Monday, March 28, 2022

Grabbing the opportunity to #BreakTheBias: How Grab helps female-led businesses grow and make their mark

MANILA, PHILIPPINES, MARCH 28, 2022 – Carrying the theme #BreakTheBias, this year’s International Women’s Month encourages everyone to not only envision a world, but actively strive towards equal opportunities and fair treatment to all, including women. Everyday superapp Grab, with its suite of services being supported by its vast community of partners, is one in this challenge.

Recognizing the importance of International Women’s Month and the various roles women play and can achieve in, Grab remains committed to upholding equality among their merchant-partners, ensuring that they are consistently provided with the proper tools and resources that would support and empower them.

Cloud kitchen CloudEats, Thai food service Thai Mango, and Filipino food fave Ate Rica’s Bacsilog are just a few women-led businesses that have had their own success stories with Grab.

Uncovering the potentials of tech

Being an online platform, Grab has long been committed to championing digitalization and reaping its many benefits. This means that apart from providing merchant-partners with a suite of tools like GrabAds (which enables merchants to work with self-serve ads to boost their presence) and GrabMerchant (which lets them view their analytics), they are also assisted right from the very beginning.

The importance of going digital is something that CloudEats’ Co-Founder and CEO Kimberly Yao was able to discover from the get-go, following the difficult experience of having to close down restaurants in the past. After venturing into tech with her liquor delivery service, Boozy, she realized that shifting to online was her next step – something that Grab was able to help with.

It was very clear to me that technology was the main thing that could scale and evolve a traditional business, and so our entire vision when we started CloudEats was really on how to digitize a very traditional industry like food service,” says Yao.

True to this realization, joining Grab was a vital part of CloudEats’ growth. With the super app now housing a range of CloudEats brands such as Seoulmates by Alyssa and Kiefer and Chef Carlo’s Country Chicken, Yao is more empowered to push on in her journey, especially as a woman in the industry.

“Having the chance to build and run a business as a woman gives me a lot of strength and confidence. While there are many challenges of being in typically male-dominated industries - both F&B and venture-backed startups - I take this as a huge opportunity to celebrate women and our capabilities,” adds Yao.

A helping hand in difficult times

Yao is definitely not the only one who has been able to enjoy the benefits of working with Grab and the equal opportunities it offers. Ate Rica’s Bacsilog, founded by Rica Penalosa and whose beginnings go far back as 14 years as a food cart, shares this sentiment of Grab’s role in her business’ success, especially in the context of being hit with dwindled sales during the height of the pandemic.

It was during this crucial time that Penalosa sought other options, seizing the opportunity of shifting online to give her, her business, and staff a second chance. By onboarding with Grab, she saw its positive effects, such as how it let her reconnect with their loyal audience – and expand to new ones, too. 

“Grab was one of the key players in our business that managed to keep the food business afloat. They provided a customer base that all our branches could take advantage of,” says Penalosa, adding in to say that if not for Grab, they would have been forced to permanently close down many of their stores. 

With the business having been able to bounce back through Grab’s help and support, Penalosa hopes that their story can also inspire other businesses who continue to struggle from the pandemic or are looking to start their own business altogether, believing that all stand a chance, especially with Grab.

“With the promotional material and the exposure Grab provides businesses, there’s no doubt in my mind that this could really spark something to aspiring entrepreneurs. Small and local businesses need that push and all the help they can get, and we are glad that Grab provides this opportunity, especially to young women entrepreneurs,” shares Penalosa.

Growing in the nurturing support of Grab

Grab’s commitment to supporting their merchant-partners in every way and form has also included constant proactive efforts to amplify their partners’ presence in their journey to grow their business.

Thai Mango’s Founder, Kim Baquiano, is a witness to this support and how hands-on Grab can be, with how the superapp has been with them every step of the way and continues to support each of their branches to this day.

“The management reached out and helped us boost our brand even when we were just small back then. They engaged and connected us with their media partners,” she says. Baquiano then goes on to add that from one branch, Thai Mango has since gone on to having five successful cloud kitchens through the help of Grab boosting their presence and expanding their audience.

And while aware of how there is “no smooth-sailing in this industry,” Baquiano feels assured of her connection with Grab.

“I feel that I am on the right path with the right business partner. Despite only being an amateur in the business, I believe our brand became more successful during the pandemic from being a GrabFood partner,” she says.

These days, besides maximizing the resources on the platform, all three women have also taken up the invitation to give back to their community through fair and equal opportunities. CloudEats, Thai Mango, and Ate Rica’s Bacsilog are one in championing equality, having avenues in place to ensure that everyone, regardless of gender and background, have a place with them as each continues to expand.

And as much as it empowers all three women to be their best and deliver the best service to customers, they hope it empowers and inspires more budding entrepreneurs to take the risk, blaze their own paths, and to do so with Grab.

“COVID-19 really brought people to their knees but saw many take that leap of faith to start their own businesses and are continuing to grow today. Now that Grab can be part of your journey, what’s stopping you to start?” shares Penalosa.

Thai Mango, Ate Rica’s Bacsilog, and CloudEats’ suite of merchants are on Grab, ready to serve quality dishes. Get to know theirs and many other women-led brands’ offerings on Grab today, and check out the platform’s website, Facebook and Instagram for updates on how you can take the leap with Grab as well.

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