About this cohort

Innovations are happening at break-neck speed in the retail and e-commerce industry. Customers expect seamless, personalized experiences, and new technologies like artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and efficient logistics are shaping how they shop. Businesses must embrace these advancements, offering unique experiences in online and physical stores while optimizing operations for efficiency and sustainability. This means making digital transformation becoming Digital+, a more integrated environment, integrated with cloud, data, AI and automation.

To keep pace with the rapid innovations HCL Startup SYNC is launching an 18-week, retail specific cohort program in April 2024 for SaaS startups helping enterprises achieve new heights. During the tenure of this program, selected startups will build, nurture and scale their partnership with HCLSoftware, which includes building stack-based joint go-to-market strategies, product integrations and business & technical mentorship, amongst others.

Challenge Areas

For this cohort, we are on a look-out for some niche and innovative SaaS startups with solutions falling in the domains below:

Omnichannel & Customer Experience

  • Gen AI driving Hyper-personalized user experience across channels
  • Immersive and informative shopping experience
  • Connecting the online and in-store customer journey

Supply Chain & Traceability

  • Predictive Demand Forecasting
  • Convergence of inventory and consumer held assets
  • Last mile connectivity
  • Reduction in products returns for E-Commerce

Business Intelligence & Personalization

  • Product assortment planning (organization, store chain, individual store, sales channel)
  • Indoor analytics (traffic, conversion, dwell time) and mapping
  • Sentiment-Driven customer loyalty programs
  • Personalized product recommendations regardless of the shopping channel


Surprise us with your novel ideas falling under any of the three specified domains, in case not already covered under the sub-categories

Fueling 10X Growth for Startups


Is there any cost involved in joining this program?

There is no application fees, membership fees, or equity requirements for this program. If accepted, startups must fulfil the eligibility criteria.

Can startups join SYNC program even if they don’t have HCLSoftware’s platform integrations yet?

HCL Startup SYNC offers business and technical mentorship/support to all shortlisted startups and also offers access to self-paced training modules on HCLSoftware solutions.

What is the criteria for startups to enter HCL Startup SYNC program?

Series A/B/C startups with SaaS-based and/or on-prem solutions, in areas such as: AI & intelligent automation, data & analytics, digital transformation and enterprise security.

I don’t have my startup registered in India, can I still apply?

This is a global program and a startup doesn’t need to be registered specifically in India to participate.

Do I need to work from HCLSoftware office space during the program?

The program doesn’t require startups to be present locally and the startups can work remotely from across the globe.

What are HCLSoftware's current offerings/solutions for the retail industry?

HCLSoftware is focused on developing agile retail and supply chain software products that deliver value for customers in the long run. To know more about our product portfolio in this category, click here.

For queries, reach out to us at sync@hcl.software