A.S. Watson accelerates digital transformation

Date : 05 January 2018

A.S. Watson has launched a Technology Partnership Programme to build a network of strategic partners to accelerate its global digital transformation.

Greater visibility to drive growth

A.S. Watson's latest announcement will see their ‘Tech Partners’ receive visibility on the group’s growth strategy. This should help provide expert advice and services, and access to innovations developed by their partners. The first batch of tech partners include Microsoft, EPAM, Ovolab, Mtel, UST Global, Tableau and Rubikloud, offering expertise in cloud systems, big data capabilities, AI, ecommerce and data visualisation.

Since 2011, A.S Watson Group has focused much attention on developing its ecommerce strategy. It established eLab in 2015, focusing on digital marketing, and partnered with Toronto-based Rubikloud to develop big data capabilities last year. With needs of consumers changing quickly, the retailer recognises that technology has become even more important.

Strategic relationships offering expertise

Group COO, Malina Ngai, said “We believe every technology partner whom we have chosen to work with is more than just a vendor. Traditional client-vendor relationship is short-term. There is lack of transparency and continuity in the way we work with each other. Besides, project base contract makes it difficult for their resource planning[...]".

"The partnership program is designed to transform the short term contractual relationship to a longer term strategic relationship to create a win-win for both parties. Our tech partners will have access to senior management, visibility on our growth strategy and technology roadmap, as well as a longer term financial commitment from us. We can benefit from their commitment in providing consistent resources, expert advice and services, as well as first hand access to innovation they develop [...]”.

Leadership update in China...

Kulvinder Birring has been appointed CEO of Watsons China. Since joining A.S. Watson in 2005 as Asia regional finance head, he has assumed leadership roles in Korea, Malaysia and Indonesia. Last March, he was appointed acting-CEO of Watsons China. During his leadership, he has aggressively expanded Watsons' network in China to over 3,000 stores in more than 430 cities.


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