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The Future of Retail

Join WITI for a discussion on how technology is playing a role in navigating the rapidly-shifting priorities and habits of consumers in a world impacted by the pandemic.

Featured Speaker(s)

Moderator: Bhuvana Husain
Bhuvana Husain is a Senior Director at Grubhub. She is an accomplished leader, having held several operational and management roles at companies such as Akamai Technologies and Sapient. With over 15 years of work experience as an individual contributor and people manager, Bhuvana is a skillful communicator with local & global teams, managers & executives, external customers, and internal stakeholders. She's passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion, having driven multiple programs in corporate and community settings. Bhuvana has a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and is based in the Boston area, where she lives with her husband and two children.

Speaker: Ashley Benson
Ashley Benson is a Sr. Product Manager at Decathlon USA. She has a Bachelor's in Consumer Affairs in Business from the University of Wisconsin. Ashley has over nine years experience in product management for mobile and web applications. Ashley is responsible for design, development, and testing of tech implementations including mobile POS, ecommerce and inventory management at Decathlon USA. In turn, she shares a passion for leveraging emerging technologies to improve end user experiences for both retail employees and customers alike. Moreover, Ashley has a background as a NCAA Division I athlete and coaching track & field adding to her unique perspective in sporting goods retail. Ashley lives in San Francisco with her dogs, Eli and Ollie and can be found competing in running and cycling events during her free time.

Speaker: Gayatri Badriprasad
Gayatri is the Director of Product Management at Shipt. She leads Search, Catalog and Ads strategy at Shipt, and partners with CPG and Retail leaders to drive advances in the digital shelf. She is passionate about building experiences that enable Shipt members to feel competent in their ability to manage their complex personal and family grocery needs.

Throughout her career, Gayatri has loved solving complex problems deeply rooted in consumer insight and data, and enjoys building an internal team culture of engaging hearts and mind. Gayatri has a PhD in Computer Science from UC Santa Barbara, with an emphasis on building reliable reputations systems for social e-commerce.

Speaker: Neda Raji
Neda Raji is Director of Customer Product Management, Automation at Walmart eCommerce based in San Bruno, CA where she leads a team of customer-centric Product Managers with a portfolio of products focused on providing Walmart Customers with low-effort self-service solutions across a variety of channels by utilizing emerging technologies such as Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Conversational Commerce.

Neda has over 10 years of success helping digital and e-commerce companies to develop high quality consumer-facing products, optimize operational and technical processes, and deliver on customer experience. She has developed high-performing teams and managed cross-functional stakeholders at several digital enterprises. Prior to Walmart, Neda was at GrubHub where she held the position of Director of Quality, Process Improvement and Project Management and she helped drive customer experience improvements by optimizing service efficiency which resulted in increased customer satisfaction and re-order rate. She also supported the integration of 6 acquisitions and strategic partnerships.

Neda holds a BS from Georgia Institute of Technology in Industrial and Systems Engineering, a Master of Industrial Engineering from North Carolina State University, and an MBA from Northwestern University. She is a Certified Product Owner and Six Sigma Black Belt

Speaker: Amanda Oren
Amanda Oren is the Senior Director of Product Strategy and Business Operations at Grocery Outlet, a discount grocery chain with over 370 stores. She works cross-functionally to drive efficiencies and growth across the organization and helps them scale for continued growth. She additionally leads the planning and execution of merchandise-centric strategies and initiatives including Category Management across all purchasing categories.

Amanda has over 18 years of experience in the Retail and E-commerce landscape working at and with companies such as Williams Sonoma, Macy's, Elie Tahari, Trader Joe's, Safeway, The Limited Brands, and Starbucks. She holds an Operations Research and Industrial Engineering degree from Cornell University and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management.

Schedule of Events

12-12:05pm - Networking and WITI Intro
12:05-12:45- Panel Discussion
12:45-1pm- Q&A