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How do you turn a large retail and property enterprise into a technology business?

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Majid Al Futtaim’s biggest challenge and its 
 biggest advantage is its physical infrastructure

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How do you take that infrastructure and digitise it to allow it to be consumed both internally and externally?

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MAF LABS is an agile, fast, lean team of technologists compromising of Product, Engineering and UX specialists that can be dropped into projects across the organisation

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MAF LABS will own and operate various platforms, API services and will infuse a technology based approach across 
 Majid Al Futtaim

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The Little-Bit-Further Future

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MAF LABS’ ultimate purpose is to turn every major function at Majid Al Futtaim into an API based service that can be consumed both internally and externally

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Everything Must Change

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MAF LABS becomes the catalyst to evolve Majid Al Futtaim from a provider of physical retail infrastructure into a technology business that provides physical infrastructure as a service (PIaaS)

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Projects >> Platforms & APIs >> PIaaS Today >> Tomorrow >> Future

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Why PIaaS?

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Turn our biggest challenge into our biggest opportunity. Digitise our physical infrastructure as the ultimate offence in an e-commerce world

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But merely digitising our infrastructure to meet our own needs is not enough. The real opportunity is to be the provider of choice for everyone else

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An internal services approach ensures that we’re always consuming our own services building an automatic feedback loop that results in the best external services

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Turning everything into an external service allows others to access, learn and contribute to our data and service set, creating a robust competitive moat

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MAF LABS is what AWS is to Amazon versus what Google X is to Google

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Vox User Journey
 (Platform Example)

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Improve user journey to increase yield and margin by allowing the purchase of food and drink through all digital channels Profile customers and learn their preferences to allow easy repeat purchases Recommendations based on what other customers purchased, type of film, seasonality and what’s in stock Improve physical user journey by creating pickup only counters to skip the queue Use digital channels to test new items, bundling and experiences Use data to influence stock levels, new selection and pricing

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Vox Pricing Engine
 (API Example)

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Drive better yields during slow and fast periods by working with multiple price points Ticket pricing will adjust based on a bunch of factors including customer profile, location, time of day, weather, time of year, type of film and popularity of film Sell into new internal channels (e.g. cross listing THEATRE by Rhodes with hotel experiences) Sell through external channels such as third party booking engines and new experiences, e.g. Cinema tickets with Google Maps

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Mall Checkout
 (PIaaS Example)

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Check In to the mall on entry with your device Create customer profiles, learn and know customer navigation and purchase history Checkout out at any outlet across the mall, or across malls Create personalised recommendations, deals and other loyalty opportunities Provide direct consumer financing and other opportunities based on profile, purchase history and other activity Create an internal mall economy to kill external transaction costs and batch process and net settle merchants

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Mall Dashboard for Tenants
 (PIaaS Example)

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Mall Dashboard for Tenants = AWS Console for Amazon Web Services Provide visitor data, performance data, checkout activity, returns activity and repeat purchase rates Provide competitor and category data as well as recommendations on areas of improvement, e.g. stock levels Provide global view of how tenant’s locations are performing versus peers Ability to bid on new or newly available locations Real time bidding on digital advertising across all mall properties Services for key channels such as Carrefour. E.g. cross listing, advertising opportunities and sell through data

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Why, How, Who, When

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 This is the future of physical retail

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 Start by using best of breed platforms, ideally open source and knit together internal platform and API offerings 
 Over time, replace third party platforms with internal technology built specifically for our use cases 
 Owning and controlling the technology layer is a key differentiator and will be the core of our competitive moat

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 Pick one or two projects (e.g. Carrefour) that have the highest need today Allow the team to stay focused by not taking on too much at a time Increase scope as resource availability increases and as approach starts to show measurable results
 Other initial functions include helping with technology identification and roll out of devices, sensors and end user technology Provide high level training and outlook Assess M&A and investment opportunities

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 Product, Engineering and UX supported by Catalogue, Content, Localisation and other functions. Add Data Science, ML and AI in the near future Team of 35+ available to hire immediately
 Hire remotely as appropriate. Incredible talent that can propel progress but may not want to move to Dubai. Aim for the best talent, regardless of location Strong existing experiences of environment, policy and tooling to allow effective remote working

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 MAF Labs should initially be at arms length and be allowed to create its own sub culture that reflects that of a technology organisation Not shorts and sandals, but open, collaborative, fast and commercially focused using tools like Slack, GitHub and a host of others. Casual, but not informal 
 Own set of core values that reflect Majid Al Futtaim but also embrace the ethos of a technology business Take the best parts of this new culture and eventually allow it to permeate across Majid Al Futtaim

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 Commitment of $Xm over three years
 Internal capital to access the right people, technology platforms and cover administrative costs

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Revenue Model
 MAF LABS will initially be a cost centre but will derive a variety of revenue models both internally and externally Deployment and transaction based billing on platforms deployed internally Transaction and service consumption based billing on use of APIs both internally and externally
 Free tier to encourage use and lock-in

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 Equity or Phantom Equity (likely to be more palatable) to provide the team with upside based on impact to the business Measured through an increase in MAF LABS’ share price via revenue booked and other measures This is an important tool to create the right incentive culture and attract the best talent to MAF LABS and therefore MAF

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Omar Kassim [email protected]