15 minutes with… Nadeem Hashmi

Nadeem Hashmi

Nadeem Hashmi is the general manager at the Aston Cross depot of East End Foods in Birmingham. East End Foods is a Landmark member based in the West Midlands and supplies ethnic foods to a wide range of markets across the UK.

What do you like most about your job?

The part I enjoy the most is selling: meeting and greeting people, promotions, customer relationships, supplier relationships – the whole lot. Sales is definitely my thing.

Sounds like you’re in the right industry. What is the most challenging thing about your role?

I’ve been in the wholesale industry for 16 or 17 years. I worked for Bestway for a long time before I came to East End Foods and the one thing I still find hard is the variety – no two days are ever the same. Some people enjoy that but I want to make everyone feel important, from suppliers to staff to customers, and prioritising everyone can be a challenge. It’s hard to find time in the day to get everything done.

You’ve been in the industry a while then. What was your first ever job?

My first job was with a company in northwest London called Ultra Fresh, which supplies all the cakes and cream cakes to Marks & Spencer. I started working a night shift there when I was 16.

If you didn’t work in wholesale, what would you be doing?

I’d love to run a restaurant. I also had a little stint selling tickets for Avianca, the national airline of Colombia. I’m just really more inclined towards retail so I don’t have any great desire to be an astronaut or anything – I’ll leave that to the people who are up to the job!

How would your colleagues describe you?

They would definitely say I am serious. It goes with the territory these days. I like to have fun as well and being able to have a laugh makes the days pass quickly, but there are deadlines to meet and results to hit and we are under pressure. Birmingham is a very competitive city and we have to stay focused.

Who would play you in a film of your life?

My wife told me not to say it, but the only person who comes to mind is Dash – the little boy in The Incredibles who runs everywhere at top speed. I spend a lot of time on the shop floor and I run around the depot all day!

So when you’re not running around the depot, what do you like to do outside work?

The most important thing is spending time with my family. I have an eight-year-old son and we do things like go swimming or come down to London regularly to go to the theatre.

george-galloway

We also watch footy – he’s an avid Arsenal fan and my family are all from north London, so we go to the matches when we can.

Who in the public eye inspires you?

There isn’t one person who consistently inspires me, but in general, people who follow their hearts inspire me.

I know it’s an odd choice, but George Galloway has always impressed me. He must be an interviewer’s nightmare, always going off on tangents, but there’s something about the way he speaks his truth, despite the public’s perception of him, that I respect.

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