Magazine Article | April 19, 2016

Breaking All The Retail Rules

By Matt Pillar, senior executive editor, Innovative Retail Technologies

May 2016 Innovative Retail Technologies

Why is Hointer’s Nadia Shouraboura so hell-bent on bringing big changes to the in-store experience?

Soviet Russia was a decidedly uninspiring place for young Nadia Shouraboura. Buying shoes meant taking anything close to her size that the Central Department Store had to offer. Style and fit weren’t on the list of purchase criteria. Choice was virtually nonexistent. The closest thing to a positive grocery experience was being rewarded with something — anything — for standing in a long line for a long time. The dismal reality of “retail” during her formative years in Russia is one reason you might consider her rise to retail tech pioneer status improbable.

In reality, it was the stark contrast between shopping in her native Russia and the retail experiences she enjoyed after immigrating to Israel and traveling the world that inspired her. Shouraboura’s mathematics and science education landed her work as a software developer working on computer-aided design systems for industrial robotics. That work put her on the fast track to a full ride at Princeton University, where she earned her Ph.D. in mathematics. Important work in the energy sector followed, where Shouraboura made a name for herself developing software algorithms for the energy trade. Through it all, the allure of retail beckoned.