A few germinating ideas from Harvard Business School’s MBA class of 2011 have led to contrasting fortunes a decade on in the public capital markets. Nadiem Makarim, currently Indonesia’s minister of education, culture, research and technology, went back to Indonesia after graduation and founded Gojek, which has become part of GoTo (a combination with Tokopedia). Anthony Tan and Tan Hooi Ling, on the other hand, returned to Malaysia and founded MyTeksi, which has grown into the self-styled superapp company Grab Holdings.
Both sides paint the town green in their “sustainable” corporate colours and compete vigorously for dominance in our post-pandemic lives from ride hailing, food delivery to digital finance across Southeast Asia.
In the Dec 13 Chew on This piece titled “Tap the keg overseas, but bring the party back too”, we explored the hubris of Grab’s US$40 billion ($54 million) de-special purpose acquisition company (spac) with Altimeter Growth Corp, in what is the largest de-spac deal thus far.