Waheeda Akram

When we put a call out for hidden heroes on social media, Waheeda Akram’s name popped up very quickly. Waheeda runs the Stockbridge Post Office and has been praised for her customer service with a smile!

Hi Waheeda, tell us a bit about yourself!

My name is Waheeda Akram and I am a mum to a 20-year-old daughter who is currently a third year student at university. My career before I joined the Post Office was in the insurance industry, where I dealt with motor/home and personal injury claims.  

The opportunity came up in 2002 to run a Post Office and with my father’s persuasion, I decided to give it a go. This is now my 19th year in the business and I have never looked back.  

What’s the best thing about your job?

The best thing about my job is being able to serve the community and local businesses alike. I have lived in Stockbridge practically all my life and a lot of my customers have seen me grow up. Now I am in a fortunate position to be able to serve their children and grandchildren and watch them grow up.  

How have you adapted during lockdown over the past year?

It has been quite challenging and having to adapt during lockdown was tough as we were all going into the unknown. Initially, I reduced my hours for a couple of weeks just to figure out in my own head what was best for the business and how I could keep the office operational whilst ensuring my staff and customers alike were going to be kept safe and protected.

It became very obvious that the Post Office services were in demand and the community and businesses required us to be open for business as usual. As families could not see each other, there were a lot of care packages being sent and online shopping being done as no one could go to the shops. 

My working hours are long. A typical day is from 8am to 8pm. If you want to have a successful business you need to put the hours in and be totally committed. Leaving jobs half done or a messy office is not in my genes! It is the way I have been raised by my wonderful parents. Unfortunately, since the beginning of the pandemic I have not had any time off except over Christmas and New Year. That break was most welcome but I was itching to get back to work. I just love my job.  Hopefully there will be a holiday on the horizon to look forward to.

I am proud to be the owner of a multi-award-winning Post Office and the best in Scotland for four years running for customer service. Anyone walking through your door, whether they are young, elderly or vulnerable, should be treated with kindness and care as it is the customers who make your business viable and a success. My father is my biggest inspiration. Without his guidance and wisdom, I wouldn’t be in the fortunate position I am in just now.  

And finally, for you, what keeps Edinburgh thriving?

Edinburgh thrives with fantastic independent businesses, tourism, beautiful scenery and friendly people.

Quick fire questions

Best place to eat in Edinburgh? Rollo in Stockbridge

Best view of the city? Arthur’s Seat

Best hidden gem in the city? Galerie Mirages in Stockbridge

keep edinburgh thriving
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