AN employee at Amazon’s fulfilment centre in Tilbury, who has risen through the ranks from temporary packer to operations manager, is sharing his behind-the-scenes insight into how customer orders are prepared in the lead-up to Christmas.
Christmas is just around the corner, so it’s no surprise that thousands of households are scrolling through Amazon to find the perfect gifts for their loved ones. The Amazon fulfilment centre in Tilbury has played a big role in delivering festive spirit to homes across the country since 2017, and this year is no different.
More than half of the millions of products at the Amazon fulfilment centre in Tilbury come from small to medium sized businesses and are delivered to the Tilbury site. Once the items have arrived in Tilbury, they are then sorted, packed and sent on their way to customers’ houses and businesses all over the UK.
One of the managers in charge of making sure Christmas gifts make it to customers’ doors in time for the big day is Fahad Choudhry, an operations manager at the Amazon fulfilment centre in Tilbury.
New York-born Fahad moved to the UK with his family when he was 13. Fahad joined Amazon in September 2017 – when Amazon’s building in Tilbury had just opened its doors – as a temporary packer while at university.
Fahad was studying mechanical engineering at University College London and needed a job to support himself and his family, so he worked shifts around his lectures. Although he had no prior work experience, his desire to learn and improve meant that he was determined to mature into a self-disciplined professional.
After taking a break from his role at Amazon to finish his studies, Fahad re-joined in July 2019 as a graduate area manager. Fahad continues to thank his early years at Amazon for giving him the experience needed to become a great people-focused manager.
Over the last five years, Fahad has risen through the ranks at Amazon, and following several promotions, is now an operations manager in Tilbury.
Working at Amazon is a family affair for Fahad, with several of his family members also working for the company, including his parents. Speaking on his experience of working with his parents, Fahad said: “My mum and dad both work at Amazon in Tilbury and my younger brother is following in my footsteps and working at Amazon in Bristol while studying dentistry at Bristol University. My cousin also works at an Amazon delivery station, so we have strong family ties to Amazon.
“I love seeing my parents at work; it helps keep me motivated and they enjoy seeing me succeed and develop in my role. As we live together as well as work together, we’ve had to set work-life boundaries, so we don’t discuss work when we are at home – much as we love to!”
Speaking on what it’s like to manage Amazon in Tilbury’s operations during the Christmas period, Fahad said: “I’ve worked at Amazon for five years now, and Christmas is always a busy time. Our main priority is to have items on doorsteps in good time and in perfect condition, and the great team we have here in Tilbury bands together over the festive season to make that happen.
“We have many processes in place to keep things moving, but it’s by working together and supporting one another on site that we get things done.”
Fahad and his team at Amazon in Tilbury are supported by advanced Amazon Robotics technology. The robots slide under mobile shelving units called ‘pods’ where products are stowed, lift and move them through the fulfilment centre. There are thousands of robots and tens of thousands of pods across three robotic floors at Amazon in Tilbury, as well as millions of products, which can be picked, packed and shipped out of the fulfilment centre in two hours following an online order.
For Fahad, his proudest achievement to date during his time at Amazon is helping the team develop and seeing people reach their career goals, which is what motivates him daily.
He added: “Amazon is a great environment for people that are hungry for progression, regardless of age or experience. The company gives you an excellent springboard for success – if that’s what you want – through the many opportunities that are readily available here.
“In five years, I’ve gone from an entry-level position to an operations manager and am now responsible for hundreds of people and their experience at work each day. This is a huge privilege which I don’t take lightly, and I am constantly working to develop myself as a leader. I have four principles which help me along the way; self-motivation, self-discipline, self-actualisation and self-empowerment.”
Ruzanna Sargsyan, General Manager at Amazon in Tilbury, added: “Fahad is a valued member of our team at Amazon in Tilbury and is a real support to all during the festive season. We are extremely proud of Fahad for how he has risen through the ranks since joining Amazon in 2017 and we hope that his story will inspire others to enrich their own careers with the many progression opportunities available.”
Fahad is among Amazon’s 70,000 employees in the UK. Amazon provides competitive pay, comprehensive benefits and a modern, safe and engaging work environment for its employees. Pay at Amazon in Tilbury starts at £11.45 per hour, and Amazon employees can also take advantage of Amazon’s pioneering Career Choice programme, which pre-pays 95% of tuition for courses in high-demand fields, up to £8,000 over four years, regardless of whether the skills are relevant to a career at Amazon.
Amazon also provides opportunities to improve existing skills or learn new ones through internal career progression opportunities such as cross-training, transferring to a different department and promotion into a managerial role.
Anyone can find out more about what it’s like to work at an Amazon fulfilment centre by signing up for a virtual tour at uk.amazonfctours.com