What have you been doing since leaving Four Principles (FP)?
After leaving Four Principles, I took a couple of months break to spend some time with family and friends back home in Greece. After that, I moved to France to start working as Operations Manager in Amazon’s first robotics fulfillment center in Paris. I did that for almost 1.5 years and at the end of August 2021, I launched Amazon’s second robotics fulfillment center in France, located in Metz where I am currently based.
What attracted you to your current role with Amazon?
Amazon is the biggest group in the world right now with endless opportunities for growth and learning. Being in an operations role such as mine gives opportunities to work on interesting projects, for example launches of state-of-the-art fulfillment centers and also getting the chance to lead very large teams that count up to thousands of people. So, if someone is interested in this kind of challenge then an operations role within Amazon is a really attractive option.
What made you pursue a role within consulting?
I would say that initially I was not necessarily driven by consulting as a job, but I wanted to do something related to lean management and I wanted to be in the Middle East, so there was no question in my mind as to who does that best in the region!
How did your FP experience benefit your career? Are there any key lessons learnt or professional advice that you still carry with you?
Well, the obvious benefit was learning a lot more than I already knew about lean management, knowledge that is crucial for everyone who wants to work in operations. Plus, Amazon is really big on lean as well, so I was easily able to “plug and play” as we used to say at FP. The not so obvious learnings are the rigorousness and customer obsession that I was taught, as well as making sure that the results produced are long lasting and not just short term. One of the most useful pieces of advice I got at FP was that processes should be able to run and produce the same excellent results, whether I am there monitoring them or not.
Have there been challenges in your career that surprised you? How have you met those challenges?
I think the main challenge when moving out of consulting is the fact that you get used to escalating to the CEO or another high-ranking person that can make things move quickly, which is not really the case in a big organization like Amazon. However, in order to tackle this challenge, I am still using the same principles that we were applying in FP by finding the main stakeholders and ensuring that they are informed so they can make decisions based on correct data and escalate when necessary.
Do you have a favourite FP memory — a case team experience, breakthrough with a client, or story from the office?
In terms of work, I am proud of the fact that I was part of the first successes of FP within the public sector, a business line that is very interesting for every consulting company. Also, I really enjoyed creating an assembly line from scratch at CGS. However, I have to admit that some of my fondest memories are the ones sitting with my fellow colleagues (some of which are still good friends now) and eating mandi in a traditional Saudi restaurant or afghani bread from the small restaurant next to the hotel where we were staying.