As a consultant and tech industry veteran, Saad Khawaja, a Dubai-based Director on our Community Operations team, knows what makes a great place to work: the people and the culture. While casually scrolling through LinkedIn, he stumbled on a job posting at Uber, a company that checked both boxes. “During the interview process, with every progressive conversation, it became clear that I would be happier at Uber.”
Tell us about yourself.
“I love to build things and over the course of my career, I have had the opportunity to build software products, stand up new lines of business, transform organizations and architect new teams. It has been an amazing journey over the past 18+ years and I am able to supercharge this passion at Uber!
I started my career as a software engineer, progressed to a product manager, became a consultant at McKinsey, tried my hand at banking and then moved on to platform companies like Careem and now Uber. The journey has been nothing short of amazing and I am humbled to have had these opportunities.
Outside of work, I am a family man. I love going to events and traveling. I visit at least one new country every year to recharge my batteries and enjoy exploring new cultures and places.”
Tell us about your Uber career journey.
“I joined as a Director of Middle East and Africa (MEA) Community Operations where I looked after Rides customer experiences. I joined during the middle of the pandemic and it was challenging to ensure our customers got the right support when they needed it. We worked hard to create digital experiences for customers and earners so they could still get the support without the need to visit physical locations.
Fast forward to a year into my role and I was given a go ahead to conceptualize and stand up a Digital Solutions team for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), including both Rides and Uber Eats. We explored bringing higher focus to improving our automated experiences, launching digital channels and perfecting our experiences to handle even more complex support issues. We strengthened the team with a Customer Insights and Advocacy group that further drove the agenda on improving all experiences across EMEA.
Now, given the success of EMEA in driving best-in-class customer experiences, I am humbled to be awarded the opportunity to become Head of Core Experiences and Automations for Global Community Operations. In the past, I always had the opportunity to go beyond my scope in the roles I performed. However, at Uber, it’s seamless and extremely rewarding. Our leadership is focused on driving impact and is able to rapidly shift to changing environments, drive strategic agenda and tailor the organization to deliver on the most important topics. For Uber Community Operations, this is in driving intelligent automated and digital customer support experiences on the platform which are expected to make up the majority of our customer support in the future.”
What made you want to join Uber?
“I applied and got a call from Uber the same day which has never happened to me. However, a few things were known to me when I applied to Uber. One was Uber’s culture. I had experienced it when I worked with the teams at Uber during the Uber-Careem deal close in 2019. Second was the talent that Uber attracts. It reminded me of my days at McKinsey. Highly competent individuals razor focused on impact. During the interview process, with every progressive conversation, it became clear that I would be even happier at Uber.”
Do you think our D&I initiatives have influenced you and work on bringing a change?
“Uber prides itself on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. As a consultant and by working in many companies, I have experienced DEI as a banner statement for the shareholders and employees. However, after joining Uber, the seriousness in which this topic is addressed has impressed me. Uber doesn’t shy away from having hard conversations and offers individuals a safe environment to be themselves. The mutual respect and strong focus in driving DEI at Uber is unmatched. It is even called out in our values as ‘Great minds don’t think alike’. On a personal level, this is a topic that is extremely close to my heart and I purposefully ensure that I drive DEI across my teams.”
What Uber value do you identify the most with and why?
“It is hard to pick just one. However, it is the complete set of values that I identify with as they align with mine. Every day our work is driven by ‘Do the right thing’, and especially in Community Operations we have to ‘Build with heart’ and remain ‘Trip obsessed’ so that we treat all our customers with equal respect and importance. To align tens of thousands of individuals to a common set of values is hard but at Uber it is seamless and ingrained in our daily work!”
Any tips for someone considering a role at Uber ?
“If you want to join a next level global phenomena changing how people go anywhere and get anything, then apply to Uber.”
Posted by Uber