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The best idea wins

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Adnan Azeem has been with Grab since leaving college. Now as a senior software engineer he relishes Grab’s approach to solving issues which prioritises the right solution, not the one from the Grabber with the most experience.

I’m not quite sure what I was expecting when I joined Grab, but it wasn’t this! In a good way, of course. Grab is my first professional experience and it was a daunting feeling going from university into the workplace, because you are new and you probably think you know nothing.

I was wrong.

And the reason is fairly straightforward. At Grab we don’t look for the best idea from the most experienced team member – it’s just about the best idea. Period. It doesn’t matter where that idea comes from. When we’re swarming around an issue, everyone’s voice is equal. That was a real eye-opener for me.

I also expected the work to be so intense that there’d be little time to do anything else. I had visions of endless nights, litres of coffee, and sleeping in the office.

Yeah. Wrong again.

We work hard, but it’s not endless. I get plenty of ‘me time’, whether that’s time off to pursue further education or enough space to indulge in hobbies or socialising – there’s just a really nice balance. For example, I’ve played badminton most of my life, I love it, and I’ve managed to find the time to improve my game. That’s not just about having physical space, it’s as much about having the mental bandwidth.

Being able to switch off from work is so important and it helps not only in your personal life but in your work life as well. Stepping away lets you come back with a clearer view and enables you to approach the problem in a new way. That’s been an amazing learning for me.

I don’t know where my career will take me. Who does? You can plan and plan but you have to be open to opportunities. So I expect there’ll be a lot of zigging and zagging as my career progresses. At the moment I can’t see that being anywhere other than Grab. There’s just an amazing feeling in here. It’s partly down to what we’re doing, that we have the ability to positively impact so many people’s lives. It’s partly down to my team who is so supportive and encouraging of each other all the time. And it’s partly down to Grab’s personality, the sense that there are opportunities to be taken everywhere. In work, in life and yes, even in badminton!

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Written by Adnan Azeem

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