Guest post: Overcoming transportation needs in India
Many cities in developing countries lack the capacity, knowledge, and tools to make informed decisions to improve mobility. The FedEx-EMBARQ Mobility and Accessibility (MAP) program addresses this challenge by leveraging FedEx’s extensive know-how and expertise to accelerate EMBARQ’s ability to help cities create mobility and access to the marketplace, jobs, schools, and communities in ways that minimize environmental impacts. One pillar of this program is the FedEx Transport Fellowship (FTF) program, which provides EMBARQ’s staff from different countries with the opportunity to learn from FedEx’s expertise and take the knowledge home to apply it to projects on the ground. The first class of FTF fellows took part in an intensive training program at FedEx World Headquarters in November 2011, and the program is currently in its second cycle.
In March 2014, FedEx hosted the current class of FTF Fellows for a week-long training event at its headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee, United States. The following is a guest blog post from Erin Wichtoski, Quality Advisor, FedEx Corporation, about her experience supporting EMBARQ and EMBARQ India.
Editor's note: The following article was originally published on FedEx's Team Member Stories blog on December 8, 2014.
Working with EMBARQ and EMBARQ India has been a truly rewarding, beneficial and thought provoking experience. In March 2014, I had the pleasure of being one of the presenters to the EMBARQ FedEx Fellows, and provided them with information on Quality Driven Management, how we improve quality in our operations, and information that they could use in their own endeavors going forward as FedEx Fellows. It was wonderful to see this incredibly bright, diverse and caring group of individuals ready to improve life for so many people around the globe. Little did I realize that about six months later I’d be working hand-in-hand with this awesome organization in Chennai, India.
As part of the FedEx Global Leadership Corps program, two other FedEx team members and I worked with EMBARQ India to assist the Chennai public bus system in an improvement project. Our FedEx team provided an international perspective, assistance with analysis and an implementation plan for the client. Because of the great relationships EMBARQ India had formed with the bus system authorities and related management in the transportation arm of the government, we were able to come in right away to have productive meetings and waste no time helping.
The benefit that this support provided was immeasurable. EMBARQ is a large non-profit organization managing many different projects covering vast transportation needs globally. From project start to finish we worked very closely with a few EMBARQ employees. One came from Mumbai and stayed in Chennai for the duration of the project. Two came from Bangalore. All were keenly interested in the success of the project. They ensured that daily support, relationship building and ensuring the best communication methods were always top priority.
One of the unique things about our collaboration with EMBARQ is that it takes the skills that we’ve honed in our careers at FedEx and lets us apply them in new ways to a client very different than our own employer. This provides maximum benefit for the client, and gives us a chance to spread our wings. It’s a rewarding feeling, to say the least. Our clients are able to benefit from the pro-bono work, and we are given an opportunity to flex our professional skills, and – perhaps most importantly – grow our interpersonal and leadership skills.
For team members at FedEx and EMBARQ, the collaboration is invigorating and motivating. The benefits of the experience for those in both organizations carry on long after the completion of a specific project. The collaboration isn’t just benefitting faraway clients in need, but countless families who depend on public transportation globally, and the team members who grow through the experience. A win-win-win. I truly hope this collaboration continues for a long time – or at least until everyone in the world has safe, reliable and sustainable transportation to work and back to their family, every day, around the world.