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Hi Andrea! This is a really interesting post- I’m particularly interested in M-PESA and have read a lot about it recently since our FIELD 2 project is to develop a cashless payment system for low income Cambodians. The cash withdrawal/deposit behaviors in rural vs. urban areas and the pooling solution they have devised to work around that is fascinating. Do agents in the pooling chain take a percentage cut of the cash in the process? How does that work? And I’m curious about what you mean by layering- is this just that several pooling agents work simultaneously to buffer the system? -Anjali

On December 13, 2015, Athakkar commented on Drizly: the disruptor of the 3-tier system? :

Hey Ni! This is a really interesting post- no doubt influenced by your awesome beer marketplace startup! I am fascinated by the idea that Drizly never touches the product. What is the barrier to the partner stores themselves just having a delivery service? Since they already have the licensing required to carry the product, it seems like they could avoid the fee to Drizly by just starting their own alcohol delivery service. I suppose that may require some capital investment that deviates from their core business model, but it seems like they themselves could be the ones to disrupt this newly emerging space. I’d be curious to know what you think! -Anjali

On December 13, 2015, Athakkar commented on Groupon: Now 85% Off! :

Hey Rohan! Interesting post with great points about the misalignment of Groupon’s operating and business models. I can relate a lot to your discussion of the push vs. pull strategy- as Groupon changed, it became harder for me to use because there were simply too many deals to scour through for it to be worthwhile. Additionally, I’ve noticed that the deals on Groupon have gotten less and less appealing, likely because they can’t secure the suppliers they ideally would want for brand reasons. Groupon also used to feature a lot more local, one-off brands which made it exciting; that’s less the case now. I wonder whether they can shift their strategy back to what seemed to be working better- is it too late? Has the brand been “tarnished” too much already?