“Honestly, I had no plans to stay at Uber for long,” shares Mostafa Abbas, who joined in 2016 as a Customer Service Representative in Egypt. “A few months after joining I had a chance to get my old job back, but I was already in love with Uber, and the rest is history.” 6 years and 5 roles later, Mostafa is managing a team of 50 and cementing the culture that captivated him from day one.
Tell us about your Uber career journey.
“I started my career in the airline industry, but found myself seeking new opportunities after my company stopped operating in Egypt. That’s when I joined Uber in 2016 as a Customer Service Representative for the Middle East and North Africa Driver team before transferring to the Incident Response Team just a few months later. It was clear from the first moment that the culture at Uber was different, and I could really feel that we were about to build something special. I got promoted to Team Lead on the Social Media Response Team and later to Sr. Team Lead. During that time, I helped build and lead a team of 80 agents, supporting both the Delivery and Mobility businesses in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region.
In 2021 I started leading the Compliance Operations team in addition to the Social Media Response Team in MEA. The team only consisted of three agents back then, but we scaled rapidly. Now, we have a strong and collaborative team supporting Uber globally. I couldn’t be more proud.
During this journey, I have been lucky enough to work alongside exceptional colleagues and managers who not only have taught me countless valuable lessons but also played a pivotal role in shaping my personal and professional outlook. Their mentorship and guidance have been instrumental in my growth and development.
Honestly, when I started the job many years ago, I had no plans to stay at Uber for long, and a few months after joining I had a chance to get my old job back, but I was already in love with Uber and the rest is history.”
How has your role evolved?
“In the early days, managers were responsible for everything since some customer support functions weren’t in place yet. The focus was on scaling quickly, and while it was amazing to witness the massive growth in the beginning, it took us some time to get where we wanted to be. Right now we have a well-oiled machine in place and we’re laser-focused on adding more value through investing in people development, while maximizing our efficiency for the communities we serve.”
What are some of the most interesting challenges you’ve had to solve?
“Working from home has unquestionably been the most intriguing challenge of recent times, and not one that anyone expected. As someone who values closely collaborating with my team and cherishing the atmosphere at the office, it wasn’t something I ever considered being a possibility. I recall being asked in 2019 if remote work could be a potential option in the future, and I instantly replied, “that’s never gonna happen!”. How wrong was I?
When COVID hit our doorstep, working from home became a reality, and it was hard to determine how this would impact team performance and engagement. I missed my team, but I knew the importance of embracing the transition and finding ways to make it work. We managed to navigate this uncharted territory with everyone doing an incredible job during this time to ensure the team was able to continue bringing their top game. This is something I am incredibly proud of.
Fast forward two years, we’ve returned to the office, and whilst posing other challenges, it wasn’t as overwhelming as I had anticipated. Most people were thrilled to be back and it was fantastic to see everyone again. The hybrid model we currently have has truly been fantastic, allowing us to experience the best of both worlds, and I am very grateful for that.”
What is your approach to managing diverse teams?
“Understanding that each person is unique in their own way is the key. It’s easy to fall into the trap of making assumptions and stereotyping. However, actively listening and promoting open communication within your team can help create a culture that values diversity. By putting in the effort to get to know your team and encouraging them to share their distinct perspectives, you’re able to create an environment that embraces uniqueness, celebrates diversity, and encourages everyone to feel valued.”
What Uber value do you identify the most with and why?
“While I can identify with all the values, ‘Do the right thing’ is the one I relate to the most, and I believe it incorporates all the other values.
It’s about putting integrity first, being transparent, and always striving to do what’s right. It’s an important value that resonates with me because it aligns with my personal principles, and I believe it’s essential to building trust and respect within our team and among our stakeholders.”
Posted by Charlotte Lim
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