GrabTaxi: From Street-Hailing to E-Hailing

Singapore has one of the most inefficient taxi-to-passenger matching systems in Asia. Due to this, passengers could not get a ride during peak hours with long taxi waiting time. Booking through mobiles did not improve the situation as they focused only on one taxi network at a time. GrabTaxi, a mobile transport app from Malaysia, entered Singapore to provide a real solution. Challenges included an established incumbent and persuading passengers to move from street-hailing to e-hailing. Target audiences included passengers and taxi drivers alike and main regulator, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) of Singapore. A multipoint media strategy was rolled out to introduce and entrench in the minds of consumers and drivers the concept of e-hailing as a preferred mode while positioning early adopters as trendsetters. Partnering with well-known mobile devices and a mobile network distributor helped raise brand awareness through media activities. Within a year, GrabTaxi became a trailblazer and Singapore’s most popular, third-party taxi booking app. Evidence of success is the slew of competing apps that arose following their ability to change the Singaporean mindset. Through sustained positive coverage, GrabTaxi has transformed e-hailing from a novel concept to a commonplace state-of-mind for commuters, drivers, regulators and government agencies.