Pune techies brainstorm, hack to solve real world retail challenges in 2 days


Pune, January 18: Eight teams innovating over three days on two problem statements culminating in pathbreaking solutions is how one would summarize the ‘IoT in Retail – Maker’s Fest 2017’. The unique hackathon was jointly organised by ThoughtWorks and CodeNow, held at the Thoughtworks office in Pune on January 13, 14 and 15.


Over 50 participants from different technology companies and engineering colleges came together from different parts of the city – some, even from outside the city  – to find solutions to two problem statements sourced from current Indian retail industry.


The hackathon began a month ago, when problem statements were shared with participants. The latter were asked to either choose one of the two statements or craft a solution that solved the holistic retail problem presented by combining the two statements.


The problem statements:


  • An Obituary to the POS terminal

    • Build an IOT (Internet of Things) solution which can enable customers to checkout items from a physical store without the need to go to a PoS terminal


  • Enabling Contextual recommendations

    • Build an unintrusive  sensor based solution which can identify customer location and product inside the retail store to enable a platform for contextual recommendations


The event’s judging panel comprised of Amit Negi, Lead Retail Consultant, Thoughtworks Technologies, Siddhartha Bhattacharjee, Independent Leadership Consultant and Milind Deore, Technology Expert. And of the eight teams that the panel oversaw, one solution stood out on the strength of  its ideation and  presentation. Interestingly, the solution belonged to the team from Thoughtworks’ Chennai office. Four talented techies came up with a product, CuPrune that focused on significantly enhancing customer experience for apparel retailers by reducing queue time.


CuPrune empowers customers via. a faster , more convenient self checkout mechanism aimed to reduce checkout time by over 200%.  The solution’s USP? It promises little or no change to existing processes that the retailer has in place, significantly reducing implementation and change management costs.


Nipun Kanade, Lead Technologist, ThoughtWorks  and member of the winning team said, “When we received the problem statement a month ago, we began our research of the city’s various retail store formats. We are very happy that the judges and fellow teams saw merit in our product. The credit goes to ThoughtWorks for giving us the right kind of opportunities and mentorship to make this achievement possible.”


Amit Negi, Lead Retail Consultant, Thoughtworks Pune said, “IoT is a new adventure for Retail India and we foresee the enormous impact, that the technology could have in this space, which is why we chose this as the theme for the hackathon. We wanted to create a space where passionate technologists, unfettered by roadblocks apply their ideas to real world retail problems.


We, at ThoughtWorks are always looking for opportunities to share what we know and learn from the larger community. We are happiest when we meet curious minds who ask us interesting questions and want to solve challenging scenarios and events like this hackathon, fit the bill.”