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On December 14, 2015, Bankole commented on GTBank: A different kind of Bank :

Thanks Jeremy!

These banks rely on regulation to limit mobile banking services. They do this by ‘showing concern’ about customer protection and security. In addition, all the major banks have their own mobile banking platform.

Mobile banking will not take off in Nigeria without structural change in the regulatory structure.

On December 13, 2015, Bankole commented on Amtrak: What Do You Want Me to Be? :

Amazing. I learnt so much reading this. ho

1. It’s good to know that the Northeast Corridor and other short-haul routes are profitable. it’s hard to see how Amtrak can be losing money after charging so much, despite how slow it is.

2. How much of the poor performance is linked to poor infrastructure? The lack of truly high speed trains limits the utility of the system. Often times, a drive and train journey to the same place are the same duration.

Ultimately, great article. Good to know about these “hidden variables”, the congressmen who apparently make the entire country subsidise a few people’s convenience.

On December 13, 2015, Bankole commented on McKinsey – A Lack of Structural Optimization :

Fantastic article, Ressler. This is a real issue many consulting firms face as business becomes more global.

However, in my experience at McKinsey, I have found that McKinsey does try to bring people with relevant experience to the project. Consultants are assessed on “using Firm resources” and “bringing the best of McKinsey” to every client.

Personally, I have worked on a project for an European fund investing in East Africa with teammates from 3 African countries, 3 Americans, Finance experts from New York and 2 McKinsey knowledge centers in India. If the talent is within the Firm, the talent will be brought to the client, usually regardless of expense.

How often is that true across all of McKinsey? Other consulting firms? And how long will that last?

McKinsey is the least regional consulting shop

On December 13, 2015, Bankole commented on Rocket Internet – Sprawling digital business empire :

Great article Kat. While they do a good job of aligning their business and operating models, one wonders if that business model is the right one.

Is it possible that Rocket’s “Venture Capital” model is costly and often premature for some of the markets they operate in? Their businesses make money but only after spending twice as much. Employee turnover is high. It appears all the businesses exist for the sole purpose of being sold to a strategic buyer. And in this scenario, without a sale, there is limited value creation. The stock market can see that and is thus punishing them – they currently trade lower than the IPO price a year ago.

Only time will tell if they can turn this around.

On December 13, 2015, Bankole commented on Swissair – meltdown of a national icon :

Fantastic article (especially as the article doesn’t mention McKinsey 🙂 )

That said, I wonder if the problem was with the Hunter strategy itself or how they executed it. Your article seems to suggest the latter.

Who needs national airlines?!?! Great job!

On December 13, 2015, Fadeaway Jumper commented on M-Pesa: a Mobile Money success story from Kenya :

Great article. A few thoughts:

1. One other way Safaricom makes money is the float on the money brought into the system. They charge relatively higher fees to transact outside Safaricom’s network.

And Ameya, to your questions.

1. The Kenyan government is a majority shareholder and many people believe that’s why it’s been successful. There was minimal regulation and it grew organically, a situation difficult to replicate in other emerging markets. Possibly why MM hasn’t really taken off outside Kenya
2. Their strategy is to raise barriers to entry. They reinforce their network effects by charging higher fees to transact outside the M-Pesa network. The also improve stickiness by several value-added services which their scale allows them to do. That said, there are several competitors: Come to the African Business Conference at HBS to learn more! Feb 26-28th 2016 –