What position did you start in and what is your position now? Please describe your current responsibilities.
I’ve been a European Distribution Controller since I joined JLR six months ago. I lead my team to move our EU manufactured vehicles to our customers in Europe and UK, and our UK manufactured vehicles to our customers in Europe. We play a major role in realising the company’s profits by owning and optimising the handover of the modern luxury vehicles which we proudly create.
Are you involved in any other projects / networks? If so, please describe what they are and what your contributions are.
Since I joined JLR, I’ve seen to the setup of a fit-to-purpose faith room in my department, set up a workshop and a training session to bridge knowledge and skills gaps, helped organise a charity bake sale, and I’m still on the arduous quest to get food delivery to my offsite location in Solihull.
I am also a proud part of the Black History Month Planning Committee that organised the just ended Black History Month 2023 celebrations which included the immersive and impactful Launch and Closing Events, the walk and talk for equity, Tree of Life Reveal, and a series of lunch and learns.
My desire to advocate for equity, diversity and inclusion has led me to actively be involved in the Workforce Experience Group, the African Caribbean Heritage Network, as well as the REACH Network; on whose Committee I serve as the Internal Partnerships Manager.
What do you like about working here?
At JLR, I love the people culture driven from top down, our continual efforts towards a more sustainable future, our focus on creating a supportive environment in which we can thrive, and the opportunities we have to make an impact in any interest area within the business.
What are your career aspirations? Do you feel that you get the necessary support from your management / department to help achieve your learning & development goals?
I aspire to be the representation that I want to see in places of influence. That could mean, God willing, seeing my face in the line up of the JLR Board of Directors someday.
Although I have extensively built my experience and expertise in supply chain globally, I am learning and developing my skills to become an SME in sustainability. I plan to earn a Master of Studies in Sustainability Leadership from the University of Cambridge in a few years, and hopefully, I’ll secure some financial support from the business to achieve this.
I’m a child of Africa; the continent rich in all the mineral resources required to power our sustainable electrified future. Being fully aware of the toll this global mineral demand continues to take on my communities, my interest in the social impact area of sustainability is only natural. With JLR’s sustainability goals and strategy catering to this (Engage for Good and Responsible Business), I intend to be a part of this journey for the long run.
Fortunately for me, my manager has been very supportive of my aspirations. He has created room for me to not just do the job I’m paid for (which I love), but also make an impact in the company’s DEI and sustainability goals. He provides actionable constructive feedback and also advocates for my career growth and development within JLR. This gives me the confidence to be my authentic self and live the exceptional with soul.
Describe your team / department, and what makes it stand out from our competition?
Everyone who knows Finished Vehicle Distribution says it’s the best department to be introduced to JLR, and I concur. It is a relatively small team in Industrial Operations, but we make quite an impact in the company. We are made up of the EU Distribution (my team), Rest of the World, UK Distribution, Transport Quality and Programmes. We work collaboratively to move vehicles to our customers in time, cost efficiently, and at the quality they expect of our modern luxury vehicles. In FVD, we pursue this quality of service for each and every one of our customers and I don’t think our competition puts as much personal and meticulous care in the final leg of the supply chain as we do.
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.
Best travel story: In my first encounter of racism was a more prominent encounter of advocacy. It was in the world’s tallest building. At an experience I’d paid for just like everyone else, I was being unfairly treated (quite blatantly for being black). Twice, the guide had gone around the room, providing everyone except me the audio devices needed for the tour. A gentleman saw this interaction and decided not to stand for such nonsense. He confronted her there and then and went on to show solidarity by giving me his. This triggered her to give him another- confirming what we already knew. Although I sincerely appreciated it, I went on the rest of my life thinking that such allyship and advocacy was normal. Spoiler alert: It is not! So now, it’s my mission to get as many on board as possible to normalise true allyship and advocacy in all areas and also help others receive the protection, support and empathy that I was blessed to receive on that trip.
What hints and tips can you share with the potential candidates who are going through the application / interview process?
Connect with employees to get knowledge of team expansions in interest areas. Beyond the fair salary JLR is happy to provide, there are several perks of being an employee which makes it supportive for working parents, people with families outside the UK, etc. Don’t give up the dream to be in JLR because there’s room and career development for talents like you, if you share our values of customer love, unity, integrity, growth and impact.