Thanks for sharing Daniela. To me, Rappi presents an interesting value prop. They are delivering a lot of things that people want and need and everyone wants things as fast as possible. Additionally, they have a unique ability to scale quickly and maintain a stickiness through their technology platform. That’s a combination that is rarely seen and when people get it right, it can win big! The company serves two parties and they seem to be serving both in a unique way. They serve customers uniquely by being exclusive distributors of samples and of certain products and they provide an important technology platform to their couriers.
My biggest concern here is that the services being offered by Rappi are too varied. As we have seen in various cases, it’s really difficult and/ or expensive to be all things to everyone. I wonder if the company might consider narrowing the services they provide (maybe their top five most requested) and really making sure that their distribution network is perfecting those services. That way they can get good at some key deliverables instead of having business taken away by entrants that might focus and perfect specific services such as food delivery.
Warren Buffet is a smart guy and he has made a lot of money as a result. While I agree with Daniela that it’s possible the wide agent network could be an advantage to a traditional company, I think it is more likely that that network (and more importantly, the people that are a part of that network) will be a hindrance. Insurance has typically been a services industry and I think it will be very difficult for a management team that has “grown up” in the traditional insurance industry to see and act on the fact that insurance reps may not have a place in some customer segments given the rising alternatives. Change management is hard and emotion and experience bias are difficult to overcome so while all of the data might be clear that some segments would be better served by solutions such as biBerk, my guess would be that traditional insurance companies won’t adapt fast enough to beat out rising digital players.
Pranay, great post and a very interesting read. As I think about NCR and what they are facing, I agree with your sentiments and the sentiments of several commentators that they will have to move beyond the traditional ATM machines. As you mentioned in your post, NCR has key relationships with banks. I fear, however, that their continued innovation might be at odds with the very industry (retail banking) that they are tied to. While NCR might innovate in the interest of the customer’s convenience, they might to too far for comfort with regard to the retail banking industry. These banks will likely see NCR as a threat that can take jobs away. NCR might want to re-focus on a direct to consumer approach in which they are not co-branded with retail banks that might want to hinder their success.
Thank you for your insights here Christina. This was an opportunity that my last company (high touch primary care for seniors with multiple chronic conditions) thought about very closely. I agree that some wearables can flag health concerns and play a role in prevention but as I think about the healthcare cost equation, I worry that they might not be well poised to really make a dent. The bulk of the Medicare cost to the US healthcare system comes from seniors with multiple chronic conditions. While wearables could play an important role in monitoring their health, adoption has been slow for this population and they struggle with utilizing the devices appropriately.I would personally love to get a discounted Apple watch from my insurer but then again, I am not a part of a population that is really contributing to the high cost of healthcare in the US. I fear that companies may invest in wearables and not see significant results where it counts from an overall cost standpoint.
Ruksi, thanks for a great post. As a happy StitchFix customer, I have a couple of thoughts. While I think AI has a role here and might be a competitive advantage, the bigger competitive advantage I see with StitchFix is that someone who has the badge of “stylist” thinks that something might look good on me or might look good as an ensemble. Additionally, I often find that my buying decision is swayed by a personalized note that comes with each package of clothes, written to me by my stylist. She suggests outfits that might go with other things I have in my closet and will put it in the context of my life. For instance, she knows that I am in business school at HBS and will suggest outfits for going out to the bars once it starts getting cold or going to class or to an interview. It’s not just the personalization (easily replicated through AI), but the human touch, that keeps me as a customer.
Daniel, thank you for bringing this issue to light. I think your suggestions for high climate risk environments are excellent and implementable. I wonder if these drug companies considered the potential of disaster related costs, such as the ones they are experiencing now, when they were considering the benefits of the tax breaks offered by Puerto Rico. In finance, we have learned that we can do a lot of analysis that examines risk as part of the equation. We haven’t talked about models of assessing risk in TOM and I wonder if there are standard practices for doing so in Operations Management– as your post illustrates, this would be a valuable exercise.
My mother was born and raised in Puerto Rico and the rest of her family still resides there. My grandfather was and economist and was heavily involved in the industrialization of Puerto Rico (though not with pharma). I wish I could have a conversation with him about this very issue. As with all countries, some industries are better suited for the island than others. We have talked about the pluses and minuses of moving manufacturing from one country to another and in this instance it makes me sad to say that that Puerto Rico’s climate risk, infrastructure, and distribution network do not seem to make up a favorable environment for pharma. I would urge industries to carefully evaluate and try to quantify the seemingly intangible costs of doing business in a place that is using a subsidy to draw an industry– if it wasn’t a great manufacturing/ market fit without the subsidy, don’t assume that tax breaks will pay off in the long run.