Two Sin­ga­pore­ans to lead Ama­zon’s ser­vices here, on­line re­tail gi­ant to cre­ate ‘hun­dreds of jobs’

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - International Business -

AMA­ZON, the Seat­tle-based e-com­merce gi­ant, has fi­nally landed in Sin­ga­pore, mak­ing its en­try in South­east Asia and chal­leng­ing the likes of re­gional play­ers Lazada, Red­mart and Qoo10 in the lo­cal mar­ket.

The on­line re­tailer an­nounced to­day the launch of Ama­zon Prime Now, of­fer­ing free one- to two-hour de­liv­ery of prod­ucts from eggs to toys to con­sumer durables. Ama­zon also in­au­gu­rated its largest global Ama­zon Prime Now fa­cil­ity at Maple­tree Lo­gis­tics Hub.

The on­line re­tailer has re­lo­cated two over­seas Sin­ga­pore­ans – Mr Aarif Nak­hooda and Mr Henry Low – as di­rec­tors of Ama­zon Prime Now Asia Pa­cific. Both have ex­pe­ri­ence in man­ag­ing Ama­zon’s oper­a­tions in the United King­dom and United States, and will jointly lead the new op­er­at­ing model for Ama­zon Prime Now in Sin­ga­pore.

Mr Henry Low over­sees ful­fil­ment, de­liv­ery, sup­ply chain, pro­cure­ment and oper­a­tions in­te­gra­tion. He joined Ama­zon UK in 2010. Prior to Ama­zon, he en­listed in the Sin­ga­pore Armed Forces in 1993 and was awarded the Sword of Hon­our and the SAF Merit Schol­ar­ship.

Mr Aarif Nak­hooda, who has more than 15 years of ex­pe­ri­ence in e-com­merce, re­tail, fi­nance and op­ti­mi­sa­tion, joined Ama­zon in Seat­tle in 2012.

“Prime Now is pow­ered by Ama­zon’s more than 20 years of op­er­a­tional and tech­no­log­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence and hun­dreds of Sin­ga­pore’s skilled as­so­ciates … The ser­vice will drive Sin­ga­pore’s ur­ban lo­gis­tics, re­tail and ecom­merce in­dus­tries as well as ben­e­fit small and medium en­ter­prises with di­rect par­tic­i­pa­tion in the ad­vanc­ing dig­i­tal econ­omy,” said Mr Aarif Nak­hooda, di­rec­tor of Ama­zon Prime Now Asia Pa­cific.

Ama­zon said its Prime Now ser­vice is ex­clu­sive to mem­bers of Ama­zon Prime but will be avail­able without the mem­ber­ship to Sin­ga­pore­ans for a lim­ited pe­riod of time.

The com­pany is ex­pected to cre­ate “hun­dreds of jobs” in Sin­ga­pore over the next three years, across man­age­rial, tech­ni­cal and oper­a­tions roles and can serve as a valu­able part­ner for lo­cal re­tail­ers, brands and in­di­vid­ual mer­chants, Min­is­ter for Trade and In­dus­try (In­dus­try) S Iswaran said at the launch event of Ama­zon Prime Now in the Repub­lic.

“By tap­ping on the Ama­zon Prime Now plat­form and its global ful­fil­ment net­works, lo­cal busi­nesses can ac­cess and serve global mar­kets at scale and speed,” said Mr Iswaran. Cit­ing ex­am­ples of lo­cal brands like Tiger Balm and Mamy­poko, he said these brands are work­ing with Ama­zon to make their busi­nesses e-com­merce-ready, such as by im­prov­ing their sup­ply chain man­age­ment and dig­i­tal in­ven­tory.

Ama­zon an­nounced the launch of a new op­er­at­ing model with Ama­zon Prime Now in Sin­ga­pore. Through the use of new tech­nolo­gies such as ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, and in­no­va­tive con­cepts us­ing al­go­rithms for stor­age and de­liv­ery, Ama­zon ex­pects to achieve sig­nif­i­cant gains in labour pro­duc­tiv­ity and in­fra­struc­ture util­i­sa­tion, as well as near real-time de­liv­ery of goods in cities. Such an op­er­at­ing model will strengthen Ama­zon’s cost­com­pet­i­tive­ness and agility, both in Asia and glob­ally, he said.

“Ama­zon is com­mit­ted to con­tinue in­vest­ing in tal­ent devel­op­ment and pro­vid­ing train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for our peo­ple to build up the req­ui­site tech­ni­cal, en­tre­pre­neur­ial and cre­ative skillsets. These skillsets range from soft­ware en­gi­neer­ing, dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing, data an­a­lyt­ics and min­ing, to prod­uct man­age­ment and part­ner­ships devel­op­ment,” Mr Iswaran said.

Ac­cord­ing to Mr Iswaran, a new phase of dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion with the po­ten­tial to bring about enor­mous op­por­tu­ni­ties is tak­ing place glob­ally and Sin­ga­pore is well-po­si­tioned to cap­ture these op­por­tu­ni­ties. “A new phase of dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion is tak­ing place glob­ally. Dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies are dis­rupt­ing value chains across in­dus­tries, as well as chang­ing the way we live and work,” he said.

The World Eco­nomic Fo­rum places Sin­ga­pore among the top seven techready economies glob­ally, while the IMD World Com­pet­i­tive­ness Cen­tre ranks Sin­ga­pore as the most digitally com­pet­i­tive coun­try, Mr Iswaran high­lighted.

“While tech­no­log­i­cal change and busi­ness model in­no­va­tion can dis­rupt the es­tab­lished norms of in­dus­try, it can also cre­ate new path­ways and pos­si­bil­i­ties – for in­di­vid­u­als and en­ter­prises alike. Our chal­lenge is to be pre­pared to em­brace that change, adapt to the new norms, and ben­e­fit from the new op­por­tu­ni­ties they present,” Mr Iswaran said.

De­liv­ery times for Ama­zon Prime Now in Sin­ga­pore will be from 10am to 10pm, seven days a week. Two-hour de­liv­ery is avail­able across all de­liv­ery ar­eas, whereas one-hour de­liv­ery is only avail­able in se­lected postal codes.

The Ama­zon Prime Now app says it de­liv­ers to ad­dresses in main­land Sin­ga­pore and Sen­tosa but does not cur­rently ser­vice out­ly­ing is­lands.

Ama­zon Prime fa­cil­i­ties in Toh Guan, Sin­ga­pore. The e-com­merce com­pany launched in the city state on July 27. Photo: To­day

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