Unsung Heroes - the area manager: Muhammad Haiqal, Foodpanda

Muhammad Haiqal works as an area manager at Foodpanda.

The Drum's 'Unsung Heroes' series is a celebration of the people in the industry who slog hard behind the limelight for their companies, brands and clients.

As they are seldom in the spotlight for their contribution to the success of campaigns, and this is their time to shine.

If you think of someone who deserves this recognition, please get in touch with Shawn Lim and nominate them. You can read the most recent feature, which looks at the role of the solutions architect, here.

Working at a food delivery company is not an easy task, especially more so for Muhammad Haiqal who hold the role of area manager at Foodpanda. Area managers are important at Foodpanda because they ensure that the right amount of delivery riders are assigned to each areas to meet demand.

Why is your job important?

My job is important as there will always be issues in the everyday operations, from riders' compliance to assistance when required (excluding order issues). We are the go-to guys when riders need help, ensuring that their shift and deliveries are done as seamlessly and efficiently as possible.

Without us, the efficiency of the delivery chain will be compromised. We monitor the demands of each area, by analyzing the forecasted data of the orders, then will we increase or decrease the demand of riders to meet the expected numbers required.

What is the hardest and stressful part of your job?

Just like any workplace, there will be compliance related issues. It’s very stressful when we have to bear the brunt of stubborn riders but it is very rewarding when a resolution is met.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

There is a big sense of community over at the respective hubs where area managers are housed, so the biggest reward is when we build good rapport with the riders and of course, have our hard work acknowledged by riders and line managers.

The first thing that comes to people’s minds when you tell them your job?

"Are you a working as a rider in Foodpanda?" I can’t fully blame them actually; our primary ambassadors are indeed our riders.

How would you correct/explain to them what you do then?

Usually, I will just respond "No I am working as one of their office staff". If they ask further question about my job scope, I will tell them that I manage the delivery fleet from the district hub I’m attached to.

Is there anything you want to change in your job?

Not at the moment, I am loving the environment here, with how some of the riders are building a rapport with us, not only as managers but as friends as well. My colleagues whom I have been working together for the past year have an unspeakable bond of understanding the strengths and weaknesses within each other.

Which was the campaign that you worked on, that you are most proud of?

Majorly, I have yet to participate in any campaign which I can speak of currently because of my job scope. In itself, my job is an endless campaign and every shift done is a successful campaign!

Who is someone you want to emulate in your industry?

Ralf Wenzel. The founder of Foodpanda; to where he brought Foodpanda to where it is now. From a simple idea to a revolutionary service that has grown to something that everyone lives by.

If you weren’t an area manager, what would you be?

I will be either an IT Tech Support or still be a Foodpanda rider because of my formal education is in IT but fortunately, my currently job is a good mix of both my education and a job that I enjoy.

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