“UAE is a world-class market to work in and prosper,” says David Ross, Senior VP of FedEx MEIA
Who’s David Ross?
David J. Ross is the Senior Vice President of FedEx Express, Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and Africa operations since August 2011.
Based in Dubai, David Ross manages over 9,500 team members and is responsible for the overall planning and implementation of corporate strategies and operations for FedEx in the Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and Africa region. The region Mr. Ross handles encompasses some of the world’s fastest growing economies, including India, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and South Africa. Here’s how our interview with Mr. Ross went…
1. How do you like living and working in the UAE?
This is my second round living in the Middle East. I first moved to the region in 1977 for 6 years, working in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, while traveling to the UAE on numerous occasions. In 2011 I relocated to the UAE and was amazed at the changes.
The UAE is a world-class market to work in, one that has a great deal of opportunity. The diversification of the local economy has been vital to the country’s growth and success.
The recent Arab Spring has reinforced UAE’s position as one of the safest and most stable economies in the region, providing world-class infrastructure and opportunities for foreign and local investors.
In addition to the dynamic work environment, the UAE’s cultural diversity and friendly atmosphere makes it a home for more than 200 different nationalities, an ideal country for individuals and families to prosper.
2. What is your average day at work like?
My work day starts at home. At around 5:00am clearing emails. I then go for a workout before getting ready to head to the office.
What I love about my job is that there is never an average day at FedEx. Although based in Dubai, our company is global, and my working day exists across a variety of time zones. Preparation is definitely key to hitting my goals.
Handling a large geographic area, I spend a lot of time travelling between countries ensuring operations are running smoothly. We work in an extremely fast-paced industry, with a significant responsibility towards our customers, so it is critical that we make sure our high standards of service are maintained at all times.
When I’m not traveling I try my best to be home by 7:00pm and spend time with my family. A work-life balance is very important in creating and maintaining a healthy environment.
3. What is the most important thing you look for in new hires?
FedEx believes in investing in and growing their team members; and encourages promotion from within. Passion and integrity are strong qualities in our people at FedEx. We generally look for candidates who are self-motivated, demonstrate an eagerness for the service industry, and understand what FedEx Express is about. They also have to maintain the right competencies for the job.
During an interview, it is important to ensure that the candidate knows the company they are applying to. Research and preparation can be one of the simplest ways to impress a prospective employer.
Personally, when I talk to potential candidates, I try to understand from them how they would fit into the organization and its culture, as well as their capability to do the job being sought.
4. What is the biggest challenge you face in hiring talent?
Every company has a specific culture and their own DNA, finding a suitable candidate that fits an organization’s philosophy and culture is sometimes a challenge.
At FedEx we’ve been quite successful in finding the right match, thanks to our well-established hiring practices, which enable us to select candidates who don’t just fill the position, but also are capable of larger responsibilities.
5. What is your advice to someone looking to start their career at FedEx?
I would advise them to come with an open mind; the opportunities can be endless.
They should be open to accepting ideas, information and feedback, while also providing the same to their colleagues.
Having a view of one’s self is a very important trait that FedEx looks for in all new hires. They should be able to identify their areas of improvement and work on them proactively.
At FedEx, we always put people first. Our People-Service-Profit philosophy has always been the cornerstone of our success as an organization. Just like how we ask our team members to be customer or people oriented, we also believe in continuously developing and growing our own people. All new hires must be prepared to work their way up through the organization. Many of our officers and senior managers have started their careers in FedEx at junior level positions, such as package handlers or couriers, and then moved up the ladder.
6. What has been the highlight of your career?
There have been many, but I would have to say living and learning in many different and diverse countries around the world is something few people get to experience during their lives.
7. What do you read to keep abreast of industry developments?
The evolution of the world wide web has made it much easier and quicker to keep in touch with not only industry updates but also global events and news as it happens.
8. How do you think the Middle East has evolved when it comes to HR policies and practices?
Human Resources is an important role in any organization, regardless of the geography. It is not standalone, but part of an overall business process.
In the Middle East, like in other parts of the world, policies and practices evolve with the environment and challenges.
At FedEx, our policies are developed keeping our people at the center of everything we do as part of our People-Service-Profit philosophy, making FedEx proudly the award winner of this year’s UAE Great Places to Work® survey.