The team were delighted to hear that we had been shortlisted not once, not twice, but three times at the Retail Week Tech awards. The Tesco Labs team was listed in the “Tech Team of the Year” category, whilst Kunal Ramkumar and Vidya Laxman were recognised in the “Digital Transformation Pioneer” and “Digital Native” categories respectively. The awards ceremony, held at London’s Hawker House, was an exciting take on the usual format, and brought together the leading names in retail technology to celebrate the outstanding achievements of the last year.
We’re pleased to share that we took home the award for Digital Transformation Pioneer. This award was well deserved by Software Development Engineer Kunal Ramkumar, who, having identified operational inefficiency issues within our solutions for planning in store displays, with scope for huge improvement. Through looking at the basic principles of merchandising, and applying technological solutions to a basic merchandising problem which affects all retailers, Kunal found a solution which is both cost and time effective, the impact of which could change the face of future retail merchandising.
The Labs team was also named silver award winners of Tech Team of the Year, recognising the continuing innovative work that the team produces. With the consistent aim of improving the retail experience for both Tesco customers and colleagues, and with our sights fixed firmly on emerging technology, the team strive to ensure that Tesco remains one step ahead of the curve. Work with trends such as voice activated assistants, connected home devices, and VR and AR particularly impressed the judges.
But that’s not all…
On Wednesday, Angela Maurer, Head of Tesco Labs, took to the stage to talk about our schools outreach activity, promoting STEM subjects in schools, and diversity in the technology industry. Her grand finale was the announcement that we are open sourcing all the materials needed to deliver the activity, enabling other companies all over the world to reach out to this important demographic and help to shift the needle on these key issues.
Thursday saw Paul Wilkinson, Head of Research, Tesco Labs, addressing the audience on our work with voice activated assistants, and what this could mean to the future of retail.
Throughout the 2 day event, Tesco Labs was also delighted to be the headline sponsor for the Retail Week Tech Sprint. Billed as a “technology battle royale”, the Tech. Sprint brought together leading visionaries in retail tech to generate new and innovative ideas. The Challenge: 24 hours to build the shopping experience of the future in a connected world, was set by the Retail Week team and Tesco Labs. The teams pitched their solutions to an expert judging panel (led by Paul Wilkinson) with the three best teams battling it out on the Discovery Stage.
Congratulations to all the awards winners, and thank you to Retail Week – we’re looking forward to next year already!