Three questions to Thierry


Swiss Post was recently awarded by the Universal Postal Union for being the world’s most innovative postal organization. While they visited India for trend scouting we delved into the details on how they engage in continuous innovation within Switzerland and across borders, especially India.

 

Here’s what Thierry Golliard, Director Open Innovation & Venturing, Swiss Post had to say…

“Staying innovative is crucial to the company’s survival and growth. We are a domestic market leader in mail, logistics, mobility and retail banking and want to stay ahead of competition. It means working with the best technologies available, no matter where their origins are. Algorithms, software and platforms from abroad can be easily applied in Switzerland. In that sense, India is a very interesting country. Connected and Data Economy requires technological skills and agility. New business models based on internet of things, digital identity, artificial intelligence, autonomous warehousing and delivery have been popping up in the recent years in India and are an important source of inspiration for Swiss Post. Local players offer interesting partnership opportunities.”
Thierry Golliard

 

So we asked a few questions on his impressions on Innovation in India, before and after the trend scouting.

How is India’s startup ecosystem different from others? What are the key strengths according to you?

I expected impressive software capabilities before the tour and I would say my expectations have been met. What surprises me positively is the integration of these skills in integrated solutions and market-validated applications. The focus on customer experience and the pace of the iterative developments also impressed me. Finally, Indian startups are more open and ready for the European market, while e.g. Chinese startups often primarily focus on their own domestic market.

People are key here. They show entrepreneurship spirit and master technologies. In addition, you have a huge domestic market, which allows quick scalability and traction for local startups. All the ingredients are there to make India one of the most interesting places in the world for startups. 


What are your top 3 takeaways from India?

First, Indian startups are very customer-centered and agile. They can adapt to the domestic market very quickly and meanwhile stay open to overseas market.

Secondly, speed and creativity are spreading out. Many smart entrepreneurs tackle the challenges related to the population growth like traffic congestion or urban infrastructure with innovative and disruptive solutions in a very short time.

Finally, the food is fantastic 🙂

Tell us about some of the exciting startups you’ve met, and their solutions. How would they shape the future of innovation at Swiss Post?

Many startups were inspiring. For instance, I found the solution of Locus and Shipsy for dynamic urban delivery, of Sun Mobility for e-mobility, GreyOrange for autonomous warehousing, Novopay for decentralized financial services or Auxledger for blockchain-based supply chain all extremely interesting.

Furthermore, the exchange of experience on mobile commerce with bigger players and market leaders like Flipkart were extremely valuable.

Swiss Post had an intense and insightful week in India exploring the diverse startup ecosystem. The program co-designed with swissnex India enabled the delegates to connect with the best-in-class startups, experts and solution providers.

 

“We’ve planned concrete follow-up actions with some promising startups. If we establish concrete collaborations, we’ll think about trend scouting in India on a regular basis.

We are globally looking for partners to cooperate and co-create. This approach is very focused and structured, in collaboration with the best local partners like swissnex in India”, added Thierry.

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