SINGAPORE — To lead Amazon’s services in Singapore, which launched on Thursday (July 27), the online retail giant has relocated two Singaporeans — Mr Aarif Nakhooda and Mr Henry Low — as directors of Amazon Prime Now Asia Pacific. Both men, who were based overseas, have managed Amazon’s operations in the United Kingdom and the United States, said the company.
Mr Low, who enlisted in the Singapore Armed Forces in 1993 and served in the Ministry of Defence and the Republic of Singapore Navy before joining Amazon UK in 2010, told TODAY: “There is a lot of alignment as to how we approach issues and problems (in the Singapore military and Amazon), and the analytical approach we take to deep diving and solving problems.”
Leading the operations group for Amazon Prime Now, Mr Low oversees the group’s fulfilment, delivery, supply chain, procurement and operations integration.
“Amazon has a long-standing practice of working with different players and providers in the value chain. Here in Singapore, we have worked with hundreds of vendors and distributors to get their products available on the shelves for us.
“We are also working with a range of delivery partners. So we are enabling these jobs in the Singapore marketplace above and beyond what we are hiring in our local teams,” said Mr Low.
The company is expected to create “hundreds of jobs” in Singapore over the next three years, across managerial, technical and operations roles, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran said at the launch of Amazon Prime Now in the Republic.
The company can also serve as a valuable partner for local retailers, brands and individual merchants, he added.
“By tapping 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 names are working with Amazon to make their businesses e-commerce-ready, such as by improving their supply chain management and digital inventory.
“Prime Now is powered by Amazon’s more than 20 years of operational and technological experience and hundreds of Singapore’s skilled associates,” said Mr Nakhooda.
“The service will drive Singapore’s urban logistics, retail and e-commerce industries as well as benefit small and medium enterprises with direct participation in the advancing digital economy.”
Mr Iswaran said that while the digital economy would be “disruptive” to existing business models, it will also give rise to new ones and job opportunities, creating “new pathways and possibilities” for individuals and enterprises.
Highlighting the need to support training and retraining efforts to enable Singaporeans to participate in and benefit from the digital economy, he noted that Amazon is “committed to continue investing in talent development and providing training opportunities” for Singaporeans to build up their technical, entrepreneurial and creative skillsets.
These skillsets range from software engineering, digital marketing, data analytics and mining, to product management and partnerships development, he added. “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.