Thailand’s Central Group investing in Grab to rev up delivery, transport

Central Group CEO Tos Chirathivat (3rd from left) and Grab Holding CEO Anthony Tan (3rd from right) pose at a signing ceremony for their tie-up in delivery and transport services for Thailand in Bangkok on Jan. 31.

BANGKOK, NNA - Central Group, Thailand’ largest retail conglomerate, will invest $200 million in a local unit of Singapore-based ride-hailing firm Grab Holding Inc. to collaborate on delivery and transport services.

The Thai group, which runs restaurant chains, department stores and hotels, plans to provide food and goods delivery. It will also offer ride services to its outlets, using Grab’s mobile application.

“Grab, like Central Group, is now an essential part of everyday life for many Thai people,” Central Group CEO Tos Chirathivat said in a statement on Thursday. “We look forward to collaborating together to revolutionize the retail and service industry.”

Central Restaurant Group operates about 10 types of dining outlets, including six Japanese brands, such as beef rice-bowl restaurant chain Yoshinoya and steak house Pepper Lunch.

For on-demand goods delivery, the Thai group will provide a speedy service for its brick-and-mortar stores and e-commerce through GrabExpress.

The group launched an e-commerce site last year through a joint venture with JD.com, China’s second largest e-commerce site, and is expanding its online retail business.

For passenger transport, Central and Grab plan to offer membership benefits to Grab app users traveling between airports, department stores, shopping malls and hotels.

Central “will help accelerate our growth across multiple verticals, such as food delivery, parcel delivery and ride hailing, cementing our position as Thailand’s everyday app,” Grab Group CEO and co founder Anthony Tan said in a statement. “By joining hands with leading local companies, we can go much further in driving Southeast Asia forward.”

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