Syndie Kim

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Thank you for this thoughtful review and valuable insights on this emergent national crisis particularly hitting our close neighborhoods in the Northeast.

While every participant in the pharma supply system—from manufacturers and distributors to providers and pharmacists, ultimately to the patients in need and even abusers—shares collective responsibility in this opioid crisis, it is encouraging to see all partakers finally taking actions, whether voluntary or not, to solve this crisis together. Given the vast amount of narcotics in demand and prescribed daily in our current health care system, it seems unrealistic to expect safe controlling of these substances at the level of individual prescribers or pharmacists who would have difficulty gauging patterns of opioid consumptions at levels beyond individual patients. It would likewise seem unrealistic to expect pharmaceutical manufacturers to control their productions when the expectation and demand among the public on pain management is already high than ever with the advent and use of narcotics for decades. Adoption of aforementioned serialization technology, real-time tracking, and improved information sharing via digitalization by distribution businesses would seem necessary to avert this public health crisis at regional and national levels.

It is also worth noting that the majority of global opioids consumption and sales are disproportionately high in the United States.

On December 1, 2017, Syndie Kim commented on Content Globalization – A Script for Success? :

Great article, David! Stricter self-censorship and partnering with a local telecom provider to ensure that consumers have a means to access Netflix are sensible strategies, but as Netflix expands into more markets, I also think it needs to have dedicated teams and processes in place to have conversations with government organizations ahead of market entry to minimize the risk of service disruption and build partnerships with the local community of influencers. While this certainly adds to the cost to doing business, I view it as a potentially more cost-effective way of sustaining Netflix’s reputation and the level of service for consumers than being reactive to negative consequences as they happen over time. These new local relationships may also help Netflix with creating more local content down the road, further enhancing Netflix’s competitive differentiation versus Amazon, Hulu, and others.

On December 1, 2017, Syndie Kim commented on Blue Bottle Coffee: Riding the “Third Wave” :

Very interesting read! I understand that Blue Bottle is working with its coffee bean suppliers to establish environmental-friendly standards that may help mitigate supply chain disruptions and fight climate change from a production perspective, but I would be curious to learn more about the company’s approach in other areas of the supply chain, such as transportation, warehousing, and in-store practices, to reduce its environmental impact. For example, what measures is Blue Bottle taking to cut energy consumption and reduce carbon footprint within the store? My hope is that this type of holistic approach to combat climate change may become easier to achieve as a unit within Nestle which has a larger reputation to manage (therefore CSR is a larger part of its corporate strategy) and has a more extensive distribution system that is already aligned with certain environmental standards. Customers also play a huge role in recognizing sustainability and transparency as a point of differentiation among players, and may even be willing to pay up for highly sustainable products to share the responsibility.

On December 1, 2017, Syndie Kim commented on Boeing Navigates Nationalist Winds :

Very interesting essay, Nick! While I understand the concerns around Boeing having to set up manufacturing facilities and build defense structure for other countries in order to secure contracts, my perspective would be that Boeing ultimately has fiduciary duties to its shareholders (not the US government) and management must pursue what it thinks to be in the best interest of its shareholders in the long-term. Given the difficult financial position of Boeing’s defense unit, the company does not seem to have other viable choices than to invest in India, which can come in many forms. Setting up a local manufacturing plant could be one route, but if the company is worried about the leak of R&D capabilities, it could also partner with various existing OEMs in India for individual parts (like how Boeing sources parts for its commercial fleets) to minimize the risk. In the long-term, diversification of Boeing customers could also be beneficial for the US government because Boeing can continue to exist as a sustainable partner in the defense sector.

This is a very interesting essay in that many of the implications for Axis are relevant for incumbent banks not only in India but other countries as well. While expanding branches may be a necessary strategy for the near term, given the awareness and infrastructure barriers to implementing a digital-only bank, I believe that incubating or acquiring (like in the case of Freecharge) a digital-only brand is a prudent next step for Axis in understanding the changing consumer behaviors of India. By adopting a digital-only brand within its portfolio, Axis will be able to further develop capabilities in marketing (e.g. creating a personalized experience, raising brand awareness and acquiring new customers without the benefit of branches serving as outdoor advertisement, media channel effectiveness, customer targeting), and product development (e.g. developing and testing innovative financial products that could be served well through the digital channel, such as loans for e-commerce marketplaces), without necessarily associating the risks with the existing Axis brand. One interesting related article:

Thanks for the interesting article! I was previously unaware that owned physical supermarket locations to handle online grocery deliveries. Alibaba seems to be ahead of Amazon in reimagining the grocery shopping experience, given that Taobao has been expanding Hema locations since 2015 whereas Amazon’s Wholefoods acquisition was fairly recent.

On your question around whether Hema Supermarkets should sell everything, I think it really depends on what Taobao is trying to solve with these physical stores. If Taobao’s strategy is to provide a different retail experience to customers in the grocery space through not only more convenient and faster online deliveries but also the in-store experience and the variety of perishable products that it can offer through the more efficient supply chain, I believe it makes more sense to focus on groceries. If Taobao’s plan is to simply use Hema supermarkets as warehouses for last mile delivery, then I could see Hema expanding its product categories. Personally, the latter strategy is less appealing in that these supermarkets are located in prime real estate and using shelf space for other non-perishable inventory that could be easily bought through other online channels does not seem like a cost-effective use of these locations.

On November 15, 2017, Syndie Kim commented on Beauty Inspired by Nature: Can The Body Shop Continue to Deliver? :

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