From when you started out at Amazon, to the present – how will you describe your career growth here?
It has been such a fantastic journey. I have grown both professionally and as an individual. Amazon’s sheer growth has given me significant opportunities as a real estate and facilities professional. I started with managing Amazon offices in India, when the footprint was 3MM sq ft. across six cities and 11 sites. Today I’m responsible for office portfolio across Asia with over 13MM sq ft spread over 14 countries, 50 cities and 95 sites! What a journey!
“Real estate of any company is reflective of its growth and commitment the organization has for a particular location. ”
I did come with certain skill sets when I joined, however the perspective of the Amazon leadership principles in anything I do has really helped me evolve. All this, in the last five years have been possible only with the support of leaders who provided the cushion when I committed mistakes, which has helped me take bigger challenges and build on new learnings.
Amazon has been investing in infrastructure in India and you are Director, Global Real Estate & Facilities (GREF), Asia. What are your thoughts on real estate and company values. How do these reflect in Amazon buildings? Can you cite a few examples? .
Real estate of any company is reflective of the growth and commitment an organization has for a particular location. Amazon GREF’s vision is to create earth’s most employee-centric workplaces, prioritizing sustainability and fostering health & wellness, connection, collaboration, innovation, and safety. As with so many other projects, here too our Leadership Principles guide us. GREF selects building from a long term view point (Think Big), which helps in Frugality and the designs we use, capture the many elements that are required in order that we remain relevant as a future workspace (Customer Obsession).
Our spaces are designed with focus on how the employee works during their time at office and we curate it by providing multiple choices to them. Our new buildings are Green Building certified - this is a step towards our efforts on achieving our company goal on the Climate Pledge. Our owned Hyderabad office building is a benchmark in many aspects. Our latest addition MAA15 is a Platinum Green Certified Building. There are many more in the list, so exciting times ahead.
Real Estate & Facilities is a niche field that not many know about or speak about? What can you tell us about the skill sets that are required for jobs in this field?
Real Estate & Facilities is indeed a niche field but it is not complex . While relevant technical skills are required, certain traits which are mandatory is proactive thinking/ planning, thinking on behalf of our customers, how to remove customer pain points and constant evolution as we need to build spaces which should remain relevant at least for 7-10 years, is also something that those interested can focus on.
What is the most common question you are asked by trainees/interns when they work with your teams?
The most common question that I receive from new entrants in real estate and facilities, is around the monotony of the job and how can they grow in 2-3 years. Real estate and facilities is an expansive function and cross function learning is the key to be a successful professional. Ideally, candidates who are eager to join should have deep knowledge of all the sub verticals of real estate and facilities - this helps in their growth.
Finally, as Career Day makes its debut in India, what will be your advice to job seekers?
Job seekers should understand the roles and then apply for it. Amazon interviews are intense - my advice is to be genuine, prepare for the interview ( many forget the great experiences they have) and articulate the experiences one has got in a crisp and structured manner.