HYDERABAD: Barely had Lowe’s Innovation Labs (LIL), a Bengaluru-based innovation lab, announced its accelerator programme, it received 30+ applications from DeepTech startups in Hyderabad.
The innovation team then shortlisted and met with 10 startups through one-on-one meetings to evaluate their solutions for partnership. Speaking about the trend in the applications, Abhay Tandon, Director of LIL, says, “The startup applications mix in Hyderabad was quite diverse with many startups across EmergingTech and OperationsTech.
There were a lot of startups with AR/VR (artificial and virtual reality), robotics and DigitalTech solutions that we are currently evaluating for a partnership. Many of these startups are clearly impacting retail through solutions that enhance consumer experiences and/ or efficiencies that can help our associates serve our consumers better.”
LIL explores how new technologies can add to home improvement and puts them to test in real-world, living labs; and works on solutions that drive value for customers and associates.
The company had conducted its roadshow recently and on that context responded to some queries on the startup scene in the city.
So what are the Hyderabadi startups strong on? Is it their ability to find the right people to come together for an idea?
Are they strong with their initial funding? Do they have good business acumen? Are there any such observations regarding the Hyderabad startup scenario?
Abhay believes that the Hyderabad ecosystem has always been strong as a tech hub with interesting technologies such as AR/ VR, DigitalTech, Robotics, AI/ML as well as OperationsTech.
“Over a period of time, because of strong enablers in the ecosystem – government and industry bodies, educational institutions, investor and founders network, we see the gap reduce in understanding the business problems and targeting these problems with focused solutions using DeepTech.”
“I have observed that a unique blend of startups are partnering with educational institutions to leverage the IP created in the form of white papers, patents and technology professors in academic institutions to develop stronger and robust tech-driven solutions, adding a lot more depth,” he adds.
Decoding 2020 Trends
Technologies such as Blockchain, IoT (Internet of Things), AI (Artificial Intelligence) can help us bring more transparency to our customers, increase sustainability, reduce carbon footprint and create a stronger circular economy.
Technologies such as Robotics, Haptics, AI, AR/ VR can create a stronger visualization environment for the consumers and build an immersive sensory enabled e-commerce environment, consumer adaptable stores, faster fulfilments etc.
Data Analytics and Consumer Intelligence layer on top of these technologies is what I feel will bring the next version of retail.
For example: Can a consumer understand how to remodel their homes/ kitchen without being present in a large store, but rather being at home, taking a picture of their homes/ kitchens and utilising various visualization technologies such as AR/ VR, etc, says Abhay.