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Grab and Samsung Sign MOU to Drive Digital Inclusion in Southeast Asia

Grab, the leading on-demand transportation and mobile payments platform in Southeast Asia, and Samsung Electronics, one of the world’s largest electronics companies, today announced that they have signed a multi-year MOU to drive digital inclusion in Southeast Asia. Grab and Samsung will work together on a wide range of initiatives to bring the benefits of technology, such as enhanced customer experiences and improved income opportunities, to millions of consumers and Grab driver-partners across Southeast Asia.

 

Grab is the market leader in ride-hailing in Southeast Asia, an industry that is one of the fastest growing Internet services sectors and expected to be a $25 billion market by 2022 in this region1. As part of the wide-ranging strategic collaboration, Grab and Samsung will develop customised solutions for the ride-hailing industry, including micro-financing schemes for Grab’s over 2.3 million driver-partners, improved customer booking and in-car experiences, and new mobility solutions. The two companies will also work together to expand into Southeast Asia’s fragmented mobile payments ecosystem and provide a mobile payments solution that will serve the needs of consumers in Southeast Asia.

 

Anthony Tan, Group CEO and Co-founder, Grab, said, “Southeast Asia is home to the world’s fastest growing emerging markets, yet many in the smaller towns and cities do not have easy access to the growing digital economy. Mobile technology can bridge the infrastructural divide and make economic growth more inclusive. Samsung is one of the world’s most innovative technology companies, and we’re thrilled to partner with them to empower more people in Southeast Asia to improve their livelihoods and provide more digital services for everyone on the Grab platform.”

 

Sangchul Lee, President and CEO, Samsung Electronics, Southeast Asia & Oceania, said, “Here at Samsung, developing meaningful innovations for the betterment of our consumers’ lives is always at the heart of what we do. We believe in the Internet of Things; the various benefits a more digitally connected world brings, and we are excited to be partnering Grab to provide consumers within the region an enhanced array of digital solutions for their everyday needs. Through this collaboration, we hope to explore how we can work together to tap into the massive growth opportunity of Southeast Asia’s digital economy.”

 

 

The strategic collaboration will be rolled out in phases across all countries in Southeast Asia that Grab operates in. In phase 1, Grab and Samsung are offering:

 

 

Micro-financing of Mobile Devices for Drivers

More than 2.3 million Grab driver-partners across Southeast Asia will have access to a micro-financing programme focused on giving them access to robust mobile technology, which will reduce the cost of purchasing a smartphone and also lower ongoing maintenance costs with superior software and security features. This is part of Grab’s Better 365 programme that provides more benefits and cost savings to drivers.

 

This initiative was piloted in Myanmar in Q4 2017, where only 30% of adults have access to formal financial services, and will soon be rolled out across the region. Currently, drivers in Myanmar who sign up with Grab can purchase and own high-quality Samsung devices and get a micro-loan from CB Bank, one of Myanmar’s largest banks and Grab’s local banking partner, to finance the device. In less than three months of the pilot, more than 1,400 drivers in Myanmar have benefitted from this programme.

 

 

Enhanced Customer Experience at GrabKiosks and GrabBooths

To make Grab’s services more accessible to commuters and customers in Southeast Asia, Grab will introduce more GrabKiosks and GrabBooths in busy consumer hubs such as shopping malls, hotels and airports. These feature Samsung devices with the Grab enterprise app pre-installed, allowing individuals and concierge services to book a Grab ride for themselves or others, even when they do not have data connectivity.

 

The Samsung devices are designed for robust everyday use in public spaces. The devices at GrabKiosks and GrabBooths in Indonesia and Myanmar have been installed with Samsung’s Knox enterprise mobile security software, ensuring the information security of Grab’s devices, reducing downtime and maintenance costs, enabling Grab to better serve its customers. This will be rolled out in Vietnam and Singapore in Q1, and other countries in Southeast Asia later in the year.

 

 

Infotainment Services in Selected Cars

Grab and its content partners will pilot in-car multimedia services in Singapore, installing Samsung tablets inside cars for customers to view infotainment content, if they choose to, during their ride. This will be piloted throughout Southeast Asia this year.

 

Grab operates the largest transportation network in Southeast Asia and is one of the most frequently used mobile platforms in the region with over 3.5 million daily rides. The Grab app has been downloaded onto over 77 million mobile devices, giving passengers access to the region’s largest land transportation fleet comprising over 2.3 million drivers. Grab offers private car, motorbike, taxi, and carpooling services across 8 countries and 168 cities in Southeast Asia.

 

 

About Grab

Grab is Southeast Asia’s leading on-demand transportation and mobile payments platform. Grab solves critical transportation challenges to make transport freedom a reality for 620 million people in Southeast Asia. Grab’s core product platform includes transport solutions for drivers and passengers with an emphasis on convenience, safety and reliability, as well as its proprietary mobile payments platform, GrabPay, which is increasing access to mobile payment solutions for millions of Grab riders and drivers across Southeast Asia and deepening financial inclusion in the region. Grab currently offers services in Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia. For more information, please visit: http://www.grab.com.

 

 

1Grab internal estimates

Samsung’s Technology Takes Center Stage at the Southeast Asia’s Largest B2B Facility

 

Samsung Electronics has launched its largest B2B center in Southeast Asia as a sign of the growth prospects in the region and as a means of showcasing the innovative solutions it has for business customers.

 

The Executive Briefing Center (EBC) and Samsung Ho Chi Minh City Research & Development Center (SHRD) are located at the Samsung Electronics HCMC CE Complex (SEHC) in Vietnam. Both facilities will contain cutting edge technology and harbor frontier thinking to ultimately boost the performance of enterprises.

 

With a footprint of over 500m2, the center contains 12 zones displaying a range of smart solutions, which customers will be able to explore. Among those solutions are the visionary circle for smart digital displays. Here, a huge video wall comprised of 250 displays form the world’s largest screen to demonstrate what users can expect from Samsung’s displays products.

 

Other key areas in the EBC include solutions for transport control rooms, fashion inventory management, automation and optimization solutions for the hospitality industry, and smart schools, offices, factories and homes.

 

 

Meanwhile, the SHRD research center will be comprised of laboratories adjacent to a manufacturing area. This strategic facility will give technical and quality support in a number of ways to ensure the company can continue to innovate and develop new products. Automation, QT testing, circuits, software, modelling and 3D scanning are all on the remit of the SHRD. And with Samsung expecting to invite government agencies, business partners and local media, the new facility will be a key destination for Samsung’s B2B presence in Southeast Asia.

 

No two regions are the same and for Southeast Asia, there are a set of drivers that are positioning Samsung’s B2B business for robust performance. Improved city infrastructure and investment in public services have helped to bring about a promising outlook for the B2B market in Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia. Also, the growth of businesses linked to tourism such as hotels provide additional avenues for smart signage, air conditioning systems and tablets.

 

Elsewhere in the region, in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, it’s the digitization of everyday services and processes that is opening doors for growing B2B prospects. Supermarkets and restaurants are examples of businesses that are becoming smarter and therefore using tablets for ordering and smart signage for merchandise signboards and menu boards.

 

The arrival of Samsung’s EBC comes at an opportune time for Southeast Asia. The market is growing and so is the opportunity for Samsung to partner with companies that have an appetite to become smarter and more sophisticated with their technology.

How Meeting Local Needs Has Made Samsung a Leader in the SE Asian Home Appliances Market

 

Do you know where the idea for the AddWash washing machine came from? You might be surprised to learn the product was originally developed specifically for consumers in Southeast Asia.

 

When analyzing Southeast Asian consumer needs regarding washing machines, Samsung Electronics learned that many individuals wanted a way to add an item after starting a cycle. Developed with consumer feedback and lifestyle habits in mind, AddWash was equipped with a small window on the main door that allows users to easily add a piece of forgotten laundry to the wash mid-cycle.

 

As a result, AddWash became a highly popular customized product. So much so that it even landed the ‘Design of the Year Award’ at the President’s Design Award in Singapore and also won the ‘Ergonomic Design Award’ at the Asian Conference on Ergonomics and Design. This shows how much Samsung is being loved among consumers as one of the most preferred home appliance brand in Southeast Asia.

 

 

Appliances Built to Satisfy the Tastes of Southeast Asia

Whether its eating habits in Thailand or entertainment preferences in the Philippines, Samsung Electronics believes that understanding local cultures and lifestyles is paramount to creating the best possible products and services. Here are a few examples of some additional Samsung products and technologies born from this principle:

 

 

Twin Cooling SystemTM: Samsung’s innovative Twin Cooling SystemTM technology was created based on the needs of consumers in select Southeast Asian countries, where many cuisines are defined by strong spices and pungent flavors.

 

In Vietnam specifically, many citizens enjoy putting ice in their beer. But because the cooling systems of conventional refrigerators often caused a mixing of odors, ice frequently tasted of other refrigerated items such as seafood.

 

With Samsung’s Twin Cooling SystemTM, which controls the refrigerator and freezer independently, food odors are isolated, ensuring that ice tastes like ice and not like fish. It also expanded freezer space to reflect the needs of users in Vietnam and India, thus improving customer satisfaction and increasing sales.

 

 

Wind-Free™ Air Conditioner: Samsung’s first ever Wind-Free™ wall-mounted air conditioner, which integrates Samsung’s exclusive Wind-Free™ Cooling technology into its design, enables a cooler indoor climate and energy efficiency without the discomfort of direct cold airflow. This innovative product was designed for consumers in Southeast Asia, where air conditioners are used throughout the entire year.

 

 

Microwave Oven: Similarly, Samsung created a microwave equipped with a unique local recipe function, specialized for the Malaysian market.

 

Efforts like these have enabled Samsung to secure its position as one of the most dominant brands in Southeast Asia. Furthermore, the company’s localized products have not only been well received in the markets in which they were optimized for, but have also attracted global attention.

 

 

Understanding Users’ Future Needs, Today

To determine specific regional needs to develop such products, Samsung has a total of seven Product Innovation Teams and two R&D Institutes across ten countries. At these facilities, the company’s Product Innovation Teams continuously conduct extensive research to understand how different people approach and use technology today.

 

 

The Lifestyle Research Lab, which is one of core functions of the Product Innovation Team, looks beyond product behavior to discover evolving needs and values surrounding the family, work and education, as well as other societal and cultural trends. Keeping the environment, culture and consumer lifestyles of each region in mind, the teams forecast future ways of living and define opportunities for innovation. The Product Innovation Teams then use these findings when creating prototypes to unearth insights and develop concepts for game-changing products and solutions. AddWash, for example, was developed entirely at the Lifestyle Research Lab in Singapore, from the initial concept planning stages all the way to the product development stages.

 

Ultimately, the teams’ research findings help to accommodate the ever-changing needs of users in various corners of the world.

 

In line with its commitment to deliver meaningful innovations that add real value to consumers’ everyday lives, Samsung will continue to develop products and solutions optimized for the needs of each region around the world.

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