelling online businesses and develop better marketing skills. Grab also partnered with Nas Academy to train budding content creators to uncover and tell stories about its partners in the region. 

Over the past year, Grab has organised conversations on Clubhouse focused on women, exploring topics such as leadership, work-life balance and debunking myths. Goh says this has been a great opportunity to hear from colleagues from various countries and functions, and it has fostered a sense of community and shared inspiration amongst colleagues.

Cheryl Goh can be found on Twitter at @cherylgoh.

Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers


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