Lillian Cheng

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On December 14, 2015, Lillian Cheng commented on ClassPass: Gym Trial, Business Error? :

Alison – thanks so much for highlighting this!

I’m curious about how ClassPass is thinking about expansion over the next few years. It seems like a fantastic subscription service for individuals in highly-concentrated geographic cities (e.g., NYC, Chicago). As a pre-business school ClassPass user, I can attest to the convenience and ease of being able to select new and accessible fitness classes easily through the site with minimal financial commitment. With that said, I’m struggling with whether individuals in other cities will be as receptive to this model, given that in order to try out these classes, they will need to travel further distances to do so. Since working out is often a scheduled task, I wonder if these disruptions (e.g., needing to go to gyms further away) will have an impact on how customers perceive the program.

Given this, once geographic saturation within major cities has occurred, I wonder how ClassPass will be able to grow without offering new products entirely. Outside of their current subscription model, perhaps they will move to different ‘tiered’ offerings of classes? It will be interesting to see how they will need to shift their operating model to do so – and more importantly, how their consumers will respond to this change.

On December 14, 2015, Lillian Cheng commented on Aravind Eye-Care System – McDonaldization of Eye-Care :

Thanks so much for sharing Aravind! We actually profiled the Aravind Eye-Care System when I was at BCG because several consumer partners were so impressed by the business and its ability to demonstrate the concept of ‘Paisa Vasool:’ high quality, great value, a complete package that delivers value for money.

Given how impressive their quality of care is (based on Exhibit 2), it seems probable that many wealthy individuals in India want to come to Aravind for their eye-related surgeries, not only for the price, but also for the high-quality care. Even compared to other high-quality health care institutions, Aravind performs very well on these quality metrics. How does Aravind turn away this population to ensure they maintain their 40-50% ratio? How do they determine who receives this care out of this wealthy population?

On December 14, 2015, Lillian Cheng commented on Carnival Corporation :

This is fantastic… thanks so much for sharing! It’s almost unbelievable how much these cruise line companies have been able to fit onto a single vessel – they really are ‘floating cities.’ In order to stay competitive, it seems like these lines constantly have to offer the newest ships, more entertainment locations, better food options, etc. to differentiate themselves against competitors (after all, there are probably only a limited set of locations to dock in).

I wonder how this competitive ‘necessity’ in Carnival’s business model ultimately impacts its operating model, since it requires extremely high fixed costs to build or update these ships. Does Carnival conduct this construction in-house? When do they decide to do this construction, since removing one ship from their fleet would likely lead to significant gaps in their offering (for instance, one route that cannot be sailed for several months)? It seems like this decision would likely have major impacts on their revenue (unless they renovate while in operation?), yet would be a necessary one amidst the numerous cruise lines that exist. Would be interesting to understand more how the business thinks through these decisions and how they re-allocate ships to routes during these times.