How Grab Navigated and Changed the Industry Architecture of Mobility in Southeast Asia.
Our inductive case study of the mobility industry in Southeast Asia shows how an innovative digital platform entrant, Grab, first tried to coopt existing actors and then, faced with competition, morphed both itself and ultimately the entire industry architecture.
Grab repositioned its business model with little regard for the focal industry or its incumbents, who ultimately clamored to support it, even as it expanded beyond mobility into other sectors. Drawing on real-time direct observation and archival sources, we trace the process of Grab’s evolution and engagement with the architecture of its industry.
We distinguish between proximate and distant incumbents, show how Grab used the ambiguity about its complementary offerings to enlist incumbents’ support, and discuss how happenstance shaped its own choice of platform boundaries.
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