World's largest health and beauty retail group partners with Infosys

16 February 2018 4 min. read

Continuing with its strategic ‘partnership approach’ with tech firms across the world, health and beauty retailer A.S. Watson Group has signed an agreement with Indian tech consulting giant Infosys. The partnership will focus on the application of AI and machine learning in the domain of customer analytics.

The A.S. Watson Group (ASW) is the world’s largest health and beauty retailer, operating across of 24 markets through an infrastructure of nearly 14,000 stores and 13 retail brands. The firm was founded in Hong Kong in 1841, and has since grown to a size of 1,30,000 employees, generating a substantial annual turnover of approximately $19.5 billion. 

In keeping with global market trends, ASW has become increasingly active in the online sphere in recent times, and has been working actively to perfect its online operations. The firm is highly customer-centric in its approach, which is summed up in its customer strategy acronym DARE; short for Different, Anywhere, build Relationships and offer unique Experiences.

To realise this strategy, the firm has embarked upon a Technology Partnership Project, which essentially involves the replacement of its traditional vendor-client relationship when dealing with tech firms with strategic partnerships of a more long-term nature. The benefit of this model, according to ASW, is that it offers more transparency and continuity than the traditional models, and offers a win-win situation to both parties.

As a result, a number of such partnerships have been formed with tech firms across the world, most recently with global technology giant Infosys in the Indian market, which is on the path to digital maturity. Infosys has been named an Official tech partner for ASW, with a specific focus on data science and artificial intelligence (AI).

World's largest health and beauty retail group partners with Infosys

In line with ASW’s customer strategy, Infosys will offer solutions to construct a state-of-the-art digital marketing avenue, drawing from its vast experience in digital transformation techniques. In addition, Infosys will leverage its AI expertise to conduct customer-centric analysis, operational optimisation, and resource-efficiency at all stages of operation.

For Infosys, which has recently come under new leadership, this marks the beginning of a long-term relationship, thereby supporting its recent strategy of expansion. The firm is already active in the financial sector, and now has the opportunity to venture into the health retail segment.

Commenting on the partnership, Ravi Kumar S, President and Chief Operating Officer at Infosys, said, “It is imperative that companies embrace digital technologies if they want to stay relevant and it is inevitable especially in the highly competitive and dynamic retail industry. We are pleased to partner with the A.S. Watson Group in their digital transformation journey. We will leverage our vast experience in the retail industry, our deep understanding of global markets as well as our extensive digital capabilities to help the A.S. Watson Group achieve its objectives.”

Meanwhile, Group Chief Operating Officer at ASW, Malian Ngai commented; “The appointment of our first batch of worldwide Tech Partners shows our determination to accelerate our digital transformation, enabling the A.S. Watson Group to build on our solid retail foundation to fuel further growth through a smarter and more efficient organisation. Our purpose of putting customer first and putting a smile on their faces continues. We recognize that our customers are changing rapidly and technology has become an ever more critical ingredient to deliver our purpose.”