• Alumni

Activity Feed

On November 19, 2016, Ranj commented on How Macy’s and Technology “Fit” Well Together :

I love this idea Erica! I think Macy’s is taking the right step in turning its space into a showroom, so that customers can experience personalized customer service, even though it’s through a digital channel. I see this as highly successful, however, if demand is not predicted accurately, I think customers will be very frustrated standing in a waiting room if their clothes have not yet arrived. The store is thinking it will take 30 seconds, but what happens when more people are shopping in a given day? Macy’s cannot provide the level of personalized service a super high end store can because Macy’s relies on selling high volume with relatively lower margin than a luxury store. It needs more customers, yet this model will require it to provide those customers with more service. Ultimately, how will associates ensure guests are not waiting, trapped within the small changing room? Fundamentally, the Macy’s changing room is not the ideal way to spend your time, so it’ll be interesting to see whether browsing and shifting through clothes in an open space is an essential part of the value proposition Macy’s has to offer.

On November 19, 2016, Ranj commented on Combining Agriculture and Technology :

Maria – I enjoyed reading your article! Digital providers in the agricultural industry (such as John Deere) must partner with other agricultural technology innovators (such as Indigo Agriculture) so that both types of technologies can develop together. It would be a shame to see Deere independently come up with new digital harvesting strategies, when scientific companies are working with genomes that may reconfigure the entire landscape. Agriculture strategy is going to be significantly altered these next few years, and I think that companies that come up with digital platforms should ensure their solutions are customizable and compatible with new research and technology that may change, for example, grain composition. It’ll be interesting to see whether these new digital solutions are adaptable to the wave of new biotechnology that will sweep the agricultural industry these next few years.

On November 19, 2016, Ranj commented on A Way for All Consultants to Stay Healthy on the Road :

Lindsey – interesting article on Daily Burn. Now that many exercise programs are coming online and easy to stream, it’ll be interesting to see what these programs can do to differentiate themselves. This video helps with accessibility (can stream on any device) and ease (can choose various levels of workout times), so it can definitely solve the problems of convenience that consultants face on the road. However, I’m sure there are thousands of apps that can do the same, so I wonder what will allow Daily Burn to stay alive – maybe continuously updating its video content?

However, to your point about motivation, I wonder how effective a virtual, non-interactive video is in ensuring a person consistently works out. Maybe a person’s ability to consistently workout stems from intrinsic motivation. Or maybe it is possible to extrinsically motivate someone through others, but it is better to do so in a more interactive style. I am curious to see how long Daily Burn rides the wave of success.

On November 19, 2016, Ranj commented on Slideware to software ventures: A new kind of consulting firm :

Great article Vince! I remember that during my previous role in the strategy group of a Fortune 500 company, executives were quite worried about digital disruption from Silicon Valley. They responded to this by creating more buffers around our core competencies to increase barriers of entry from startup disruption. Had we known about BCGDV, it would be interesting to see whether my company would be receptive to such an idea – actively disrupting it’s own model. The productization of IP is not as “out there,” and may be of interest, but I can see other forms of self-inflicted disruption (like you mentioned in this article) as being quite foreign to a long-time established company that has been set in its ways for years.

Amelia – great article! I found this business to be very appealing and timely to the needs of Singaporeans. However, how sustainable is this business model? Yes, it is digitally-based and can adapt quickly, but at what point will prices become more on par with each other? Will this be in the near future? If so, travelers may not have as much incentive to go through the hassle of acquiring an item for a requester. The margins will be quite slim and may not appeal to someone who can afford to travel around the world. At some point, maybe your recommendation can kick in, where the traveler dictates the terms versus the requester.

On November 7, 2016, Ranj commented on Do you like beer? Then save the climate! :

Good post! I wonder if beer companies such as Smuttynose can consider solutions the wine industry is implementing. Some sparkling wine startups are synthetically creating taste to look and feel like the original, so that vineyards can technologically supplement their efforts to protect their products instead of losing business to other regions/sources due to climate change. Of course, this may cause some marketing challenges, but I’m sure breweries such as Smuttynose can go beyond operational improvements, and can look to innovative technologies as a lesson learned from the wine industry.

On November 6, 2016, Ranj commented on Keep on trucking: An overlooked lever for sustainability :

Vincent – great post! I think that that in addition to innovating on core technology and partnering with technology innovators such as Tesla (as Pallavi recommend in her comment), DT has a huge opportunity here to work within the supply chain to optimize for more logistical efficiency. You did hint towards this when you mentioned DT and its supplier coordination costs.

For example, DT can reach out to its customers to work on increasing full-load shipments, reducing the number of trips, preventing a high number of empty truck returns, and prioritizing in-region suppliers (relates to the local procurement concept in your post). All these operational improvements can be enacted in addition to mainly focusing on cleaner C02 technology. Not to mention, DT can use these operational improvements to become an integrator of the supply chain, versus just one piece of the supply chain. This can improve DT’s overall value proposition and scope of agency within the supply chain. Therefore, focusing on logistical efficiency not only aligns with DT’s sustainability goals, but also can serve as a strong strategic move.

On November 5, 2016, Ranj commented on Floating Our Concrete Jungles :

Very interesting concept Emma! You mentioned that the current solutions only suffice for larger rushes of water from storms or floods, but will not help for permanent sea rise. The floating city concept seems that it will face buy-in challenges, not just because of the capital investment needed to implement this at such a huge scale for a “distant future,” but also because the technology does not yet seem to be there. I’m sure these projects are stalling because companies are finding it hard to justify investment when it’ll take until 2100 to observe a 3-6.5 ft. rise in sea level. I wonder whether LafargeHolcim has already considered this project, but killed it early on due to a lack of observable and projected returns on investment.

On November 5, 2016, Ranj commented on Indian Railways – Victim, Contributor or Opportunity? :

Good job bringing out how an organization can be a victim and contributor to climate change. This relates to the class we had on the IKEA case. IR may be contributing to climate change by consuming copious amounts of water and electricity to serve its passengers, but at the same time, the organization is finding opportunities to deliver its services in a cleaner way. This is valuable in that IR is setting a high standard for itself while delivering services that cannot be compromised or reduced. Passengers will require this scale of services regardless and as India continues to develop, the pressure placed on IR to run more trains at greater capacity will only increase. IR might as well pave the path in employing clean standards compared to assessing its negative role as a contributor to climate change.

On November 5, 2016, Ranj commented on Champagne from England? Mon dieu! :

Interesting article Alec! I believe there are startups which are developing processes to synthetically mimic wine that has the look and taste of the original. In order to prevent champagne from completely shifting base to England and competition from mimicking French champagne, French vineyards can consider linking with a company like the one mentioned here (http://www.wsj.com/articles/three-ways-to-beat-champagnes-climate-change-problem-1476799848) to synthetically create French champagne to become “closer to the original.”

On November 5, 2016, Ranj commented on Tahoe Skiing Faces Extinction :

Interesting article Chris! As a California native, it is disappointing to hear that Squaw Valley is looking to “adapt” itself as a year-round theme park when we know it best as a ski resort. I’m hesitant that making snow is really the answer versus a temporary patch up solution. Has this ever been done on a large scale in areas that don’t have enough natural snowfall? I’d be curious to know how other areas like Squaw Valley are adapting.