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Very interesting problem faced by Nigeria’s people and Unilever. On one hand, it’s easy to understand tidal waves of protectionist views in developing countries; issues like food-supply, rapid inflation, income inequality / poverty, and government corruption all contribute to this sentiment. On the flip side, protectionist measures make it exponentially painful in the short term for those who take the position in the first place, thus leading to more frustration and social unrest. It’s interesting to see how Unilever has attempted to respond with backwards integration – I do hope that this provides some economic benefit for the people of Nigeria in terms of additional labor demand and income generation, as well as access to important and affordable products.

On December 1, 2017, cp94 commented on Brexit and BMW: Disintegration of European supply chains? :

I really appreciate this article and can understand the dilemma faced not only by BMW/MINI, but also employees in the UK, and partners across the EU in the supply chain. The lack of urgency that is noted in the CEO’s reaction to Brexit, in my opinion, simply reinforces that it’s a most likely scenario to move operations to the Netherlands (or other production facilities) in the event of a punitive border tax. To address your question on the transfer of knowledge and talent, I suspect that there is no shortage of skilled labor in any of BMW Group’s production locations. The unfortunate side-effect of such isolationist measures is that there will always be a severe cause-and-effect relationship; in this case, the UK factory workers are most impacted in the process.

Great article and I certainly hope Sula can find solutions to the rainfall issue in Nashik or at least successfully diversify in other regions / states within India. To answer your question, I do inherently believe that climate change is the majority of the threat, at least in Sula’s case. It’s impressive that the company enjoys a 65% market share within the country, and if that is largely driven by the fact that the wine is made domestically, then Sula will simply be at the mercy of variable weather patterns. An interesting parallel is with the recent wildfires in the Napa / Sonoma regions in the U.S.; these are arguably the best (and only) meaningful wine producing regions in the country and there is a limited supply of land which has now been destroyed.

On December 1, 2017, cp94 commented on A Heifer Sized Problem for Tyson Foods :

It’s helpful to have additional context on the destructive practices that occur with food supply chains and certainly unfortunate to see Tyson’s issues with respect to waterway pollution. The fact that this water quality issue surpasses Kock, Cargil and Exxon in aggregate is simply unacceptable and tough to confront from many aspects.

Completely agree that Tyson should be held to a higher standard, and would hope that additional granularity / focus would be implemented across all sustainability measures. The reality is that organizations with these issues are only incentivized to change once regulation, executive accountability, and public perception/awareness are aligned. The average consumer of Tyson’s products is more than likely unaware of the inadequate sustainability measures in this case; I suspect meaningful changes would be seen if and only if the broader public has a better education of these topics thus forcing elected officials to enact tougher regulations in this space.

Fascinating article—I had not considered that there was an ability to leverage engine data in such a way to capture additional revenue opportunities with airline partners through such ongoing engagement! A key question that strikes me is which organization actually owns and receives the data on an ongoing basis, given that the engines are presumably purchased outright by the airline. It would be interesting to understand how GE would therefore be affected by marketing / pricing their data analytics services to the airline.

Cybersecurity is certainly a huge concern and one that should be carefully thought through as there are significant reputation risks on both sides. I believe that a closed, modular system is absolutely necessary in the event of an in-flight cyber attack so as not to compromise other flight operations in an emergency situation. Segregation of key systems and processes in any organization is always a good consideration.

Interesting take on the challenges faced by print media with digitization. I particularly appreciate your emphasis on the division between editorial and revenue generating functions, such as advertising. To maintain credibility as a premier source of content, the Times certainly needs to be cautious of the blurred lines between sponsored / co-created content and purely editorial reporting. I believe these are not mutually exclusive; for instance, most co-created content does contain heavy disclaimers alerting the reader of such collaboration. Marketing, on behalf of the New York Times, can still play a role in providing data-driven focal points for reporting without necessarily compromising editorial independence.