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Case Study

Explorium Shanghai

Explorium is a trailblazing experimental platform built by the Fung Group for seamlessly integrating new technology applications with business model innovation, to transform and advance the supply chain and retail industries.

Challenge

Create a value-generating ecosystem where businesses, start-ups, incubators, accelerators, and venture capitalists collaborate to explore disruptive technologies that are reshaping global supply chain and retail in the digital era.

Fung Holdings (1937) Limited, a privately-held business entity headquartered in Hong Kong, is the major shareholder of the Fung Group Companies. Their core businesses engage in trading, logistics, distribution and retailing. Li & Fung Limited (SEHK: 00494), Global Brands Group Holding Limited (SEHK: 00787) and Fung Retailing Limited are all subsidiaries of Fung Group.

Learn more about the Fung Group

In 2014, Dr. Victor Fung, Chairman of the Fung Group, hatched a plan to build a new and unique innovation hub on the Group’s campus in Shanghai. Dr. Fung tasked the Fung Academy with designing, building, and operating the new hub called Explorium.

Fung Academy is the learning arm of the Fung Group. They accelerate learning to enable the Group to constantly evolve, and improve how their fast-changing world works. Through talent acquisition, leadership training and exploration and prototyping of innovations, the Academy build future capabilities of the Fung Group and its key stakeholders to shape the supply chain of the future.

Learn more about the Fung Academy

 

In 2015, Explorium (Shanghai) opened its doors as a value-generating ecosystem where businesses, start-ups, incubators, accelerators, and venture capitalists collaborate to explore disruptive technologies that are reshaping global supply chain and retail in the digital era. Explorium is a trailblazing experimental platform for seamlessly integrating new technology applications with business model innovation, to transform and advance the supply chain and retail industries.

Learn more about Explorium

Solution

Hands-on leadership coaching, thoughtful change management, extensive ecosystem building, rapid prototyping, and culture creation.

Yaniv’s knowledge and expertise in technology has added much value to our innovation work at Explorium.

Joanne Ho

COO, Fung Academy

I joined the Explorium project in late 2016. My role as a member of the Fung Academy was to help the Explorium team transition from a corporate innovation lab (Explorium 1.0) to an open innovation hub (Explorium 2.0).

This was my first project in China and, looking back, I’m glad I was oblivious to the size of the challenge (otherwise, I may have passed on it). The stakes were high on this project as the team needed to pivot quickly from an existing model of a corporate innovation lab to an ecosystem model of an open innovation hub.

The first challenge was understanding the status quo. The project was already running for more than a year with an existing team, work culture and ethics, a shared history and narrative, as well as, predetermined KPIs.

For the first month or so, I observed, listened, paid attention to what was going on around me, and trying to piece together all the parts of this puzzle into a picture that made sense. Through 1-on-1s, group meetings, informal workshops, and so on, I focused on building relationships and trust, figuring out who had more tolerance to change and risk, and who were the champions I could count on to implement any changes we needed to make.

At the same time, I would often step out of the building to get a feel for the neighborhood around the lab as well as Shanghai in general. I was trying to understand who were the people I could connect with outside of Explorium to help ease the transition from corporate innovation lab to open innovation hub.

After establishing trust and building a solid network within and outside Explorium, I focused on co-creating the new strategy (aka Playbook) for Explorium 2.0 together with the team. Using a few simple frameworks such as Design Sprints and the Business Model Canvas, we came up with a playbook for the new Explorium that included (amongst other things) replacing the existing lineup of corporate partners and bringing in new partners, retraining the existing workforce to be more agile in mindset and practice, and focusing on partnering with startups as the main driver of new technological solutions for the Fung Group’s business units and network of customers, partners, and more.

Following the launch of Explorium 2.0, I began to work closely with Richard Kelly, the Fung Group’s Chief Catalyst, on plans for a second Explorium location – Explorium Hong Kong. Richard and I also began to develop new models for piloting and scaling tech solutions and business models in order to support Explorium’s new role as a connector between different stakeholders such as startups and large commercial clients.

Impact

A pipeline of new transformative projects + the skills and capabilities to see them through.

Explorium continues to be a truly transformative project. It’s nearly impossible to account for every single way Explorium has made an impact on the Fung Group. However, here are a few of the major highlights…

2018

Explorium opens a second location in Hong Kong, where the Fung Group is headquartered.

2019

In 2019, the Fung Academy which operates Explorium Hong Kong won an International Innovation Award for its Pilot2Scale program. The program itself has already produced some remarkable results such as launching 8 pilots, 5 of which have made it to the Go-Live phase of implementation.

Locations

Award

Pilots

Pilots Go-Live

What’s Next?

Build an award-winning innovation program

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