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Are Brands Ready For A Retail Renaissance?

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The future of retail seems to be in a heady race, with technology leading all the way. By 2020, half of the world’s millennials would be living in Asia, who would all spend significant time shopping online.

Exponential leaps in technologies, the ubiquity of mobile devices, and the growth of cloud services have all made a sea of change to the way people shop. Consumers, today live in an ‘Easyverse’, an easy universe where they ‘expect’ businesses to know their needs accurately, and deliver personalized shopping experiences. Do retailers and brands have what it takes to meet the ever-changing expectations of the connected consumer?

Top trends identified in 2018:

The rise of the ‘Millennial Shopper’

Born between 1980 and 2000, the millennial is perhaps the most talked about generation in retail. They have grown up and matured with mobile technology and they expect to use it in every aspect of their life. They want to be able to make purchases, use social media, chat with friends, do online research and buy products. According to industry reports, Millennials gave #1 ranking to social networking sites for inspiration to shop.

Understanding the ‘Connected Consumer’- Consumer

98% of Asia Pacific consumers, made online purchases, 3% higher than the global average of 95%. On an average, they spent close to 6.5 hours online a day. According to Global Consumer Survey, over 25% consumers are spending more on experiences this year. All these indicate an expectation from customers on brands to create tailor-made, delightful shopping experiences at every turn.

To attract, engage and retain the connected consumer, businesses need to look beyond conventional approaches and rely on modern technology to address changing consumer needs effectively. However, adopting technology alone is insufficient, as the most significant change needed is in the mindset of business leaders.

Adoption of New age technologies

Cutting-edge technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Blockchain are creating ripples in financial services, customer experience and supply chain. International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that the compound annual growth rate for global sending on AI will be 50.1%, reaching $57.6 billion by 2021. This is thanks to investments in retail, banking, healthcare and manufacturing, which will make up over half of the worldwide spending on AI.

Talking about the impact of technology in retail, Aneesh Reddy, CEO and Co-Founder, Capillary Technologies, said, “The world of retail is changing rapidly, and digitalization is at the heart of the transformation. Currently, there is a major data divide observed between offline and online retailers. Bridging the data divide is crucial to give offline retailers a fighting chance.”

“We have enabled stores to use their infrastructure in a non-intrusive manner to gather key customer insights such as customer footfalls, demographics, heat maps of store regions where they spend the maximum time shopping, and most importantly, constantly listening to what customers talk about.”

Aneesh added, “At the forefront, are the emerging technologies of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. AI and ML in retail help brands reduce the dependence on data analysts and drive effortless decision making. With AI, retail brands can automate targeted campaigns to offer personalized services to every customer. At the moment of interaction, AI helps identify customer behavior to tweak customer experience right from first touch point and throughout the entire journey. The precious data gathered, can help analyze business trends and performances over any given period of time to grow businesses further. The power of data that could unleash the next wave of growth in retail is immense. We may have only seen the tip of the iceberg.”

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Dinesh Nair Appointed as Director for Consumer Business Lenovo India

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Global technology leader Lenovo has appointed Dinesh Nair as Director, Consumer Business for India region. Dinesh succeeds Mr. Shailendra Katyal, who has recently been appointed Site Leader for Lenovo India and Managing Director of Lenovo’s PC and smart device business in India. 

Dinesh Nair has been an integral part of the Lenovo India consumer business for more than 11 years and has worked successfully across several roles. His most recent role was as the sales & channel management lead for Lenovo’s consumer segment in India. He has handled leadership responsibilities across offline general trade retail, distribution management, field sales, eCommerce, large format retail and category management, and has been a key contributor to the company’s growth journey in India. 

“During this difficult time in India, we are working hard to ensure the safety of our employees, partners and customers and I am grateful that we have excellent leaders in place to bring our team together and offer this support. I am proud to hand over the reins of the consumer business to Dinesh. At the same time, this is a demonstration of our commitment to developing talent internally. I am sure he, along with the consumer leadership team, will propel the business to new heights,” said Shailendra Katyal, Managing Director, Lenovo India.

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ASUS ROG Announces ROG Masters Asia Pacific eSports Tournament

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ASUS ROG will host its first ROG Masters Asia Pacific eSports tournament from March to April 2021. Due to COVID-19 pandemic affecting travel around the region, the tournament will be conducted entirely online, with quarterfinal to final matches livestreamed.

The ROG Masters tournament will feature Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) as the official game title will provide opportunity to teams with enthusiastic players to pitch their skills against each other, as well as the best professional teams from their market and in the region.

Tournament Structure

The tournament will see various teams from 15 markets across the region vying for the chance to be crowned as the first ROG Masters Asia Pacific Edition CS:GO Champion. 

The tournament will be played in three stages played over the course of 2 months:

  • Country qualifiers
  • Country finals
  • Asia Pacific finals

Country qualifiers matches for India will start in the second week of April 2021; 8th April and the finals to be held on the 10th April. The India finals to find the top three teams to represent the country will be livestreamed live on 10th April.

Professional teams from across the region will be automatically placed into seeded positions in the country finals. This gives a greater chance for non-professional, enthusiast teams from India to get through the qualifiers and meet the pro teams in the country finals. 

Country Champions will then go on to experience battling winning teams from other APAC markets in the finals that will be livestreamed during 22nd to 25th April 2021.

Prizes

3 qualifying teams from India finals will stand to win US$800 for first place, US$400 for second place, US$200 for third place. They will then go on to the Asia Pacific finals with the chance to win the following prizes for the championship:

ROG Masters APAC ChampionshipAPAC Finals (USD/ team)
1st$10,000
2nd$3,500
3rd$1,500

Registration and Official Tournament Website

Registration for the first ROG Masters Asia Pacific tournament opens on February 8, 2021 at the tournament’s official website.

Registration closes on February 28, 2021 Further details, match schedules, pro team information as well as rules and regulations can also be found on the tournament website.

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Garena Launches Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars

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Garena has announced the Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars, Free Fire’s first-ever esports tournament for the South Asia region. Taking place on 6 February, the tournament will feature some of the gaming community’s favourite Free Fire streamers and personalities from India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

The Free Fire community has continued to expand in South Asia and across the world, with the mobile battle royale game the most downloaded mobile game globally in 2020, according to App Annie. Through the Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars, Garena will look to continue its efforts to excite and delight its fast-growing South Asian community with exciting Free Fire content, and to support and develop the incredible online community in the region.

Tournament Format

The Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars will feature a total of 12 teams. Each team will be led by one of the top 3 streamers from each of the 4 participating nations – chosen by public voting – in this epic clash to determine the best in the region. 

The 12 teams will compete in the Battle Royale Squad mode for a slice of the 1 million diamond prize pool. The ultimate winner of this star-studded tournament will receive 500,000 in-game diamonds; the first and and second runners-up will be awarded 300,000 and 200,000 diamonds respectively. 

Invited Teams

The Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars will feature some of the most popular streamers and personalities from across South Asia. 

The team captains for each nation are: 

India

  • Total Gaming (19.4 Million YT Subs)
  • Desi Gamers (7.8 Million YT Subs)
  • Two-Side Gamers (6.85 Million YT Subs)

Bangladesh

  • Gaming with Nayeem (1.6 Million YT Subs)
  • Illusionist YT (479K YT Subs)
  • Gaming With Zihad (698K YT Subs)

Nepal 

  • Sooneeta (3.26 Million YT Subs)
  • Bshow Mgr (399K YT Subs)
  • Tonde Gamer (2.37 Million YT Subs)

Pakistan

  • RKG ARMY (1.77 Million YT Subs)
  • Unusual Gamer (81K YT Subs)
  • The Skinzo FF (75.5K YT Subs)

Broadcast Details:

Fans can witness all the high-octane action by tuning in to the live broadcasts of the Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars. These will be hosted on Free Fire Esports India YouTube and Facebook, Free Fire Bangladesh Official YouTube and Facebook, as well as on BOOYAH!. 

To cater to the diverse South Asian community, the matches will be streamed with live commentary in 5 languages – Bengali, English, Hindi, Nepali and Urdu.

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