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An Interview with a Grab Inventor - Raghav Garg

GPO Inventor

At Grab, our deep understanding of the Southeast Asia landscape has helped us evolve into the region’s leading superapp, designed to empower everyday entrepreneurs while continuously innovating to provide our users with delightful experiences. In our series ‘An Interview with a Grab Inventor’, we shine a light on our Grabbers pursuing innovations driven by their passion. To foster the culture of innovation, inventors at Grab are rewarded for their creations and efforts contributing to our growth and expanding patent portfolio.

In this fifth chapter, we chat with Raghav Garg, Senior Analytics Manager and one of the prolific inventors at Grab.

Raghav, can you tell us about your role as a Senior Analytics Manager at Grab and what it entails?

As the Senior Analytics Manager at Grab, I lead the analytics for Payments at Grab Financial Group, overseeing the consumer payment experience and platform capabilities. My primary goal is to leverage data and work with cross-functional teams to ensure seamless payment experience for our consumers, and offer a diverse set of preferred payment options. An important part of my role is closely collaborating with cross-functional teams to align our data-driven initiatives with Grab's overall business objectives, which is crucial for the success of our payment strategy. This role demands a multifaceted skill set, combining technical expertise, leadership acumen, and strategic thinking. It is through this blend of skills that I contribute significantly to Grab's objectives, fostering innovation and excellence in the ever-evolving landscape of financial technology.

As an Analytics Manager, how have your innovations contributed to enhancing Grab's services and user experience?

My role as an Analytics Manager at Grab revolves around driving innovations that create a positive impact on our users' experiences, making it seamless for them to engage with and leverage Grab's services. One notable innovation in this regard is a cutting-edge Large Language Model (LLM) based content personalisation and generation tool. This patent-pending innovation utilises LLMs to tailor content based on user personas, channels, and provide personalised content at lightning fast speed and makes the whole content generation process highly efficient. Combining this model with Grab’s rich data would not only boost user engagement, but would also position Grab at the forefront of providing a highly personalised and enjoyable user experience.

Additionally, our team worked on an idea where consumers can place an order from multiple nearby merchants in one single order. This is built by leveraging machine learning models and understanding merchant preparation time, drivers arrival and in-transit times. This innovative approach provides consumers with more choices in a single order, but also allows drivers to increase their earnings and benefits merchants by generating more orders. From a marketplace perspective, it was a win-win solution that enhanced the overall Grab experience for users, drivers, and merchants.

These examples show our commitment to continuously enhance user engagement and satisfaction. These innovations greatly and positively impact the Grab ecosystem, making for a more enjoyable and user-centred journey.

Grab has a strong culture of innovation. As a people manager, how do you foster this culture within your team and encourage them to continuously innovate?

Nurturing a culture of innovation is amongst my top priority as a people manager. I strongly believe in empowering my team to freely explore unique solutions and take ownership of their own ideas and initiatives.

With a background in leading data teams, I strongly encourage my team to question the status quo and tackle problems with a fresh perspective. Recognising the diverse skill set within the team, I promote collaboration among members with different backgrounds and expertise. Furthermore, I actively encourage team members to participate in Grab’s hackathon. This not only fosters cross-functional collaboration but also exposes them to a diverse range of innovative ideas. Through these efforts, I aim to cultivate an environment that consistently supports and celebrates innovation.

You've been noted for your increased innovative activity, especially in 2023. What motivated this surge?

In 2023, there was an immense surge of innovative activity that was fuelled by the ever-changing tech landscape. Our teams were constantly driven to explore new ideas and push beyond conventional boundaries. Thanks to the significant advancements in Large Language Models (LLMs), we were presented with a thrilling opportunity to broaden our horizons and rethink our approaches and ways of working. However, one of the factors behind this recent surge of innovation was undoubtedly the unwavering support of the Grab Patent Office. By fostering a culture of innovation, they not only provided valuable resources, but also gave us the necessary support and guidance to turn our ideas into concrete solutions. 

Not only an active inventor, you are also one of the patent review board members at Grab. How do you juggle between these two roles? 

As an inventor, my role and focus is anchored in actively contributing novel insights and ideas that positively impact our consumers, while simultaneously making a meaningful addition to Grab's valuable portfolio of intellectual property. Simultaneously, serving on the patent review board adds another layer to my responsibilities. Here, my focus extends to the critical evaluation of idea submissions, delving into factors such as novelty, infringement likelihood, innovation strength, and the potential impact on both business and consumers.

For me, the synergy between these roles provides a comprehensive view of Grab's innovation journey. It enables me to contribute actively to the innovation ecosystem and also provides avenues for continuous learning and collaboration with other innovators at Grab. So while juggling between these roles, it further enhances my ability to contribute to the company's innovation efforts.

For future aspiring analysts, what are the three most important factors to stay innovative in this tech world?

In my opinion, the following factors have been crucial for driving continuous innovation: 

  • Maintaining a sense of curiosity and constantly pursuing learning opportunities. This involves being open to new technologies, methodologies, and industry developments in order to stay ahead of the game.
  • Encouraging collaboration and facilitating communication between different teams and functions. Innovation flourishes when diverse perspectives come together.  
  • Placing a focus on making a significant impact. It is important to prioritise projects and ideas that will have a meaningful and positive effect. It is also crucial to consider the potential consequences of our innovations on consumers, in order to drive purposeful and sustainable progress.

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