The double bottom-line model has definitely been of interest to me. One aspect that I have not fully grasped with such businesses is the issue of “breadth” vs “depth”. A lot of organizations have focused on expansion across multiple countries at the same time, with unmet needs within existing countries nowhere close to being fulfilled. Any idea how VisionSpring has thought about this issue? I think there would be large implications for the operating model based on this business decision.
One question I have is on the comparison to other European mail providers. Wouldn’t the costs be different given the local differences in real estate, unionization, infrastructure? It would be interesting to see how they compare to private providers operating within the UK.
Also, this is pretty similar to the Indian Postal Service, which is still a national entity. Their competitive advantage is their last mile reach – places that would be absolutely unfeasible for private players to reach, as well as financial product offerings to the underserved populations. Has the Royal Mail tried to diversify in terms of any non-logistics related businesses?
Great to see how local, tailored initiatives can introduce and scale innovations. I have two questions on this:
1/ Do we know if the Kenyan Government provided any support towards this?
2/ What’s been their strategy and results post 2012? I can imagine, given the success of this, there would have been other competitors (with deep pockets) who would have tried to grab share from m-Pesa in recent years.
I agree to the broad notion that that bureaucracy has stifled the WBG’s potential as a leading multilateral financial institution, but I wouldn’t go to the extreme to say that it has failed its member states. Some of the largest public projects, esp. in infrastructure development, in emerging markets have only been enabled due to the capital extended by the WBG.
For me the misalignment in the operating model is around how accountability is structured. As you say, “The governance structure is such that each member country’s number of votes is proportional to its financial contribution to the WBG”. There has always been a view that multilaterals have been used by developed countries to extend their geo-political and economic agenda. The governance structure is a prime example of that – the beneficiary country probably cannot hold anyone accountable if something goes wrong within the project (one that may be of national importance for the country), while being under pressure from vote holders within the WBG to probably let their country’s companies bag maximum contracts for executing the projects. The non-visible parts of this model are what I believe the major structural flaws that no one really wants to address.