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We are looking to hire a HUL Innovation Lead (Foundry) in our Digital R&D team based in Mumbai:
The Foundry was set up in 2013 to support Open Innovation activities focused in Marketing (MarTech/AdTech) and to help connect Unilever with the external ecosystem (start-ups and partners) to create collaborations with like-minded organisations and to accelerate roadmaps and areas of focus within Unilever. To date the Foundry has been a successful and integral part of Unilever, connecting the internal businesses with an external ecosystem of start-ups resulting in some 400 commercial relationships. The Foundry has been able to help support the exploration of new solutions and provide much needed partnership relationships to deliver on category and divisional roadmaps.
Recently the Consumer Digital Innovation team was merged under the Foundry, both of which resided within the DRD (Digital R&D) organisation. The reason for this merger was to create a very distinct new team, with new capabilities that stretch beyond establishing collaborations with start-ups to now also being able to help the organisation define innovation strategies, define potential concepts, and test and validate solutions and start-up partnerships.
The merger of the two teams, has identified an opportunity to up-skill in specific geographies, particularly those of significant geographic importance. The India and more broadly South Asia region is significant to Unilever, which is complimented by also having a dynamic and very appropriate start-up ecosystem. The opportunity now exists to have a seasoned Innovation Lead located in our Mumbai office, leading the engagement with the South Asia start-up ecosystem, cultivating and developing out relevant opportunities, serving as a strategic and thought leader back into the organisation and managing the formation of collaboration deal constructs in the region.
The Foundry Innovation Lead in HUL is a critical role and will interface with all the relevant BG leaders as well as BU Heads to ensure that we are generating an appropriate level of deal flow based on the revenue growth needs of the organisation. This Innovation Lead will ensure that we have the right frameworks and processes to engage and develop collaborative partnerships in the region, whilst also ensuring the local business analysts are developing, sourcing and maintaining an appropriate funnel and portfolio for the group.
Areas of specific focus include:
Strategy – ensuring that engaging with external ecosystem and leveraging start-up capability is part of the strategies of the BG/BU in the region and importantly that we are linked to critical value projects.
Ecosystem development – be the primary face into the start-up ecosystem in the region, cultivating appropriate relationships and providing Unilever with strength of voice. Manage the bi-directional relationship with the ecosystem.
Validate and Collaborate – develop and implement methodologies for concept creation, validation and importantly integration pathway for collaborating with start-ups.
Portfolio Management – manage a portfolio of opportunity in the region, particularly through the various phases of sourcing, engagement, validation, deal creation and milestones.
Additionally, in cooperation with the Foundry Comms Manager and the Head of Strategy and Operations, the HUL Innovation Lead will assist in:
Help position the Foundry as an internal vehicle for identifying and validating collaboration opportunities with the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Continue to help develop the Foundry brand and demonstrate it is a partner of choice for start-ups
Develop and implement a strategy for the development of the AI Hubs as a centre by which to engage with the startup community and deliver value to them.
Put in place best in class operational elements for the team, to help manage our sourcing, validation and portfolio management activities.
Lead the start-up collaboration process across the South Asia region Work with the Innovation Leads across the globe and in other parts of Unilever and external experts to construct content and structure for the various activities of the Foundry – tools, capabilities, processes, case studies. Establishment of the ‘playbook’ to enable a systematic implementation and standard approach across all the hubs. Coordination of the sourcing and portfolio management process. Evangelise the Foundry model both internally and externally. External partner liaison (start-up community) to ensure the Foundry has a voice with key partners. Guide the development of the AI Hubs as a primary interface to the external ecosystem and a method by which to deliver relevant assets and expertise and subsequently enhance Unilever as a partner of choice for start-ups.
R&D, S&T and respective teams
Divisional R&D and Marketing teams
Foundry Partners – Pitch, S&T, Digital Ventures, Uncovery etc
Approx. 25% travel required in standard circumstances.
Strong innovation, and business acumen
Good understanding and experience with the principles of innovation, business models, start-up collaboration, concept development and prototyping.
Strong interpersonal skills, with the ability to influence and build strong & trustworthy relationships with people from across different functions.
Experienced in Lean and Agile methodologies and environments
Externally focused, always looking for opportunities to create value leveraging the ecosystem
Able to work in fast-moving, iterative environments
Understanding of cultural differences driven by a global role and able to implement across multiple geographies
Evidence of strong project management skills
A Bachelor’s degree (Business related preferred), and MBA is desirable
Minimum of 8 years experience in a technology-based environment, ideally an accelerator of incubator business
Experienced in innovation cycles (ideation through to MVP) and can build appropriate frameworks and processes
Has worked with portfolio management tools (ie. TRXCN, Affinity) has ability to customise and implement
Experienced ecosystem developer and engagement – innovation and start-up ecosystem
Demonstrated thought leader in the delivery of best of class innovation activity
Global team experience – working across multiple geographies and cultures
Operational excellence – ideally experienced in creating and implementing external and internal facing innovation.
Job Category: Research/Development, Investigación y desarrollo – R&D, Recherche & Développement
Job Type: Data Science and Data Expertise Manager – R&D