On your visit to India, what is the one thing that truly takes you by surprise?
I have been to India many times over the last 15 years. What amazes me most is the rate of change for consumers over the last ~5 years. For the longest time, innovation was focused on IT and enabling other businesses in places like the US or EU. But now, the Indian spirit of innovation and technical know-how is making possible so many new and exciting offerings right here at home for Indian consumers – from online shopping to e-wallets, entertainment to food delivery. Prime is at the forefront of all of this change and I can’t wait to see what India will look like 5 years from now!
When you think of Prime – what is the first thing that comes to mind and why?
Simplicity. Life is complicated so I feel that the best consumer experiences are the ones that do something valuable but do it simply. Why make customers work harder than they do already? Prime is special because through shipping, shopping, and entertainment benefits, it gives members access to unparalleled selection, prices, and convenience through one simple membership.
Although I had been a member for years, Prime went from great to indispensable after my daughter was born. Neither my wife nor I had the time or energy to shop but we needed all kinds of products to care for the little one and to keep our household running. Prime plus the mobile app (often at odd hours of the night) kept us well-stocked and sane (or as close to sane sleep-deprived first time parents can ever be!). When I had the opportunity to join the team last year to help members around the world have similar, magical experiences with Prime, it was a very easy decision.
“We will continue to invest to make the Prime program in India more and more valuable to members.”
What more value add will you be giving Prime members in India? Anything that you can reveal now?
I’d love to announce a big new benefit…but I can’t! Seriously, as we do in every locale, we will continue to invest to make the Prime program in India more and more valuable to members. It starts with the Amazon fundamentals of selection, price, and convenience. To that we add shipping, shopping, and entertainment benefits that delight. You can expect to see global and local innovations on all of these fronts in the coming months and years. For Prime, it’s definitely day 1 in India!
Is there a leadership principle that is very close to your heart and if yes, why?
In fact, there are three which connect directly to my professional mantra!
· Customer obsession: As the first one in my family to go to university, I carry with me a strong desire to pay these blessings back and pay them forward to others. This translates into a passion for serving everyday people like my family. I’ve been lucky to work with iconic global brands like Prime, Disney, Microsoft, and General Mills, brands that make life better for millions of people around the world.
· Think Big: I’ve always found myself on the leading edge of businesses, making what’s new and next happen. That requires coloring outside the lines drawn by today to imagine what is possible tomorrow.
· Hire and Develop the Best: work for me is defined not just by the what and the how but also by the who. Being part of a great team is central to what makes a mission meaningful.
- Your favorite food: I am an adventurous eater so I don’t know that I could pick a single “favorite.” It really depends on my mood and the occasion. But this summer, my wife, daughter and I have really enjoyed chicken tikka masala with naan at our neighborhood farmer’s market every Friday evening. It’s been wonderful to see my two-year-old dig in while we enjoy live music under the beautiful blue Seattle summer sky.
- Your favorite device: Definitely iPhone X. Beyond keeping me connected, it’s also key to running our home. I’m a bit of a smart home early adopter so without my phone, I wouldn’t be able to turn on the lights, lock doors, raise the window shades, … but I’m embarrassed by the number of times I’ve had to do tech support while on the road!
“My dream second career is to travel the world as a photographer. I love immersing myself in peoples and places and photographing is my medium of choice for inquiry and reflection. ”
- If not in the corporate world, you would be: My dream second career is to travel the world as a photographer. I love immersing myself in peoples and places and photographing is my medium of choice for inquiry and reflection. On a past trip to India, I had the opportunity to spend a few days in Delhi and Agra, capturing so many amazing moments on the street, at the Taj Mahal, and in the spice market.
- An Indian film star you know of: As a Cuban-Pakistini living in Miami, I grew up with movies and music from all over the world playing in our house. My dad loved to watch Indian films; my sister and I loved to imitate the singing and dancing! So, I’ve enjoyed many films, the names and stars of which I have long forgotten. But to this day, whenever a new Bollywood tunes comes on, I am transported back to these fond childhood memories.
- Your fav show on Prime: My wife and I watched Jack Ryan in one shot and really enjoyed it. We are big fans of the genre. I’m not a huge sports watched but All or Nothing makes for compelling TV; the ones on the All Blacks and Man City are great. I also watch local originals to make sure I have the pulse of members around the world. Breathe was an intense but ultimately really satisfying experience.
- The best way to handle stress: Spending time with my daughter. No matter how chaotic the day, the moment I see her beaming face, the rest of the world disappears and I don’t care about much more than building lego robots, having a dance party, or cozying up to read a book. When on my own, I like to cycle, both for exercise and to tune out.
- Work-life harmony means: I am an all or nothing kind of person. So, when at home, I try to be 100% engaged; same at work. So, work-life harmony means getting really clear on when I’m in “life mode” and when I’m in “work mode” so I can give each my all. One small example of how I try to make this happen - given my international focus, I have set guardrails on when I can take calls. After all, I could be on Chime 24-hours a day since someone is always awake somewhere around the world! I block 5:30-9 pm Pacific time each day so that I can get home, play and have dinner with my wife and daughter, help get the little one to bed, and reset the house for the next day. I then work with our Asian teams later into the evening. I may be in a hoodie sitting in my living room but I try to be 100% on-point!