Vision 100


Hemal Kuntawala

Head of Venture Labs

Marks & Spencer

Hemal Kuntawala is an example of the magic that happens when you successfully integrate science with creativity. To prove successful, it is his stated aim to fail fast. This, he agrees, requires a certain willingness to step back and be objective. “Understanding the psychology of ideas and how it is all too easy to fall in love with them was a revelation,” he says. “The trick is to validate [ideas] quickly with customers, but to do that you have to remain indifferent to them as you won’t always [get the answer] you want.” This isn’t necessarily a mindset you would expect from the retail stalwart, but then Kuntawala says: “At M&S Venture Lab, we get to disrupt ourselves from the inside.”

Best advice: “Iterate on your ideas with customers quickly and ditch the ones that aren’t working. You’ll get an incredible solution sooner rather than later.”