During the event
Sharjah 24: The Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park (SRTI Park) and PLM, a global design and technology company, are hosting the “Future of Retail” Conference on the 26th of May, 2021 at the recently launched “R&D Experience Studio”, a partnership for innovation in retail, aimed at bringing together the best in the industry.
The future of retail conference discuss the high level of digital competition at the sector, how suppliers will boost direct-to-consumer relationships while traditional retailers need to cop with the market transformation to better serve their customers.
The event will be headlined by Professor Luiz Moutinho from Suffolk University and currently on the Experience Studio Scientific Board, followed by a discussion panel on current retail trends and best practices, by some of the best in the field: Pedro Baptista, Head of Own Brands and Partnerships at Worten, one of the biggest tech retailers from SONAE Group, Amin Al Zarouni, CEO at Sahab Smart Solutions, Piyush Chowhan, CIO at LuLu Group International and Mohamed Hilal, Founder/CEO at Mohamed Hilal Group.
Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of SRTI Park at the launch of “R&D Experience Studio” commented that the “R&D Experience Studio” is a big addition to SRTI Park’s thriving ecosystem. “The center will be a main driver in thought leadership of retail innovation in our region. It will be a platform to engage retail sectors, academia and the government to co-innovate and leverage regional retail opportunities and challenges.”
Joana de Almeida Rodrigues, Director of the R&D Experience Studio explained: “As a joint PLM/SRTIP project, the R&D Experience Studio has the mission of bringing together the five axes of the quintuple innovation helix model: “R&D Experience Studio” promotes the quintuple helix of innovation – public, private, academe, ecology and society. Public involves the government in developing opportunities while the private sector pertains to the industry, companies and the economic system. The academy is also involved to bring schools and university to the centre of the debate and ensure involvement of future professionals. Ecology is also vital to adopt sustainable forms of development for everyone and the planet while society is about developing strategies not only from a financial aspect bur also contributing to people’s quality of life”.
For his part, Muhammad Hilal, founder and CEO of the Mohamed Hilal Group, expressed his happiness at participating in the conference and highlighted the important part it plays in shedding light on the technologies that will play a pivotal role in changing the future of the retail sector. He praised the efforts made by the Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park, for keeping pace with technological development and supporting the wheels of the economy in the country.
Similarly, Amin Al Zarouni, CEO of Sahab Smart Solutions, pointed out that technology has become a means for everything that happens in terms of progress and development in the retail sector, especially the customer's journey during the shopping process, and the experience that he has to go through in dealing with this sector. Whether this role is through real-world shops or smart platforms. He said: "Some people say that the shops inside the malls will decrease in number, and thus the number of electronic platforms will increase. However, I think that this perception is incorrect because both will continue to exist, with the real shops playing a different role, perhaps they will focus more on the experience of the customer who visits them. As for the electronic platforms, they will continue to target wider sectors and larger markets."
The conference is taking place at the “R&D Experience Studio” which was created as a result of a solid and promising partnership between PLM Global and Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park to unite SRTIP’s local experience and R&D capabilities with PLM’s knowledge of global retail, functional design and technological integration. The studio represents a place where trends, technology and innovation converge to create the epicenter of the future of retail.
The R&D Experience Studio reveals PLM’s Science behind Business philosophy and exposes our R&D team and projects to stakeholders, proposing to accelerate the development of existing projects and create others from scratch, taking it in an experimentation format for faster absorption by society and organizations.”
The R&D Experience Studio will also be a space for sharing and exchanging ideas about the challenges faced by the sector, and how retail will develop over the next few years. That’s why R&D Experience Studio is hosting a series of talks on the “Future of Retail” with the first event, “Let’s Get Phygital”, taking place on May 26th.
Pedro Rodrigues, chairman of PLM global & CEO of PLM ME, added: “We are extremely proud and pleased to partner with SRTI Park with the launch of the retail innovation center at SRTIP. As design and technologies disruptors, we focus on exceeding our customer’s expectations, with our fully integrated range of solutions. Nowadays, business boundaries have become blurred because of technology and global integration, and the prevalence of technology will continue to grow and shape business.”
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