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Each week until April 30, 2018, we are shortlisting a local corporate figure who has demonstrated excellence in a media appearance, in the Hong Bao Media Savvy Awards 2018.
Each week until April 30, 2018, we are shortlisting a local corporate figure who has demonstrated excellence in a media appearance, in the Hong Bao Media Savvy Awards 2018.

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Anthony Tan grabs our attention with interview about Uber merger

Uber's sale of its Southeast Asian assets to Grab has people worried prices for shared rides will rise.

But Grab Co-founder and CEO Anthony Tan dealt well with questions about prices, competitiveness, profitability and his relationship with Uber in this CNBC interview. So much so, we are shortlisting him for the Hong Bao Media Savvy Awards 2018.

Read on below for our detailed assessment of his interview.


We are now in the home stretch of the award nominations, and there is limited time for you to nominate yourself or another local business leader.

Nominations close Monday, April 30, at 5pm, with the winner announced in May. It is free to enter the Hong Bao Media Savvy Awards 2018, and there is no obligation to buy tickets to the awards event.

We launched the Hong Bao Media Savvy Awards to recognise local business leaders for their communications skills, and to showcase authentic and credible home-grown communicators. Here are our previous nominees:

Desmond Kuek: Will you resign?

Are you a demanding boss, Lee Lik Hsin?

Star Alliance CEO: Local business leader is a star media performer

Budget 2018: Iswaran balances selling it, and explaining it

Kurt Wee: you don't need to be big to be media savvy

Candice Ong: the whys and hows of strong new media interviews

Elim Chew displays a high Sensitivity Quotient in her TEDxNTU presentation

How to win at interviews, even if English isn't your first language

Ho Kwon Ping: no-nonsense media presence builds credibility

David Koh: Cybersecurity chief gives locked-down on-camera presentation

Cecily Ng: The right recipe for coffee with the boss

Razer CEO makes TV interviews look like child's play

These are shining examples for other local business leaders to follow, and to build a culture of excellence in communication, to maximise the potential of Asian companies in the Asian Century.

Click on this link to enter yourself or another Senior Business Leader.


These were the features of Tan's interview we liked:

  1. Focus on purpose – Nancy Hungerford asked all the right questions, but Tan didn't let himself be pinned down. For example, when she asked whether he felt bad giving away a 27.5% stake in Grab to Uber, he showed empathy for her question. But listen carefully to his response and you will see that instead of answering it, he turned the conversation towards the customer; watch the question about doing a deal with his erstwhile competitor Uber, and he talked about trust; watch the question about profitability, and he turned the conversation to doing social good. He moved the conversation back to his messages effortlessly.
  2. Brand name mentions – Spokespeople should make it a point to mention their brand name where appropriate, but if they lather it on too thick it can come across as a bit contrived. Tan made mention of the brand name of the combined entity three times, without coming across like a sales pitch.
  3. Concise, flagged points – Tan counted off the reasons for the merger using easily-followed bullets. Watch the beginning and the end of the interview to see how.
  4. Good camera etiquette – Tan has good posture and eye contact, and complementary hand gestures.

Tan's calm demeanour is exemplary for any local business leader who has a chance to grab the headlines.

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Mark Laudi

Mark Laudi

Press contact Managing Director (+65) 6223 2249

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