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The Recipe for Happiness

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Paul-Eric Licari trained as a chef in his early career. Since joining Grab he’s learned the importance of being able to prioritise what really matters, he tells us how he came to Grab and how his life has changed.

The Recipe for Happiness

I’ve lived in a lot of places over the years. I grew up in different countries across Europe, studied in France and spent time in Malaysia before landing in Singapore to start the next stage of my career with Grab. So I’ve seen a lot of different cultures and ways that businesses operate, but I’ve never experienced anywhere quite like Grab.  

I wasn’t really aware of Grab before I lived in Malaysia, but once I got there, well you just couldn’t avoid it - I saw a sea of green everywhere - and the more I got to know about it, the more Grab intrigued me. When my family had the opportunity to move to Singapore, I jumped at the chance and knew just where I was heading to try to get a job.

It didn’t disappoint me.

Grab’s like a rocket ship – it’s on an unstoppable growthpath and it carries with it such tremendous impact for the region. Normally, when you think of a tech company that’s on that sort of trajectory you think there’s not going to be time for anything else. You wonder if your home life will suffer, your sleep will suffer – even your diet will suffer! That’s simply not the case with Grab. Yes, we work very hard but we don’t work blindly, we know what we need to do so there’s flexibility in getting the work done and having time for other important aspects of your life too.

I trained as a chef and so I understand the importance of balance in everything you do. When you’re creating something in the kitchen everything needs to be in perfect harmony, a little too much salt and that’s all you’ll taste, too high a temperature and your ganache is falling through. It’s the very same when it comes to your life within and beyond work – and Grab just instinctively understands this.

So for me it’s very important that I get home by six to spend time with the kids, help with their dinner – maybe even inspire them with the creativity of cooking. That’s sacrosanct. And that works for Grab, because I know when and how to work best. Of course, it helps having a brilliant, like-minded team around you where everyone understands their role and is willing to pitch in to help you if need be. But that’s the same for every aspect of life, whether it be a brigade in the kitchen, your family or friends, it’s all about finding the balance and making it work.

So I’m fortunate to have found somewhere to work that not only aligns with my own personal view of the importance of life beyond the business but actually goes beyond it. Somewhere that understands that time is precious and that really life is too short to be spending all of it doing just one thing.

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