Cheryl Goh | Influence 100

Cheryl Goh

Group VP, Marketing & Sustainability; Founding Chief Marketing Officer



As marketing and communications chief at one of the world’s fastest-growing startups, Cheryl Goh has played a pivotal role in driving Grab’s remarkable user growth, country expansion and service diversification. Goh’s deep experience in digital engagement has helped to underpin this approach, helping Grab see off the challenge from Uber and consolidate its new positioning that includes offering far more services than just rides.

Those qualities came to the fore during the pandemic, when Grab elevated its brand positioning to cover a myriad of critical areas impacted by the pandemic. GrabCare helped healthcare professionals to travel safely; GrabMart’s instant grocery delivery service expanded from two to eight countries; GrabForGood subsidized vaccines for driver- and delivery-partners; and, Grab also became the an official channel in Malaysia in a bid to combat misinformation.

All of which added up to a slew of campaigns and initiatives that helped Grab dominate award shows and communications thinking in the region. In the process, Goh has emerged as an eloquent advocate not only for marketing transformation, but for the heightened relevance of GrabForGood when it comes to driving digital and financial inclusion. 

Goh has spent more than a decade in leadership roles in the digital space, mostly in technology companies such as MOL Global and Friendster. She also headed The New Straits Times Press Group’s digital arm and served as group digital GM at Nissan Malaysia.

Can you share a moment in your career when you saw PR's direct impact on business performance?
PR plays an important role in educating the market on our new products and feature launches. We often see uplifts in business metrics as a result of good PR.

What are the communications industry's biggest challenges and opportunities in the year ahead?
Given the global pandemic, communications will play an important role in driving business recovery and consumer confidence.

What have you most admired about this industry over the past year?
A concerted effort to not only generate good publicity but the desire to build longer terms programs that generate positive social impact.

How have you switched off from work and maintained wellness in lockdown?
Exercise and being outdoors in nature.

Which book/movie/TV show/podcast/playlist/other cultural source has helped you get through this year or provided inspiration?
‘How to Avoid a Climate Disaster’ by Bill Gates.

If I wasn't working in marketing/communications, I would be...
A wildlife photographer.

Sum up 2021 in one word.