By Mei Kuan
Part of its recently-launched Local Heroes initiative, Grab celebrated small and independent businesses on its platform to shed light on what inspired them to keep their businesses going, the impact the pandemic has had on them, as well as what makes them proud to serve Malaysians.
Featuring selected personal stories from among its merchants of a wide range of businesses, one of the inspiring local heroes was Soo Cheong Heng Enterprise located along Jalan Bandar Timah in Ipoh.“Soo Cheong Heng Enterprise was started in 1980. The business had humble beginnings, starting by selling at a stall in a market and mostly focusing on dried seafood such as anchovies, salted fish, shrimp, etc. In 2010, the business moved to a shop lot located at Jalan Bijih Timah. Now that the movement control period is easing and the economy is beginning to slowly recover, we’ve actually diversified our product offerings to include items such as soup packages, flower tea sets, food grocery and more,” explained Soo Cheong Heng who runs the place together with his wife, Chin Nyuk Jen and two daughters, Soo Cui Xin and Soo Cui Min.
Offering over 80 types of Chinese herbs among others, the family-owned business is the epitome of the most traditional businesses in urban and rural Malaysia that have been most affected by the pandemic.
“One of the benefits of being on GrabMart is that it’s a great platform to promote your business— it can definitely help you reach more customers out there, but whether this translates into sales really depends on the service and product quality a business provides,” he shared.
Soo Cheong Heng Enterprise is located at 4, Jalan Bandar Timah, 30000 Ipoh. Operating from Tuesday to Sunday beginning 8.30am till 4.30pm, it can be reached at 05-2535163.
As the core of the initiative, Grab offered RM2.5 million in advertising space helping up to 500 small and independent businesses to increase their visibility on the platform, thus boosting their business. Other efforts included sponsoring the cost incurred to produce personalised ads.
“We take pride in celebrating the variety of local and independent businesses that make us proudly Malaysian. They have shown their strive and dedication in the face of adversity and we want to do our part by rallying Malaysians to come together and make a real impact in the lives of our local heroes. As smaller businesses may struggle to get the visibility they need to sustain, we decided to use the reach of our platform to let these businesses shine. These merchants were chosen based on data of their earnings via Grab during the movement control period. By doing so, we hope to help drive up their demand and expand their reach to millions of Grab users,” explained Hassan Alsagoff, Country Marketing Head of Grab Malaysia.
The different merchants cut across GrabFood, GrabMart and GrabPay and showcased Malaysia’s diverse and thriving local business scene, ranging from hawkers, neighbourhood cafes, fishmongers to spice sellers among others. The highly-successful initiative enabled Local Heroes’ merchants to see up to a 43% increase in sales in less than two weeks after its launch.
“Through these initiatives, we hope that we can get Malaysia one step closer to economic recovery while helping those most in need to stay afloat. It’s now even more vital for all of us to work together to ensure that the entire nation gets through this,” Alsagoff expressed.
The homegrown app also partnered with the government to help stimulate the economy through its “Shop Malaysia Online” and “ePENJANA” initiatives.
To ensure the safety of partners, merchants and users across the platform, the platform has introduced contactless deliveries and “GrabProtect”, a comprehensive set of safety and hygiene tech features, partnerships, and strict safety policies to minimise risks of the spread of COVID-19 in the new normal.
Did I mention that a series of special edition gift cards with multiple designs is available in conjunction with Malaysia Day? Let’s all share the love and support the recovery of small businesses.