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On December 14, 2015, Shaharyar commented on CVS Health: Transforming Healthcare :

That’s a great point Andrew and yes that is exactly right that there is great potential to use the data they have to monitor drug purchases / volumes by patients that seem ‘suspect’. Indeed a major area of focus for CVS is the prevention of drug abuse. It’s a significant opportunity, not just socially, but also economically as it costs the healthcare system a lot (reimbursement by payors for these drugs, ER / hospitalizations for drug abusers, mortality etc.). I actually wasn’t aware that CVS Health was partnering with companies to do this so that’s a great callout! I definitely agree that CVS should (and probably will) use this to communicate their transition from a pharmacy / retail to a health company.

Thank you once again!


On December 8, 2015, Shaharyar commented on Ryanair: Low prices without “unnecessarily pissing people off” :

Great post!

RyanAir brings out strong emotions / reactions from people who’ve flown with them!

I definitely agree that they’ve managed to built a significant cost advantage relative to other airlines, but I wonder if their reputation ultimately will hurt them in the segment that is just above the ‘very price sensitive’ consumers? I.e. is their operating model actually driving them to extremely low value consumers and preventing them (as a result of their reputation) in acquiring higher value consumers? Their profits, margins are healthy today but I wonder if all of this bodes well for them in the long run?

Another question I had was that a few years ago there was a very clear distinction between “low cost” and other airlines, but there is an emergence of segments in the middle (e.g. low cost airlines launched by national carriers) that are looking to ‘pull away’ consumers that may not be as price sensitive away from low cost carriers such as RyanAir. How significant do you think this threat is?

Enjoyed this post!

On December 8, 2015, Shaharyar commented on Target’s failed entry in to Canada :

Sid, this is a great post!

It sounds bizarre that a company with as much experience as Target would take a business and operational model that worked well for them, had customers happy and apparently had Canadians excited as well but botch it up so badly by essentially mismanaging the very core of what makes them Target (expect more pay less)! This might be really apparent looking in hindsight, but what’s interesting is that they failed to ‘go back to their core’ even as performance slid. I also wonder if there were other factors that hindered their success in the Canadian market? Perhaps what I’m getting it was if it was a choice on their part to depart from their ‘core’ or were there other factors (e.g. taxes / currency, regulatory etc) that required them to change their model?

Enjoyed the post!

On December 8, 2015, Shaharyar commented on Bain & Company: A people-oriented approach to driving impact :

This is a great post Roger. I completely agree re: the disruptive model that Bain introduced in the 1970s when the industry practice / orientation was towards ‘academic’ reports for management that, however, lacked any real substance / implementation value. My big question for Bain is whether this model is as differentiated in today’s world. Several (dare I say all..) consulting firms today tout the practicality of their solutions and seek to work hand in hand with management and in fact (as Marco alluded) are moving towards a more specialized, as opposed to a generalist, model in order to be able to provide tangible value to clients. It will be interesting to see if Bain is able to maintain its competitive advantage or seeks to transition somehow given this shift.

Another interesting dimension is the significant number of Bain / other consulting firm alums that are now out in the corporate world. Given the prevalence and access to this talent, I wonder if it somewhat dilutes the value of consulting services?

Great post!