Ayşegül Özkavukçu – Migros Ticaret A.Ş Head of Migros Up / Ferit Cansever – Migros Ticaret A.Ş Business Development and Innovation Director

Our personal and social values, the values of our team and the values of our corporation make us who we are. When this bundle of values cooperate seamlessly like the parts of a watch, they create durable and sustainable role-model structures, which won’t stop for many years. That’s why we determined innovation as one of our prior values. Innovation is a challenge in its essence; it’s a result of teams who refuse the status quo and have courage to embrace future from now. Although such teams start their innovation journey with a clear target, the road they take is full of uncertainties. Let’s dream of a very rough road covered with dust clouds. To foresee what lies ahead and reach the end of the road is only possible by parting the dust clouds. Only a well-equipped team can deal with this level of uncertainty. A multidisciplinary team, which fosters different perspectives and not composed by members, who are not only technically competent but also demonstrate their individual desires to overcome problems, can reach the end of the road.

With the vision to be “The ultimate center for innovative leadership”, Migros, as an Anadolu Group company, offers an exquisite corporate structure where individuals, who value innovation highly, can improve themselves and their surroundings. Migros has an indisputable reputation for being innovative and offering an entrepreneurship-friendly environment. Migros set up the retail sector’s first R&D center eight years ago to accelerate, enhance and expand its innovation capabilities. As a part of Migros R&D center, the business development team is constantly seeking to find new ways to change the retail-operating model and now by establishing Migros-Up Program, we open ourselves to new external ideas. In line with our vision, we work on improving our processes starting from our core practices like store operations, e-commerce, supply chain and finance. Not solely limited with retail perspective, we are also keen on focusing on a diverse portfolio such as talent management, artificial intelligence applications, sustainable agricultural practices and brand communication. We also track every local and global advancement closely to share via bulletins in order to build companywide awareness to innovations. This led us to build an internal creative powerhouse platform called “Good Idea, Good Project”.

Our cross-capability innovation perspective fed by company strategies and our internal/external customers’ expectations help us to keep the pace with ever-changing customer expectations and to plan our steps accordingly. In this thrilling route, we introduced some of our compelling projects such as “MKolay”, which our customers can use their own mobile phones to shop in stores and it’s upgraded fully self-serviced version “Mkolay Kantin”, which is designed for offices and business centers, our patented ordering system, which simultaneously improves the sales, decreases stocks and losses of fresh fruit&vegetables, our artificial intelligence based on image recognition and RPA technologies, first store to store money transfer which makes our customers’ lives easier, utility bill payment, Kumbaram, which saves change in their Money loyalty accounts, the integration of Money Club Card with urban transportation cards and last but not the least, MoneyPay, our newborn fintech startup.

After implementing multiple radical innovation projects, we decided to set up the Migros Up platform in 2021 with the belief of expanding our innovation capabilities only by ensuring effective cooperation with entrepreneurs. In line with the latest global developments, the Turkish entrepreneur ecosystem has been growing for the last couple of years. By the help of Migros-Up program, entrepreneurs have the chance of launching their dream products faster than ever before. Our rapid feedback cycles by testing their products in real retail environment gives them a priceless advantage that other startup initiatives can’t provide. Combining the expertise of the Migros Up team with the enthusiasm of the young entrepreneurs ensure a fast-paced, highly dynamic innovation incubation nest. As the speed of innovation or in other terms to reduce the time elapsed from the start to the first MVP is the most critical aspect in our modern competitive world, agility is our ultimate mantra. Migros experts and entrepreneurs come together as agile teams to move towards a common goal with the motto “Achieve fast, fail fast, learn fast”. This unique approach of Migros-Up resulted beyond our expectation even in this unprecedented year and fortified our confidence in the future of innovation in Turkey.

Similar to occasionally using a satellite navigation system as we travel from point A to point B, we take breaks as we develop innovations to reassess the opportunities and threats we face. We are able to reevaluate the process without falling in love with our products and ideas. Only entrepreneur souls, who have the courage to take the first step to start a journey, can lead innovation.

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