At Lowe’s India, the Business Architecture staff types the bedrock of all technology innovation. Led by Mayur Purandar, Vice President, Enterprise Architecture, the team has performed a key role in reshaping the retail architecture within just Lowe’s to grow to be a planet-course, client-centric, omnichannel retailer. 

We spoke to Mayur Purandar to discuss the job of the crew in-depth, understand how Lowe’s India leverages new-age know-how.

Edited excerpts from the job interview:

YourStory (YS): What is the magic formula behind building a technology architecture that drives and enables seamless tech innovation for a retail organization that is as huge scale as Lowe’s? How hard is this feat?

Mayur Purandar (MP): Company architecture supplies a enterprise with structure though it undergoes transformation. We peel off the levels of outdated legacy methods in a very structured and systematic way. Our staff supplies that scaffolding for all engineering groups to start working on that transformation journey. How do we do this? Our architects not only specialise in diversified technological know-how domains but are also concentrated on retail fundamentals. This enables the engineering stack to replicate retail fundamentals, not organisation structures. Even though company teams can have retailers company staff, an online enterprise staff, or a offer chain organization team and so on, our technological innovation – or the way we make architecture – should not be reflected in that. The architecture we develop and modernise is impartial of channels of conversation- it is homogenised throughout channels and that’s what helps make us truly omnichannel by default.

Remaining a house advancement retailer, Lowe’s has a definitely elaborate enterprise design. Our purchaser interactions start way in advance of they log on to the internet site or go to a retail outlet because they are looking for inspiration. We go offline, hook up with them forward of their invest in to encourage them, and give details for their re-modelling initiatives, major-ticket buys and so forth. We have to handhold them via the paying for journey by way of plan to inspiration to complicated installation processes and even article-installation. This is why our architecture and architects get the job done alongside one another to occur throughout as one retailer for all our purchaser touchpoints.

YS: The pandemic manufactured a lot of organizations, irrespective of size, scale with the assistance of technological innovation. What affect did technologies have at Lowe’s for the duration of those people decades?

MP: The pandemic was in fact a genuinely hard phase for those with no strong tech architectures but luckily at Lowe’s, we ended up by now on our modernisation journey- the pandemic only fast tracked it. Folks commenced paying out extra time at properties and we saw an exponential improve of orders on our web page. Our dotcom website was presently on microservices architecture employing a general public cloud so our ability to scale up grew to become genuinely essential.

Next, individuals weren’t having into merchants, so we experienced to make a whole lot of tech on the net, to support people today determine out how to do house advancement. Omnichannel turned significant from a purchaser purchasing conduct standpoint. Even if individuals went back again to merchants, they had witnessed the advantage of buying on the web, and wished this blend to appear throughout seamlessly. We made multiple upgrades to our programs at that time, and we proceed on our journey till date and the pandemic taught us that tech financial debt is not an alternative. We are creating a large amount of investments to definitely create our omnichannel tech ecosystem and a great deal of the exciting operate is going on out of our Bengaluru workplace.

YS: How is Lowe’s leveraging AI/ML and AR/VR throughout its features? 

MP: We want to ensure that every single engineering product that we develop is AI-initially and we have a two-phased strategy for it. To start with, the apparent large rocks – we have to have AI/ML and superior studies in look for, personalisation, pricing motor and advertising analytics, demand forecasting chatbots among some others. For instance, we use AI/ML to realize the pricing elasticity of an item and even to realize the elasticity of spots – why a distinct product is providing in a person component of the state. Whilst these are apparent spots in which AI/ML is significant, we are wanting to consider it one particular action additional. To modify the selling price of an product in a specific area, I would need to have to know what affect it really is going to have at numerous ranges – from how considerably it is likely to provide to profitability. These are not-so-apparent use conditions, but a seasoned retailer functioning on these capabilities will have a lot of interest.

Next, the long term of retail is touted to be experiential and immersive where AR/VR is likely to open up lots of interesting options in home enhancement retail. For us at Lowe’s, it is the finest way to meet our consumers when and in which they want. For instance, our ‘Measure your Space’ application allows people scan their complete area, recognize the room and compute the demanded amount of paint. It allows them validate their inspiration and make educated purchasing decisions in advance of they even make a order.

Finally, we are betting huge on post-order as properly- if you purchased anything that is broken, can we use AR/VR to assistance you repair it by yourself? Or do we have to ship somebody to repair that individual equipment? These are the several spots in which we are going huge on AR/VR.

YS: Metaverse is a buzzword today, and most providers are jumping on the bandwagon. What are your views? How applicable is the metaverse for Lowe’s?

MP: Very last yr we commenced providing prospects a opportunity to use metaverse assets to help visualize developing tasks. We manufactured in excess of 500 assets obtainable for absolutely free on our individual metaverse hub as the urge for food from our shoppers to use emerging engineering was big. But owning said that, we are even now taking extremely early exploration steps. We see a lot of opportunity in being ready to leverage metaverse, but we also do not believe in leaping on to each and every new development. We are making an attempt to seem at the place the field is, the place our shoppers are going. We will probably broaden based on where the marketplace goes and if we see the will need expanding.

YS: As a know-how chief, tell us a milestone that you are most happy of? How does the culture at Lowe’s persuade you to get likelihood with technology?

MP: Our most significant milestone is our tradition and the progress we accomplished in the past few of decades. Modernising our POS programs, our self-checkout lanes created fully by our engineers, re-platforming into the new technology stack- all these and much more have been big feats that we obtained alongside one another all due to the fact of our platform way of thinking. Together with architecture, we built an engineering enhancement system. Our total know-how stack is standardised into platforms that we have developed, which is why we are equipped to shift speedy. 

When we are chatting about a tradition of innovation, we ought to also recall that at the conclusion of the day, we are not a pure tech organisation but a retail business. So, our enterprise groups participate in a important function in our journey to getting the world’s most consumer-centric retailer. Our technological know-how groups can test innovating, but it can’t access the prospects until our small business teams are aligned to our strategies and construct adoption. What you’ve viewed in the last pair of years is the support from our business enterprise teams and that’s why we have been equipped to make large bets on AI/ML, AR/VR, blockchain, and other technologies. We get the job done with the enterprise teams to see if our shoppers are completely ready for one thing- most instances we collectively win, but at periods we fail, which is fully alright. As component of Lowe’s tradition, we celebrate the state of mind of exploration and innovation and we think, if you do not fail ample, it signifies you really don’t attempt difficult ample.

YS: What suggestions would you give associates in your crew and the future technology of youthful engineers?

MP: Engineering is modifying so rapid that trying to keep up to date with the most current tendencies is no extended a preference. For instance, the design of programming has completely altered. At Lowe’s, ongoing understanding is a single of our main behaviours, so every of us here strongly feel in learning and staying abreast of all the fantastic factors that are taking place in the industry- tech or if not. We have numerous plans and gains that permit associates to hone their capabilities and also investigate skill making in other areas. When we invest time in understanding the interesting stuff, I would talk to youthful tech experts and these who are just starting off out, to not shed aim on fundamentals. The fundamentals of laptop science will continue to be suitable, and mastery above them is vital to realize success.

YS: What vital tech developments do you foresee in the retail area in the coming years?

MP: I have been next the tech sector very intently for a handful of many years and right here are my observations- the trend of crypto and blockchain is poised to disrupt the marketplace AR /VR and metaverse have built a decent impact on our lives so considerably, I’m keen to see the place all this is headed AI/ML will keep on to participate in a enormous part in the marketplace and a greater part in affiliate efficiency. From an engineering stage of perspective, when I’m coding and setting up purposes, tools or co-pilot kind of mechanisms can assistance avoid regular pitfalls. It will make enterprise processes more intelligent. The affect of AI/ML, not just in the retail room, but in our life is heading to be substantial. I really don’t consider we are ready to comprehend how big that improve is going to be.

Lowe’s India is a qualified Fantastic Area to Do the job and it is shaping the upcoming of retail. Explore careers at Lowe’s to be component of this remarkable journey: