Eduard Torrella Lluís

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On December 1, 2017, Eduard Torrella Lluís commented on Opportunities for digital enhancements to Google’s Pixel supply chain :

Thanks for all your analysis on Google’s supply chain to produce the Pixel! I find it paradoxical that a high-tech company such as Google, whose core business is based on the exchange of information, faces some of the basic challenges that traditional manufacturers experience in their supply chain. Nevertheless, I would infer from this case that setting up a supply chain from scratch is never easy, particularly if the product contains parts which are in high demand such as the OLEDs.

I agree with you that Google should look to implement tools to better forecast demand and match supply accordingly. Furthermore, I also agree with MH that the integration of HTC is critical to ensure that supply chain runs smoothly and that Google can compete at the same level that Apple is able to. I wonder, though, if Google has an edge over Apple once the supply chain issues are straighten out, given the amount of data that they hold from consumers and the ability to run highly targeted marketing activities. It will be certainly interesting to follow the development of this new entrant to the competitive smartphone market.

On December 1, 2017, Eduard Torrella Lluís commented on Concha y Toro: Sustainability Pioneer and Further Challenges :

Thank you Gregorio for writing about sustainability in the wine industry! It is interesting to see that, even though the entire industry is affected by climate change, very few players are taking deliberate action to implement sustainability initiatives such as the water irrigation techniques, let alone implementing a carbon fund.

I would be interested to see if Concha y Toro could exploit this sustainability angle as a way to differentiate themselves in the market and to appeal to the environmentally conscious customer. Is there such a customer base? And if so, which wineries are the preferred amongst them?
As a leader in the Latin America wine industry, I agree that CyT should play an active role in shifting the entire industry towards more sustainable practices. So, if they manage to align the sustainability agenda with the profitability that shareholders expect thanks to a competitive advantage, there is a higher chance that the company can pursue this advocacy role.

On December 1, 2017, Eduard Torrella Lluís commented on Brexit vs. Tesco: Will Britain’s Largest Grocer Stand the Ultimate Test? :

Charlie, thank you for such a thoughtful analysis of the impact of Brexit on Tesco. As I was reading about the decision of not stocking certain Unilever products to avoid paying the 10% price increase, I was wondering if this was a symptom of the delicate situation that Tesco was in, even prior to the Brexit vote. In April 2005, Tesco posted a £6.4 billion loss. Some of the drivers for the disappointing results were the decline in foot traffic in out-of-town stores, as well as as shift in shopper habits, who increasingly bought groceries at Aldi and Lidl.

Tesco’s customer promise is “Every little helps”, alluding to the low prices that the retailer offers. Yet, it seems that scale is not enough to combat the pressure from discount retailers, who might steal part of its customer base. At the same time, Tesco would have a hard time capturing the higher end customers, who shop at Waitrose or M&S. In fact, I would be interested to see if Waitrose has faired better in light of Brexit. Given that customers might be less price sensitive, have they just simply passed the price increase along to the end customer or have they also faced less choice on the number of products that are profitable to carry in store?

Thank you for writing such an interesting piece! I also echo the sentiment that NAFTA changes would probably have a limited impact on the US natural gas industry, given the strategic importance of this sector, the benefits it brings to the US and the current dependency that Mexico has on imports. According to the EIA, exports of natural gas to Mexico have doubled since 2009 and are projected to keep rising. [1]

Mexico has dwindling reserves of natural gas which cannot keep up with the rising consumption rates . Despite efforts to liberalize the energy sector and facilitate private investment, high natural gas prices have deterred the exploration of natural gas in Mexico, which further increases the dependency on imports. 50% of the current supply of natural gas in Mexico is imported, of which 82% is directly transferred from the US via pipelines. This dependency seems difficult to circumvent in the short term. [2]

While Mexico has announced the licitation of onshore exploration for natural gas, these might only become available in the medium term, and the US natural gas industry can compensate a potential decline of exports to Mexico with from exports of LNG to Europe and other geographies, as others have already commented.


On December 1, 2017, Eduard Torrella Lluís commented on Lettuce Consider Indoor Farming: Plenty’s Plan to Scale the Kale :

Great article Dave! Similar to Justin, I was impressed by the water savings that Plenty’s system can achieve. Potable water will be a scarce good and any mechanism to alleviate pressure on this resource is very welcome. As others have alluded to, the success of Plenty’s concept will depend on gaining enough scale so that technology and instrumentation costs are reduced.

However, I believe it constitutes a great opportunity not only for the developed nations, but rather for developing and third world nations where its cities are forecasted are growing at incredibly fast rates. As the UN identified, there will be 662 cities with more than 1 million inhabitants by 2030, so I am pleased to learn that big investors are backing companies tackling how to make food more accessible in light of the urbanization trend. [1]


On December 1, 2017, Eduard Torrella Lluís commented on The Cash Before the Storm: Forecast-based Financing at Red Cross :

Ginny, thank you for such an interesting article! It is great to see that the Red Cross is turning to data analysis to improve their operations, become more proactive and allocate resources better.

I think that models such as FbF can actually contribute a great deal towards increasing transparency and to increase the appeal for donations. The traditional fundraising method is based on trust. Because money is only raised after a disaster has hit and there is an immediate need for action, people feel compelled to donate money to a trusted organization with the expectation that they will identify the best relief methods and allocate funds appropriately to help as fast as possible. Unfortunately, the transparency of these allocations is not as high as it could be, leading to some skepticism about whether the Red Cross and other relief organizations are really doing a good job [1]. This could mean that funds will be harder to collect in the future and, therefore, communication should be improved to turnaround the situation.

This is why I believe focusing on prevention activities and utilizing data models to predict disasters will help regain some of this trust. As other other colleagues have already identified, raising funds for preventive measures is certainly more challenging. Yet, when you combine this appeals with an informed plan, backed with modelling and data, it seems to be more transparent than current campaigns. Transparency allows donors to hold the Red Cross accountable and therefore, to trust them. The Red Cross is therefore incentivized to keep improving these models, which is a win-win situation.

I believe that the Red Cross could seek partnerships with high-tech companies to help them establish a good program for data collection and for improving the algorithms faster. At the same time, this data-driven approach will be very compelling when seeking development funds from countries and Intergovernmental Organizations, given that it will hopefully have positive results from the pilots.

I am looking forward to seeing the evolution of this model!