Grab Indonesia central public affairs director Tirza Reinata Munusamy. (Photo Courtesy of Grab Indonesia)

Govt-Private Teamwork Makes Dream Work Amid Pandemic

BY :JAYANTY NADA SHOFA

MARCH 23, 2021

Jakarta. From bolstering small business digitalization to opening up vaccination centers, tech giant Grab has become the Indonesian government's strategic partner in Indonesia's path towards Covid-19 recovery.

Grab Indonesia's central public affairs director Tirza Reinata Munusamy sees neither the government nor the private sector can combat the pandemic alone.

"Each one of us has something to offer. It is best for all parties to collaborate amid this crisis," Tirza told the Jakarta Globe in a recent interview.

"Our main goal is to serve Indonesia, and this aligns with our GrabForGood mission. This is why there is a need for collaboration."

Grab Indonesia central public affairs director Tirza Reinata Munusamy (right). (Photo Courtesy of Grab Indonesia)‚Äč

According to Tirza, having a two-way communication is key in building ties with the government. She also considers the technique in fostering government relations is similar to how a company would approach a customer. Grab first has to identify the pain point, and later bring a solution to the table.

For instance, the government has been focusing on integrating the pandemic-crippled micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) into the digital realm.

"The pain point here is many MSMEs find it difficult to join a digital platform. Not all of them have the same digital literacy, especially those in smaller cities. This is why we developed the GrabMerchant app to enable them to go digital in just a day, as well as #TerusUsaha Akselerator [program] to provide comprehensive soft skills development," Tirza said.

She highlighted how Grab's support for MSME does not stop on digital onboarding. The super app company has rolled out intensive training programs to help their partner merchants boost sales.

During the interview, Tirza also named Indonesia's vast archipelago as a challenge. "Its vastness becomes a challenge, especially when we would like to expand our programs to other provinces and reach out more [people]."

Grab's Covid-19 vaccination drive-thru at Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center (BNDCC) in Badung, Bali. (Photo Courtesy of Grab Indonesia)

In addition, Grab's government-private partnership resulted in the opening of Southeast Asia's first drive-thru vaccination service in Bali. South Tangerang and West Java are also now home to Grab's 3-in-1 vaccination centers, which serve walk-in vaccinations, as well as drive-thrus for motorcycles and cars.

Tirza admitted that a few years ago, she would not have expected Grab to play a role in a national vaccine rollout one day.

"We are using our knowledge in operational excellence, as well as the experience in running transportation and delivery business, for an effective vaccination," she said.

Tirza also revealed Grab is currently discussing with the Health Ministry to replicate the vaccination center in other cities. "In the pipeline, [we will expand these centers] to Sumatra and Sulawesi."

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