Anand is an Enterprise Account Manager based in Dubai, UAE. He joined AWS in May, 2013.
HereAtAWS: Tell us about your career journey. What brought you to your current role at AWS?
Anand: Sixteen years ago, I started my professional life as a C++ developer, working on image processing and analysis. I developed a passion for customer engagement and moved into a sales role with a leading IT infrastructure OEM (original equipment manufacturer). My journey with AWS started in 2013, as a territory business development representative in Mumbai, India. In the account management role, I worked with several start-ups, small and medium businesses, media companies and offshore delivery centres of global banks to help them embrace the AWS cloud for a variety of use-cases. I also had the unique opportunity to lead the Independent Software Vendor (ISV) and SMB business for western India at AWS. Large enterprises have challenges unique to their scale. I always wondered what kind of a transformation would be required for them to continue to invent new value propositions, to improve their ability to compete, to evolve into digital processes and augment their customer experience. This thought process led me into my current role at AWS Middle East and North Africa, as an Enterprise Account Manager. I also wanted to work with customers and colleagues from diverse geographic and cultural backgrounds and my current role offers me this opportunity.
HereAtAWS: Can you explain in simple terms: your role, who your customers are, and how you help them?
Anand: As an Enterprise Account Manager, I help customers drive digital transformation initiatives within the travel, transportation, logistics and hospitality industries in the Middle East and North Africa. I work with customers to solve business challenges while attaining both their operational and innovation goals, guiding them to leverage cloud technologies to become more agile, innovative, and efficient.
HereAtAWS: What skills do you need to succeed in your role?
Anand: I am currently focusing on learning industry-specific domain knowledge to further succeed in my role. I am learning supplier management, inventory operations, logistics and warehouse operations to better understand supply chain and transportation from my customer’s perspective. At AWS, the learning never ends and you have the opportunity and resources to expand your knowledge as much as you need or want to.
HereAtAWS: Have you had to learn any specific new skills (technical or soft) for your role?
Anand: Outcome-based account management plays a critical part in my role at AWS. It helped me to think from a customer’s perspective – start with the customer and work backwards, defining success through their eyes based upon their unique priorities and business drivers. Amazon Business Writing is another skill that I had to learn (and I am still learning), to develop a better clarity of thought in my approach. Additionally, I took all AWS Associate Certifications to establish a solid technology foundation.
HereAtAWS: How does your work with customers help to make a positive impact on society?
Anand: My work helps make it possible to deliver essential goods at the right time and location to the right recipient, across the world. It helps people to travel safely and have a delightful home-like experience when they stay away from their home.
HereAtAWS: At work, are you involved in any activities outside of your role?
Anand: I am a Bar Raiser and it is a great honour to contribute to the Amazon hiring process. I actively participate in speaker engagements at events to represent AWS and present AWS solutions to a wider external audience.
HereAtAWS: What’s the most exciting part of your job?
Anand: I am incredibly privileged to contribute towards building the AWS business in the travel, transportation, logistics and hospitality vertical. Being a part of customers’ transformation journeys with the AWS Cloud offers a view to their businesses and the areas that matter to their long-term success. Building industry-first solutions along with customers and partners is a thrilling experience. Improving delivery transit time in logistics, enhancing departure punctuality for airlines or boosting customer loyalty for hotels; all of these use-cases have been, and still are, an exciting engagement for me. AWS gives me the opportunity to make a global impact while growing both professionally and personally.
HereAtAWS: What’s the most challenging part of your job?
Anand: Customers across virtually every industry and of every size, including start-ups, enterprises, and public sector organizations, are running every imaginable use case on AWS. Incubating the art of the possible with AWS and moving faster on modernizing business processes and IT built with legacy technology, are challenging, yet ultimately rewarding areas in customer engagement.
HereAtAWS: What advice would you give people joining AWS?
Anand: Our Leadership Principles guide us in every single part of our role at Amazon. You must have a great degree of empathy and humility to work in our customer-centric culture. There is always scope to improve. Having an infinite appetite for curiosity and learning from failures will help you to grow at AWS. You must have a bold vision for customers and it is all right to be stubborn on it. You must be flexible on the details yet execute the vision without giving up; building a customer relationship that outlasts all of us.
HereAtAWS: What three words would you use to describe workdays at AWS?
Anand: Zeal, Builder, Velocity.
HereAtAWS: What do you love to do outside work?
Anand: Currently, we are working from home sue to the COVID-19 pandemic, and I am using this time to try and become a better cook. Recently I have started taking more interest in eastern spirituality and yoga. I am passionate about travel and abstract photography. Once normal travel re-starts, I would plan a trip to Lake Manasarovar in Tibet.
HereAtAWS: Is there anything else you would like to add about your personal journey?
Anand: I love writing. The narrative culture and the working backwards model that runs through Amazon has me constantly honing my writing skills. I have had many new ideas across my tenure at AWS. A few of my ideas are adopted as best practices in some shape or form, across the company. Writing skills have played a major role in shaping up these ideas. At AWS, we are encouraged to experiment, and we have platforms internally to validate new ideas and invest resources in ideas that have merit. Regardless of a person’s job level or function, Amazon offers the launchpad to invent new things on behalf of customers and to lead a change.