As an introduction, please describe your career journey so far
I have 9 years of experience, mainly within FMCG in supply chain and I’ve worked on multiple assignments over the years. Notably, at PepsiCo, I held the roles of Head of Distribution Planning and Head of Logistics & Warehouse, to the Delta region. I then worked at Four Principles (FP) for 1 year and 4 months. During my time at FP, I worked on 3 projects – 1 in UAE, 2 in KSA, within hospitality, government and utilities. I moved to Mars in November 2020 as Supply Planning Manager, looking after product availability, replenishment planning, stock management etc. in Egypt across the whole portfolio. I also act as the spokesperson from supply chain to the business-end when it comes to demand or safety.
What led you to make the move from FMCG into consulting?
Consulting presented a very interesting opportunity to explore different industries and work on different projects, along with international exposure and I always wanted to tap into KSA/UAE markets. It was a luxury to learn first-hand about lean methodologies and transformations across different industries, whilst working with different teams.
What do you value most from your time with FP and what are the lessons you have taken with you?
It was very important for me to understand more and learn the tools, e.g., working on eliminating waste and how to streamline any process. Even now whilst working in an operational role, I’m always looking for ways to apply continuous improvement, by working on improving processes in my own work and in the operational part of the business – distribution planning and making it more efficient, by reducing stock level at the distributors for example. I used what I learnt at FP in implementing all of this. I’m not only working my day-to-day job, but also working on improving other processes, that are not standardized across planning/operations. My FP experience gave me a fresh-eye and enables me to improve communication, processes, adaptability and to identify the problem, brainstorm solutions, implement and look at control points.
What is the best career advice you ever received?
That would be that ‘whenever there’s an opportunity presented to you, you need to explore it’. The plan that you have in mind, might not be the one that you end up following, as real life cannot be so structured in the way that people might plan. You have to be flexible and keep stretching yourself to explore different assignments/roles etc. I was a little bit stubborn in wanting to follow the plan I had in mind, but if you take the opportunities that are put in front of you then it will always open more doors and you will learn a lot, helping you to see things differently, gain exposure and credibility.
Who/what keeps you inspired and motivated?
For me, being motivated is when I start to add value to the work that I’m doing. This can also be interpreted if I’m working in a team, it’s about working together to help people. I’m motivated to give more and see the results. This can come from stakeholders/managers/organization in general – when I feel that my work is recognized, appreciated and supported, I feel more and more motivated. I always work on enhancing and delivering projects that make a difference and I get even more motivated when I see the results.
What are you most proud of in your career so far?
I’m really proud of working in multiple different roles across supply chain, as well as working across different industries when I worked in consulting. I was lucky to gain this experience and exposure, especially whilst I’m still at the start of my career really. I’m proud of the journey that I’ve had, stretching myself, taking risks, getting out of my comfort zone and believing in myself that no matter what role I have taken on, I am confident of my skill set, prepare myself and see that I’m able to fit in and succeed.