Building a successful business is not easy. Building one that thrives across multiple geographical locations, languages and cultures is even harder.
Yet it's a feat that Southeast Asian ride-hailing platform Grab has achieved in spades. In the six years since its launch, the technology company has grown rapidly across the region, expanding to 235 cities and acquiring Uber's local business.
Not bad for a start-up born out of a competition at Harvard Business School.
So, what's the secret to succeeding in a region of 11 countries and more than 650 million people? According to the company's chief technology officer, Theo Vassilakis, it comes down to this: "Always think hyperlocal."
"Every country is different," he said, speaking in Singapore at FUTR — a retail, marketing and commerce summit. "But if you approach each market with that in mind, you can do much better."
For Grab, that meant breaking the process down into three steps, Vassilakis said.