Retail Innovation Tech Alliance (RITA), consisting of X5 Retail Group, Beeline, M.Video-Eldorado Group, and Hoff summed up the results of the first stage of the scouting program. As part of the selection of startups, 395 applications were received from 17 countries (Russia, Belarus, Great Britain, Germany, Spain, Israel, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Romania, USA, Serbia, Ukraine, Finland, Estonia). The volume of applications received 4 times exceeded the program plan. 15 startups reached the finals and participated in the online Deal Flow Session with the RITA experts. GoTech Innovation was the scouting operator in Russia and the CIS.More
Fedor Savelyev, Head of Strategy at M.Video-Eldorado Group, discussed with Eugenia Barchenko, co-founder of GoTech Innovation, what technological solutions are of interest to the M.Video-Eldorado Group and what opportunities a startup will get when launching a pilot project with the company. GoTech Innovation is a RITA operator in Russia and the CIS.
Why are you in the Retail Innovation Tech Alliance?
M.Video-Eldorado Group has been implementing the ONE RETAIL strategy for several years. It is based on digital transformation and seamless technological integration of all channels of interaction with the client, which requires a completely new level of solutions. We are constantly looking for, trying and introducing new approaches and services to increase our operational efficiency and to improve customer experience. The company has been cooperating with various accelerators and venture funds for many years, piloting and implementing startup solutions: blockchain, data analysis, biometrics, chat bots, etc.
The creation of RITA and the development of the technological community around this alliance is a completely new format for large business cooperation. It provides a unique opportunity for the exchange of experience and expertise between partners – leaders in their segments, that have accumulated significant experience working with startups. RITA makes us all more mobile and flexible. Within the framework of the alliance we can quickly test hypotheses, optimize R&D resources and speed up the processes of refinement and implementation. Moreover, by uniting the largest players, we represent a significant segment of the Russian market and can confidently enter the international market as an attractive investor, including for foreign solutions.
What technological solutions are you interested in??
M.Video-Eldorado is one of the leading online players in the Russian market, uniquely complemented by more than 1,000 modern stores across the country. Moreover, even in traditional retail, most purchases are made using mobile technologies. Since 2019, all M.Video sales assistants work on smartphones, authorize customers and go with them along an online path based on data analysis and personalization. Now, interaction with customers has forcedly shifted to the digital field, especially in the light of recent events related to covid-19. That is why we, first of all, consider solutions that support the digital customers experience, mobile technologies, new formats for the presentation of goods and consulting, data processing and analysis, and logistics innovations.
Advanced retail technology also remains our focus. Our stores are an integral part of online sales. They allow customers not only to pick up their purchase within 15-30 minutes after placing an order, but also develop as showrooms, centers of innovation and experience where you can test products, immerse yourself in new technologies, and even have a snack, like hot waffles with freshly brewed coffee.
What will you pay attention to first of all: a team or a solution?
Synergy is the key here. Of course, the team is very important. The guys need to have enough resources and skills to finalize their solution, prepare and conduct the pilot. It’s good if the solution is mature as well and ready to pilot, but we will consider technologies at different stages, starting with MVP. The main thing is that the solution is innovative, applicable and scalable.
Cooperation between a corporation and a startup is always a two-way process, and we are ready to invest time, help, share experience in order to find new opportunities and growth points for young companies and our business together.
What opportunities will a startup get when launching a pilot with your company?
First of all, we offer a modern platform covering the whole country, and all the channels of interaction for testing the product. Secondly, its expertise accumulated over more than 25 years of successful development, vision of trends, knowledge of the industry and customers, their wishes and preferences. The chosen startup will be able to test its technology “in the field” of the real market with a large volume of users, and refine the solution, if necessary. In addition, all members of the alliance exchange data on the work done and the results of the pilots, which greatly expands the scope of application of a particular solution. Finally, we are ready to make a decision on the replication and implementation of the selected technology in a company that is on the top 10 largest electronics retailers in the world.
We wish success to young entrepreneurs in mastering new skills, reaching new horizons and finding their place in the technology market!