Grab backs 'sandbox' space for new business models

By Khanh Anh    May 4, 2019 | 10:27 pm GMT+7

A sandbox would allow experimentation with new approaches and new business models without legal repercussions.

A discussion on new business models and the exercise of creativity by startups drew a lot of interest from entrepreneurs, investors and experts at the Vietnam Private Sector Economic Forum 2019.

One of the big questions raised at the discussion was how to "behave" with new business models and what are the appropriate policies for models in the domestic market without legal framework or precedent.

"Through lessons learned from some countries, Vietnam can use a sandbox (approach). It enables a safe environment for businesses to test services or products without the risk of being sued for the legally unauthorized actions," said Nguyen Thien Nghia, deputy director of the Information Technology Department under the Ministry of Information and Communications.

Jerry Lim, CEO of Grab Vietnam. Photo by Ngoc Thanh

Jerry Lim, CEO of Grab Vietnam. Photo by Ngoc Thanh

"The use of technology in a new business model is highly competitive. There are some businesses that argue that the new business model destroys traditional business, but I personally have a different perspective. The new business model adopts highly competitive technology, for example, Uber or Grab combining e-commerce and transportation," he said.

Agreeing with the opinions of some leading government agencies and experts, Jerry Lim, CEO of Grab Vietnam, said it was necessary to have a sandbox that would create space and time for new technology platforms and business models to demonstrate their ability to promote socio-economic development. However, businesses participating in the sandbox need to be selected carefully, he said.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc visits the Grab booth at the Vietnam Private Sector Economic Forum 2019 on May 2. Photo by Ngoc Thanh

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc visits the Grab booth at the Vietnam Private Sector Economic Forum 2019 on May 2. Photo by Ngoc Thanh

"The emergence of new technology always creates big changes and there will be some traditional businesses that are not willing to change. However, they also need to apply technology to enhance their capabilities. competitiveness, increasing customer benefits and reducing administrative burdens by themselves," Lim said.

In just seven years, from a small Malaysian startup with just 10 people, Grab is now currently a unicorn in Southeast Asia. It operates in eight countries with 6,000 employees. The emergence of a technology-based sharing economic model that Grab is applying has created jobs for millions of workers and small business partners throughout Southeast Asia. 

However, because this economic model is still too new, and there is no legal framework in Vietnam, Grab's operation is currently facing many difficulties, the forum heard.

The Vietnam Private Economic Forum on May 2-3 was co-chaired by the government and the Central Economic Committee. The Research Department for Private Economic Development and event organizer IEC Group were the other co-organizers along with VnExpress.

 
 
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