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Great article, with challenges that are shared by many developing countries. I maybe misunderstood, but is the penetration of mobile payments 100% in Thailand? If so, that’s impressive and a great opportunity for mobile apps and e-commerce.
My concern with the “click and mortar” strategy is that your prices are being directly compared to the ones of much asset light e-commerces. So, if the e-commerce is losing money even without having the rent and sales personnel, being competitive online for Big C will lead to a even higher loss. I think this compromising solution will not help them much, the only exit being to reinvent itself to avoid the same destiny as the brick and mortar retailers in the developed countries.

On November 20, 2016, Gabriela commented on Online-to-Offline (O2O) and the Future of e-Commerce :

I first learned about WeChat when I shared an apartment with a Chinese girl in France back in 2011. I never knew it was so much more comprehensive than just a communication platform. They have a great first mover advantage and as the reviews and users grow, the more they consolidate their leadership positioning.
I would be interested on understanding the competitive landscape and geographical expansion plan. Are there any other major companies / start-up trying to do the same? Are they planing to grow in the US and other countries?
Very nice article, thanks for sharing.

While reading, I was worried about how the low income population would be included in this transformation. I was surprised by the statistics in Kenya, a country with 46% of the population living below poverty line ( If it is indeed possible to include most people in this new system, then it is unarguably beneficial to the country.

On November 20, 2016, Gabriela commented on Teladoc: Mobile Medicine :

Great topic and very important considerations. The potential is enormous and I feel particularly excited with the possibility of bringing quality healthcare in undeserved regions (less privileged / hard to access areas). I can see it working very well to deliver primary care in the rural areas of Brazil, for example, where it has been hard to attract physicians. It is such a challenge that the government in Brazil started to sponsor the immigration of physicians from Cuba to fill this gap (1). However, it was a very controversial action due to the different standards for medicine degree between the two countries.
My only reservation is that many diagnosis came from non-spoken cues, which I believe is harder to get from the app. However, I think the benefits outweigh the risks and that this is the right way to go.

(1) “Cuba’s Most Valuable Export: Its Healthcare Expertise”, Forbes, Jun 2015.
(2) “Brazil Seeks to Replace Cuban Doctors with Brazilians in Rural Health Program”, Wall Street Journal, Sep. 2016.

On November 20, 2016, Gabriela commented on Wild Technology for Wild Wings – a Restaurant with no Servers? :

I’m glad you said you would double down with server training, I’m on your camp. I see the cost benefit of having it all automatized, but the experience, in my opinion, is much worse with IPads instead of people. Maybe we’re only the minority, it seems that OTG (restaurateur with 250 restaurants and present in 11 airports) are betting high on the benefits of the automatized service. It says they are the second-largest customer-facing iPad platform in the world, only behind Apple’s retail stores (1).
For me, not only the service but the whole experience is spoiled by the IPad in the table, with people paying attention to the technology instead of interacting with each other – a growing social behavior, unfortunately.


This is very interesting and actually just ties back to what I learned from the Coca-Cola post (that they spend 1.7L per liter of Coca-cola and I later found out that beer industry is as wasteful as you said Nestle is, 3L to 1L of beverage).
The fact that only 38% of the bottles were recycled is alarming, but I would like to understand how it evolved with the growing awareness of climate changing and recycle impact.
I’m glad government is becoming more environmentally active but it concerns me when it starts to over regulate the market. I would prefer it to do a campaign to increase awareness in the population and decrease the demand for such products than to ban companies and affect so strongly on the free market.

On November 7, 2016, Gabriela commented on TESLA – an ambassador of sustainable future. :

I can’t think on a more inspirational company to discuss sustainability than Tesla. Elon Musk has been disrupting our long conceived dogmas about energy in different ways. The strategy to start with very innovative energy concept, great performance and cut-the-edge design made the brand aspiration and created a market that could otherwise not be interested on sustainable cars only for the environment aspect of it. It broadened the market and I really appreciate the objective way you described how Tesla resolved the concerns / failures of previous attempts to tackle the market.
The power wall and solar roof is indeed great advancement on the path to have an integrated environmental solution to the energy problem.

On November 7, 2016, Gabriela commented on Too Hot for Choc? :

Very interesting article, I appreciate that you tacked different aspects of how the climate changing affect the value chain of the chocolate business. I got particularly interested on the part you said that cacao trees are high susceptibility to disease, and I would want to further understand if the same type of disease affects the different part of the world in which cacao is important and what are being done to improve it. Additionally, from your article and the graphic, Latin America is growing, being prioritized – is it maybe because the climate change affects differently the region? Is it labor / tax costs? Or because of logistics / closer to final destination of the product?
Interesting news on sustainability in the sector:

On November 7, 2016, Gabriela commented on Coca-Cola: Quenching the Thirst of the Future Sustainably :

Given the relevance and volume of the company, I was surprised by such an aggressive target of improving water efficiency by 25% in 10 years. I was curious to learn more about how they plan to do it and what advancements were already done to accomplish it. Also, how they competitors do? Are they less or more efficient? For sure, water management is a priority for beverage companies, so we must see a lot of development in the following years.
For beer companies, the ratio of water-to-beer is 3:1, so Coca-Cola is already ahead in the race.

On November 7, 2016, Gabriela commented on Waste Management is Cleaning Up its Act :

Waste management is a specially interesting topic regarding sustainability and this article very well lay out the particularities with the different type of waste and different type of management needed. Specially in developing countries, the lack of infrastructure in waste management is much aggravated by climate changing, with stronger and longer rains. Particularly in Brazil, we have a lot of waste that are not treated yet and I had the opportunity to visit one of the few landfills with treatment ( Even in such company, with a lot of engineer behind it, the climate change was still a issue. The warmer whether made the particles evaporate and travel farther, causing health problems in neighbor cities.

The cement industry is known for its damage of the environment so it is good to know that the industry is changing. I was curious to learn how is it changing on the developed countries and how has the lead player influenced the others in the market. The value chain in this industry is fairly complex and with misaligned incentives for making an change, the Paris Agreement was indeed a great step forward.
I found the following channel to be quite insightful about the evolution of the industry globally: