LuLu's post-COVID strategy rests on omnichannel retail, data management

COVID has accelerated big changes in retail that were already under way. Current market conditions, combined with changing customer expectations, require accelerating digital transformation and innovation of traditional business models, says LuLu Group CIO Piyush Chowhan.

piyush chowhan
Piyush Chowhan

When Piyush Chowhan took on the role of group CIO at LuLu Group International in November 2019, he faced a big challenge — leading digital transformation and implementing an omnichannel  strategy at a diversified conglomerate with  operations that span more than 20 countries. Little did he know that in a few months, a global pandemic would make his job even more complex.

Headquartered in Abu Dhabi and led by its retail division, LuLu has affiliates in imports and exports, shipping, IT, travel and tourism, and education. With an annual turnover in excess of $7.4 billion and a workforce of more than 50,000, the group requires a large IT team, and Kumar is responsible for 600 technology professionals.

Just four months after Chowhan joined LuLu, COVID-19 was declared a pandemic and customer behaviour changed almost overnight. For example, two-thirds of UAE consumers made their first online grocery purchase during the COVID restrictions on movement.

"Corona has been a game-changing event for every enterprise and we are also impacted. We believe that digital transformation needs to be accelerated to retain our leadership in the retail space," Chowhan says. "We want to implement more customer facing technologies which will make our customer offering more stronger."

Changing customer habits transform retail

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