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On November 20, 2016, Vika commented on Emirates Airlines: A Quest for Service Quality :

Being a loyal customer of Emirates, there is not many other companies that can offer a similar level of customer service and most of the American airlines have a long way to go to catch up. Investing in those new technologies to always improve customer experience is paying off for the company as they manage to completely lock in their customers (especially business travellers) especially with their rewards program where the payment for the premium on flight tickets is clearly worth it on the long term (regular upgrades, cash and points tickets). This high level of quality combined with an ideal cross-continental location between Europe, Africa and Asia have been the core strengths for Emirates growth. The only drawback is that Emirates customers expectations are getting higher and higher and it will not be easy to maintain and exceed those while scaling up and entering new markets.

On November 20, 2016, Vika commented on Smart Services in the City of Dubai :

Dubai dreams big and wants to be number 1 as always, but is the city always right to jump on any new trend and invest that much money? One of the latest major infrastructure investment was the creation of the Dubai Tram that runs within Dubai Marina. It turned out to be one of their biggest failure. The tram route is absolutely not optimised for people living in the Marina (speaking from experience) and as a result it is almost always empty. On top of that it created major traffic issues within the Marina, by trying to make things better, they actually made it worst. Dubai certainly has the money to invest in such technological project but it should choose its project carefully to ensure they are not obsolete two months after their launch.

On November 20, 2016, Vika commented on Duolingo: Working for your Education :

6pm and I just received my Duolinguo reminder for my Spanish lesson so that article is right on time! Being a loyal customer of Duolinguo, I will say that there is a limitation to the value proposition currently offered by Duolinguo. It is a good start if you want to try a new language or it is a good way to keep maintain a good level if you do not have the opportunity to speak a specific language on a day to day basis. However, learning only through Duolinguo will not allow you to become fluent in any language. I believe Duolinguo has now managed to create a strong brand in the language education and should capitalise on that to develop a more complete value proposition. Integrating even more technology (AR/VR) could be a way to offer a premium paid option for users that want to go a step further in their education. It would seem a more logical path as a way to monetise its brands rather than pursuing into translation where you are competing with big giants.

On November 20, 2016, Vika commented on The selfie: Canon’s biggest woe :

In the last years we also have seen a massive interest for high quality, small and convenient video camero such as GoPro or Drift. Canon has also been integrating high quality and widely recognised video camera features in their latest camera. Do you think it could benefit from creating a new product line entirely focused on video that would compete with GoPro? It could leverage its wi-fi system to integrate it in the camera and make the end product readily available to be watched on a smartphone.

On November 20, 2016, Vika commented on Hello, “Hello Tractor”! :

Introduction of tractors was a massive disruption when it entered the agribusiness industry in the developed countries, but here the jump is even bigger as Nigerian are moving directly to a bundle of improved agricultural tools associated with new technologies. What we have seen in the developing countries though is that some farmers were able to leverage their first mover advantage to get bigger and bigger crops and extend their farms by acquiring smaller ones and then benefit from economies of scale to lower their selling price. This made the competition even harder for smaller farmers that could not afford such technology. Do you think that the threshold of $4,000 is low enough for most of the farmers to invest in it or it will probably benefit only to the small richest percentage of the farmers?

On November 5, 2016, Vika commented on A not-so-happy meal :

Several team of scientists have been working on lab-grown meat that apparently taste almost exactly as normal livestock meat. As of today those are still extremely expensive to produce, but as technology is moving forward the cost will be dropping significantly. Should McDonald’s invest in those researches and be the first-mover to get into lab-grown meat so that they can still serve their famous burgers while being sustainable in the long term?

On November 5, 2016, Vika commented on Hydrogen Hugs (aka Nuclear Fusion) :

So it would seem that there is an “easy” solution to all our issues, that’s finally a good news! However just to be realistic here, how feasible is it? How likely is it that this product will actually come to life before we reach the critical stages of global warming? It all come back to where do you want to invest your money. Is it in a product that can solve everything with a likelihood of 0.000001%? Or is it in products and services that might only tackle part of the problem but with a likelihood of having a real impact on climate change of 80%?

On November 5, 2016, Vika commented on … Still Got Milk? :

As I understand a critical portion of the milk producers in India are still small independent farmers that do not have the required money to invest into innovative technology or do not have much power over the supply chain. Should the government incentivise a wider development of Dairy cooperatives as well as investments from the private sector to modernise the overall dairy product supply chain?

On November 5, 2016, Vika commented on From Chocolate Ice Cream to Deforestation in Borneo :

It has been proven that the palm oil industry is detrimental to natural ressources, but what is also a new subject of debate is the health impact of palm oil consumption. Indeed, several medical organisations worldwide have stated that they are significant negative side effects (such as heart disease) that are linked to the consumption of palm oil. Moreover, they are many available alternatives to palm oil to be used as an input for consumable goods but palm oil is just the cheaper option and hence the way to go for most companies. Knowing all this, do you think there is a justifiable argument for Governments to get engaged in the regulation of palm oil use (such as specific taxes or maximum threshold)?

On November 5, 2016, Vika commented on The World Bank: Climate Change’s Unexpected Rival :

It is very interesting to learn that the World Bank is shifting part of his focus towards project with high sustainability objectives and I do hope that this is trend we will increasingly see moving forward in the project funded by multi-national or bilateral agencies. However, having studied different projects led by the World Bank, one of the biggest issue they usually face is to find the right expertise and skills among local resources to efficiently implement those projects. How should they tackle the issue of sourcing this specific expertise?