A recent graduate of the prestigious Indian Institute of Management - Ahmedabad (IIM-A), Kaashi Kapoor was looking to launch a successful career in management by securing a role with a reputable organization. While she had a great academic record, she needed the right kind of industry exposure to equip her for success. The Amazon Future Builders Program (AFBP) presented her with a bright opportunity.
AFBP is a program that equips recent business school graduates with deep exposure to the ever-expanding business world, preparing them to become future leaders in the process. The program includes interactive sessions with senior leaders at Amazon India, access to mentors and opportunity to work on complex customer problems requiring innovation.
For Kaashi, this program was perfect; she found an exciting career opportunity to not only acquaint herself with the nuances of the corporate world but also get a ring-side view to several live projects. “AFBP is a coveted leadership development program with a clear value proposition, allowing students to gain exposure across breadth of Amazon via the incubator and deep business knowledge through their roles,” says Kaashi
Nurturing essential leadership skills
Recruiting student leaders from top B-Schools into AFBP allows them to develop industry-specific management skills to help them build rewarding careers at Amazon India. Every student in the cohort goes through a four-week incubator program, after which they are offered exciting roles within the organization. Each line of business at Amazon India contributes to the 30-month program design. Immersive learning helps students gain deeper understanding of various functions, cultures, and social experiences required for a progressive career at Amazon.
Talking about her experience of going through AFBP, Devika Sinha, part of the AFBP 2021 cohort says, "With AFBP, I was able to develop significant work skills, knowledge, and experiences. I now deeply understand Amazon's unique ‘Day One’ culture and how things work behind the scenes: from writing PR FAQ for new products and initiatives to brainstorming in meetings and contributing ideas and processes, I've learnt it all.”
Amazon continuously invests in cultivating future leaders who share a common vision of building the most customer-centric company in the world. Amazon's leadership regards this program as the fulcrum of the organization's core business model — moulding new talent into future leaders. Elaborating on the program, Akhil Saxena — Vice President, Customer Fulfilment Operations for APAC, MENA and LATAM, and VP, Worldwide Customer Service at Amazon — explains: “The talent coming out of AFBP comprises of well-rounded business leaders who demonstrate the ability to think critically, solve complex business problems, and navigate within the organization with ease, thanks to the cultural assimilation they undergo during AFBP. The mentorship and training received as part of AFBP enables them to take on leadership roles and build a long-term career with Amazon.”
What’s in store for AFBP 2022
This year, the four-week long incubator includes a mix of virtual and in-person sessions, and has grown in scope and size -- from 165 hires in 2021 to 276 new hires in 2022. The first few sessions were focused on orienting the participants to the unique and peculiar Amazon culture. The subsequent sessions covered more complex subjects such as Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability, and Innovations that drive the economy.
The in-person week saw Amazon’s senior leadership engage with students through panel discussions and fireside chats, sharing anecdotes and learnings from their Amazon journeys.
AFBP Incubator Challenge
On the last two days of the incubator program, the cohort will be divided into 46 teams who will present their ideas to one of the eight panels. Each panel will evaluate six teams — students will share their analysis via a PR FAQ document and presentation — and select one winning team. One winner from each panel will proceed to the final round of the AFBP Incubator Challenge. From the eight finalist teams, a jury comprising of four Amazon senior leaders will select a winner and two runners up teams, who will win exciting prizes.
Elaborating on the AFBP Incubator, Suman Yadav, Director, Student Programs says, “We've taken feedback from past campus hires who felt they were operating in silos and lacked an appreciation for Amazon’s vast business in India. Exposure to the breadth of our businesses will help new batches of students to understand the scale and diversity of the customers we serve. With this improved understanding of Amazon's transformative mission in India, we will gain higher engagement from our campus hires. AFBP's innovative model provides candidates the opportunity to learn how different functions and teams come together at Amazon India to serve customers in a collaborative manner."