Gulrez 'Gary' Arora
Global Launchpad Lead, Mars Incorporated
Gulrez (Gary) Arora currently heads up Launchpad at Mars Incorporated, a global programme aimed to deliver marketing and sales innovation through partnerships with startups and other technology companies. The goal is to help Mars iconic brands harness and leverage the power of technology, to stay relevant and best placed to reach, engage and convert consumers in a fast-changing, digitally-influenced, world. In the process instill a culture of experimentation and learn by doing mindset for it’s large workforce and 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, from where he led 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 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 smarter segmentation technologies to identify pet owners in relevant moments of their pet ownership journey, 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 inorder 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, UK and India.