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Thanks for the comment! Two things:
1. The “buying” market share is not a strategy that is sustainable. This is something we are moving away from as it becomes value destructing for us and for the Banks. It has worked in some parts of the world but it is not working well in the Middle East at least. At MasterCard, we always think that this is the natural thing that Visa would do because you have more money and more overall market share so you can afford it. But as the second player, we can’t play on size so we have to be strategic about the clients we pick and how we design incentives around them. We do that by integrating deeply in their core business by cross-selling other products (loyalty rewards solutions, fraud solutions, Advisors Consulting) so we avoid the price war

2. We are suffering from governments that are deciding to create their own domestic switches. GCC Connect (the switch for all the GCC countries in the Middle East) is now live and it has eaten significantly our domestic processing dollars in those countries. More countries are threatening to do the same. So our focus will be on cross-border and other services going forward since domestic processing is becoming less and less relevant.

In the long term, that’s where I see where all of the big technology players will be fighting their battles. We need to invest in Emerging payments (Apple Pay, Samsung Pay), in domestic processing (to comply with regulation), and in other services (to avoid disintermediation). The space is still growing double digits but it will take more work than before to sustain this growth. Let’s fight the battle in Africa 🙂

On December 14, 2015, Sijh commented on In-Q-Tel: How to Keep Your Spies In the Know :

Great post. It was well “thought out of”.
I echo Anas’ comments and say that the not-for-profit model is not sustainable for the long run. Why can’t the CIA just acquire Q-tel and merge the two organizations? What value does it have to have Q-tel running as a stand-alone company?

On December 14, 2015, Sijh commented on NIKE: Inspiring Athletes around the World :

Great post D-shaq. For me there are two things that Nike does better than anybody else: 1. having a global reach and its innovative shoe designs.

Growing up in Senegal there were 3 things I knew about America: rap stars, Coca Cola, and Nike. Nike was able to connect with the global world through its endorsements of popular athletes. You saw that in the Nike case and how the company sponsored the Brazil team. I grew up idolizing that team and over time, as I became more interested in basketball and tennis, I started loving Kobe Bryant, Nadal, Ronaldo, Federer (all sponsored by Nike).

As an avid soccer player, I loved Ronaldo and the Mercury vapor shoes. I also loved Kobe Bryant’s shoes, shoes I proudly wear today. The company has found ways to innovate in its shoes and keep being relevant to its billions of customers worldwide.

Its challenge remains to do local production in emerging markets while respecting human rights. There were articles written that Nike works its employees very hard and the pay was low. If Nike is able to scale up manufacturing in these markets while maintaining a strong human rights record, it will continue to grow at double digits

The second aspect that stands out to me is it

On December 14, 2015, Sijh commented on Emirates – The largest airline in the Middle East :

Good article Vimit. I think you outlined the business model well. I think that there is a lot of value in understand Emirate’s core strategy of becoming the premier airline for connecting people. The airlines strategy is well aligned with Dubai’s strategy of making the Emirate as a prime tourist destination. Furthermore, the service and the staff are key differentiators of Emirates. The airline recruits young and attractive people from all over the world. On every Emirates flight, the lead cabin crew announces all the languages spoken by the staff. It allows people to be understood in their own language and in turn to be better catered.

Its selection of fleet is also worth expanding on. The A380 has become a new way of flying, especially in Business or First Class. These fleets are mostly on the European, Asian, and US routes. Attached to this is its loyalty rewards points, Skywards. As a Skywards Gold member for example, you are guaranteed economy seat with at least 48 hours in advance.

Overall, there are many more ways in which Emirates distinguishes itself and it is good to keep those in mind, especially on the service and the destinations choices. I have taken Emirates over 250 times while a Consultant living in Dubai and I would not want to switch airlines anymore. I have been converted

Z! I think this is a fascinating model and I think it has huge potential in providing quality access to education for the people at the bottom of the pyramid. But I fundamentally have a problem with a for-profit institution using education for short term profits. I see value in a partnership with the government in order to facilitate scaling this model and participate in teacher education.

One way would be to use this as a pilot and then bring the government on board and have a phased roll-out. Education should be the duty and responsibility of the government and it should be used by for-profits to benefit from the unfortunate situation of the citizens it seeks to serve. I always favor government as a key stakeholder in this space and public-private partnerships are the way to go to scale and continue to do good