Thanks for the great read Anuj! This is a very interesting and relevant topic not just in the context of India or Apple but for any global company combating protectionism in any country. While globalisation has made the world a smaller place, it has also made each country even more aware of threats from other countries and of rewards of bettering their economy – which leads to protectionism.
I agree with the comments above addressing the question around manufacturing in India. However, my reason stems from two places: one thats mentioned above is that proof of existence of the skills and infrastructure exists since so many others have already done it already. The other reason why I think it makes sense for Apple to start manufacturing in India is more from an efficiency and long-term strategy perspective. As Apple sales grow, it would need to keep expanding its manufacturing. Continuing manufacturing only in China carries the risk of putting all of their eggs in one basket. Utilising existing expertise in India and in the process improving it further gives Apple a stronger backend.
Thanks for the great read Jordan!
The tension between people wanting these jobs and also needing low prices has been ellaborated really well. IF Walmart is forced to move its manufacturing to the US, I think they would need to scrape away at their bottome line in order to maintain EDLP. However, the long term plan would need to be to increase prices. One of the questions that I would struggle with is around the right communication to its consumers and also new employees. Communicating the learning of “You cannot have your cake and eat it too!” is easier said than done!
I also liked your thought around trying to strengthen Walmart’s position in these developing countries by spending time, effort and money on education and technological training. Along with the moral obligation, I almost think it is a competitive necessity with growing globalization.
Thanks for a great read Lige!
It is very encouraging to see the lack of climate sensitivity impacting consumer demand for the product even for such a well established and well admired company like Volkswagen and moreover for all similar products. In an industry already known for the variability in demand, effects of climate change have added tremendously to this variability. The skeptical side of me feels that one of the reasons why this had such a direct impact on consumer reaction and demand could be because of immediate and noticeable nature of its effect on the consumer – having experienced it, smog is quick to form and can be seen, smelt and felt. If this is true, it makes me wonder whether we can artificially replicate the effect of other such climate impact issues so as to drive home its reality and importance!
Thanks for the great read Tiffany! Being a company that sells the outdoor/nature experience, it makes sense that they would need to champion the sustainability issue.
While their efforts to date are commendable, I would echo Darrin that they can only truly close the loop by bringing sustainability to all the products being sold in the stores. Along with having sustainable products, they can also play a huge role in consumer education around climate changes and sustainability. Their access to relevant customers and their ability to influence their outdoor gear and outdoor behavior decisions puts them in a position of responsibility in my opinion. The point of tension, as with any sustainability initiative, will be the acceptance of these approaches by the suppliers and traditional customers and its subsequent effect on the top and bottom line.
Thank you for a great read! This is a perfect example of the ‘platform’ discussions that we have been having in our recent classes with the added complexity of it being in a dying industry.
While discussing Uber/Lyft/Fasten, we talked about how it can seem like the drivers and riders would not want more drivers/riders since their demand/supply would get affected, but actually it turns out that this isn’t necessarily true from the point of view of building efficiency in the demand and supply networks. What was interesting for me was to see that in Raksul’s case, its two customers – the small printing houses and people/companies needing printing facilities – would want there to be more printing houses/people/small businesses from a cost reduction perspective too! The Gang Run Software, a great example of digitization building efficiency, makes it cheaper for printing houses to print and for the consumers to purchase making the system much more efficient and cost effective!
I would tend to agree with Roger that printing is not really as down in the dumps as we might think and there is definitely huge opportunity to invest in this space. However, I do agree that expansion into plastic-printing will bring long-term benefits to the company.
Thanks for a great article! I especially liked how you tied digitization to technology to food trends to transparency.
To your question on whether we as consumers should ‘give up’ food values that make it tougher to feed the world, I would argue that digitization can in fact aid companies to adopt new techniques to reinvent these food values. Digitizing the sauce spreading process will not only lead to waste reduction and lower worker injuries (not to mention lower costs and higher efficiency), it will also help maintain better quality and hygiene standards. Expanding its use to the ‘supply’ part of the value chain, i.e. in agriculture and animal husbandry, can further help increase the total available food. Using digitization to be able to bring the required quantity of good quality and safe food at low costs can convert this ‘food value’ into one that can make it easier to feed the world in the long run!