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Tesco Lotus invites startups to join first hackathon event in Thai retail history in search of innovations for Retail 4.0 and digital era customers

8 January 2018 — Tesco Lotus, Thailand’s leading retailer, will host the Tesco Lotus Hackathon 2018, the first event of its kind in the Thai retail industry, to invite the burgeoning startup community in Thailand to help come up with innovations to serve the digital era customers better. The winning idea may be implemented by Tesco Lotus across its stores, realizing Retail 4.0 in Thailand.
Ms. Salinla Seehaphan, Corporate Affairs Director, Tesco Lotus, said: “Tesco Lotus is committed to using innovation to help us serve customers better as their behaviours change rapidly in the digital era. Innovation is also important for improving our operation efficiency. We believe that partnership underpins innovation, with each party contributing their strength and expertise in their own respective area in the creation of innovations that address the needs of the modern day customers in the new paradigm of retail. The Tesco Lotus Hackathon 2018 will be our, as well as the Thai retail industry’s first. We want to extend an opportunity for startups in Thailand, as well as individuals from any industry and students to take part in coming up with innovations that serve the needs of digital era customers and solve business pain points at the same time. Together, we will be revolutionising our retail industry towards Thailand 4.0.”

“What we are looking for is innovations that serve the needs of customers, which have been shaped by five mega trends, namely digital transformation, a healthy lifestyle, a new family structure and aging population, convenience & experience, and sustainability.”

“The Tesco Lotus Hackathon 2018 will be held under the theme of Revolutionising Retail towards Thailand 4.0. The ‘problem statement’ we have chosen for the first hackathon is to redesign Tesco Lotus Express experience for future neighbourhoods. We specifically chose Tesco Lotus Express as these are small-sized community stores that interact with customers on a daily basis. On average, annual transactions across all 1,500 plus Tesco Lotus Express stores surpass 415 million. We are hopeful that the ideas and solutions that are gathered during the hackathon will not only benefit our customers and our business, but can also be utilised by local community stores. This in turn will help to uplift Thailand’s retail industry to transform into Retail 4.0.”
Retail plays an integral role in the daily living of people and also enables many other related businesses including food, agriculture, financial, and logistics, acting as a significant distribution channel and consumer touch point. The evolution of retail towards Retail 4.0 is thus crucial for the development of other businesses.

Tesco Lotus Hackathon 2018 invites individuals as well as teams, from startups to students. Application runs from January 8 until February 20, 2018. Applicants can visit www.facebook.com/TescoLotusHackathon2018 to find out more about the hackathon and submit their applications. The Open House will be held on March 3, 2018 to allow participants to learn more about the Tesco Lotus business as well as other relevant knowledge from several industry gurus. The hackathon itself will be held over 48 hours from March 16-18, 2018. The judging panel will comprise management from Tesco Lotus, Chulalongkorn University, the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa), and the National Innovation Agency. The top prize, worth 400,000 baht, is a trip to visit Tesco Lab in London, United Kingdom, and a chance to meet with Tesco Group management. Other prizes will also be up for grabs, bringing the total to more than 450,000 baht worth.

“Aside from the prizes, we believe that an opportunity to work with a large multi-national corporation and seeing an idea come to life at Tesco Lotus stores will be an important milestone for the Thai startup community. There is also a possibility that an idea implemented in Thailand may also be utilised within the Tesco Group, which spans across 10 countries, presenting a unique opportunity for Thai startups to enter the global arena,” Salinla concluded.


About Tesco Lotus
Tesco Lotus, Thailand’s leading retailer, currently operates approximately 1,900 stores across Thailand under five distinct formats, namely Plus Mall, Extra, Hypermarket, Talad and Express, serving more than 15 million customers every week. Tesco Lotus also offers products on the digital platform through two channels: Tesco Lotus Shop Online, where more than 20,000 product items including fresh food are available, and Lazada.com, where more than 12,000 product items are available.