Grab Thailand hosts its first semi-annual conference called “GrabNEXT” that aims to drive the use of technology for sustainable economic and social development in Thailand. Hosted at The Athenee Hotel in Bangkok, the event was presided over by the Minister of Labour Suchart Chomklin, as a guest of honor to address “Better Life for Riders.”
Esteemed thought leaders including Dr. Sak Segkhoonthod, Senior Advisor (Digital Transformation) of the Electronic Transactions Development Agency, Nattaporn Jatusripitak, Chairman of ThailandFuture, and Dr. Kanchana Wanichkorn, Vice President of Office of National Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation Policy Council, also shared their perspectives on propelling Thailand towards digital economy leadership during the panel discussion titled “The role of technology in the sustainable economy,” focusing on the Future of Work, Digital Inclusion, and Environmental Sustainability.
Worachat Luxkanalode, Executive Director of Grab Thailand, said “Today, technology has increasingly played an important role in our lives and deeply affected the global economy. As a leading platform with commitment in driving business growth alongside positive societal and environmental impacts through technology, under the GrabForGood mission, Grab is hosting the first semi-annual GrabNEXT conference that brings together thought leaders and experts in digital and technology to discuss opportunities and approaches for strengthening Thailand’s digital economy ecosystem and leadership.”
“The ‘GrabNEXT: Uplifting Thailand for the Better Lives’ conference focuses on three main topics, including the role of technology in the future of work, digital inclusion, and the use of technology for environmental sustainability. We hope that this event will be another key driver that inspires positive change in Thai society and promotes the importance of technology in uplifting the quality of life and creating opportunities for people.”
Suchart Chomklin, Minister of Labour, shared his views on driving Thailand’s digital economy, “The transformation towards Digital Thailand is part of the national agenda which focuses on utilizing a wide rage of advanced digital technology in enhancing infrastructure development, business process, people’s livelihoods and government operations in order to achieve economic and social stability. With the ever-evolving global changes, from the COVID-19 pandemic, the digitalization trend, the aging population, and environmental consciousness, the Ministry of Labour has, therefore, established the infrastructure for the modern and digital-ready workforce in which working patterns and occupations become more diverse.
We also launched programmes to equip workers in the manufacturing sector and informal workers with necessary skills in the new normal world. It is a great pleasure to see a private sector organization, such as Grab Thailand, playing a role in providing income opportunities from new types of jobs. We believe that this will be a key milestone in sustainably propelling Thailand forward.”
At the event, Grab Thailand showcased its overall plans and progress regarding the three main topics to establish Thailand’s leadership the digital economy as follows:
- Future of Work – The emergence of platform or application businesses, such as Grab, leads to a new way of work and new income opportunities. To support the modern workforce that is more flexible and independent, Grab offers equal opportunities for everyone to earn an income via its platform through various services such as ride-hailing and delivery services, regardless of gender, age, education, and even physical disability, enabling people with hearing disability, for example, to be its driver- and delivery-partners.
Grab also provides various benefits to support its partners through the GrabBenefits programme, which includes accident insurance, loans, and discounts from business partners. This year, Grab aims to promote the future workforce standard, which comprises five pillars: flexibility, diverse opportunities, education, insurance and financial services.
- Digital Inclusion – Promoting equal access to technology is one of the critical factors in uplifting livelihoods, which is part of Grab’s key mission. Grab has previously launched GrabAcademy to equip digital skills for driver-, delivery- and merchant-partners.
Additionally, to drive financial inclusion, Grab has developed and designed financial products that cater to specific needs of the underbanked, utilizing big data analytics and AI technology, including cash loans with daily repayment plan and smartphone/electrical appliance financing. This year, Grab will expand access to knowledge in the GrabAcademy programme among elderly driver-partners and continue offering loan services to wider groups of driver- and merchant-partners.
- Environmental Sustainability – Environment has now become one of the most prominent issues and seen as common responsibility across every sector. As a transport and delivery application provider, Grab has initiated multiple projects and activities to lower potential environmental impacts from business operations, namely an automatic opt-out plastic cutlery feature on GrabFood and a carbon-offset feature through which users can choose to make donations on every ride to contribute to reforestation projects.
Recently, Grab also announced its long-term goal to encourage the use of EVs, with an aim to have 10% of total driver-partners adopting EVs within 2026. Furthermore, Grab has also collaborated with financial institutions and EV manufacturers to develop the ‘EV loan for Grab driver-partners’ programme. This year, Grab will also be joining forces with the government and private sectors to promote a better understanding around EVs among driver- and delivery-partners.