Company: Grab

Title: Group Managing Director Of Operations


Residing Country: Singapore

Industry: Mobile, Ecommerce, Ride-hailing



Russell Cohen leads Grab’s country teams and operations across Southeast Asia. This includes business, safety and operational performance, as well as steering major corporate initiatives such as Grab’s acquisition of Uber's Southeast Asia business in 2018. 

Russell has 20 years leadership experience in the mobile, telecom and software industries. Prior to Grab, Russell was with SoftBank C&S in Tokyo as Board Director and Vice-President of Business Development & Corporate Strategy, leading new business, partnerships and M&A strategy. He joined SoftBank following the acquisition of Brightstar Corp., where he was Regional Managing Director of Asia, covering 9 markets across the region. Russell also established and ran the Greater China region for Brightstar from Hong Kong. Prior to Brightstar, Russell worked at Telstra Corp. in Australia. 

Russell holds a Master of IT from University of Melbourne and a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting & Finance) from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. 


The disruptive innovation.


COVID-19 saw more than 149,000 drivers, including new joiners, began performing on-demand includes deliveries for the first time, with Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand seeing the most conversions. Grab’s challenge was scaling up its delivery services to meet increased consumer demand and also connecting merchants to customers. 

In March and April 2020, just under 80,000 small businesses joined its platform, many new to ecommerce. Grab released Grab Merchant, which was pivotal and enabled merchants to set up online businesses by submitting licenses and certification online. As many new merchants had previously taken only cash payments, Grab had to also set them up for digital payments.   

Besides that, Grab collaborated with the Singaporean government to expand a pilot program called GrabExpress Car that enabled Grab’s ride-hailing vehicles to be used for food and grocery deliveries. With people prioritising contactless payment due to COVID-19 concerns, it has doubtlessly accelerated the adoption of digital payments in several of Grab’s markets, which saw Grab launched its GrabPay Card in the Philippines. 

Source: TechCrunch | Channel News Asia