Speakers

Gulrez 'Gary' Arora, Global Launchpad Lead & Head of Seeds of Change Accelerator

Gulrez 'Gary' Arora

Global Launchpad Lead & Head of Seeds of Change Accelerator, Mars Incorporated

Gulrez (Gary) Arora currently heads up Launchpad at Mars Incorporated, a global program aimed to deliver marketing and sales innovation through partnerships with startups and other technology companies. The goal is to help Mars’s iconic brands harness and leverage the power of technology, and to stay relevant and best placed to reach, engage, and convert consumers in a fast-changing, digitally-influenced, world. In the process it has instilled a culture of experimentation and learning by doing mindset for its large workforce, while providing a platform where failure is seen an opportunity to learn and grow. 

Gary’s role in Launchpad started from its very inception where it was an idea on a whiteboard, to leading the design of the process and operating model, to passionately driving culture change within the organization and inviting associates to participate in Launchpad. 15 months later Launchpad is a fully functional open innovation program that has attracted over 150 briefs from all over the world and is currently solving for over 30 pilots/use cases. 

The pilots span across a variety of business opportunities and challenges and include an AI-powered research tool to identify future trends in food, a voice-powered healthy eating assistant, an intelligent conversational platform that helps improve pet fitness (and sell related products), new and smarter segmentation technologies to identify pet owners in relevant moments of their pet ownership journey, and analytics to reduce out of stocks and a mood-based message targeting system. These pilots are running not just in advanced markets such as Australia, the UK, and the US, but also in key growth countries including Mexico and Russia. 

Also, the program has allowed Mars to connect with over 250 startups around the world, providing them a platform to work with world’s most recognizable and powerful brands. Under Gary’s leadership Launchpad aims to expand to solve for bigger bolder business priorities in order to accelerate growth and start the process of infusing a culture of experimentation and agility across the business.  

Prior to Launchpad, Gary has held various roles in Strategy development and execution, both internally at Mars and externally working for top tier management consulting firms. Gary is currently based in NYC and has previously resided in Singapore, the UK, and India.