March 2009


Economic cycles are well documented and this recession could be digging the foundations of new business models in the emerging world. Consider the second hand supply chain …

Plenty of scope for second hand supply chains

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Of all the challenges facing the G20 in London (90% Global GDP; 80% of World Trade & 64% of global population)  there is no bigger bad news / good news agenda item than healthcare.

As markets have tumbled capital projects in the developed and emerging world have been cancelled, remittances have dried up as migrant workers return home, income from commodities has fallen, levels of Aid are being pegged back, more people could fall below the poverty trap and reaching the Millenium Goals is looking tough. And yet, healthcare provision in developing and emerging markets could generate significant triple bottom line (economic, social and environmental) benefits and be part of building the upturn rather than be a casualty of constructing a better yesterday. 

Patently obvious

Patently obvious

This is no utopian pipe dream and the logistics of Healthcare can play a major role in the transformation of an economy; its stability and future prospects. After all, as we all obsess on banking we should remind ourselves that banking serves markets not the other way round and, healthcare is one of the biggest markets available to those seeking sustainable growth. Let’s explore the context and then, focus opportunities and innovative solutions.  (more…)

Global media coverage often identifies the source of the current Recession as greed. With the seeming bonfire of bonus driven vanities, public questionning of values could add fresh impetus to alternative, more communal open source projects such as Linux, Wikipedia and beyond. This sharing principle signifies a paradigm shift from the ownership of assets and resources to the business opportunities generated by providing access to them.  

The Firefox browser now has 21.5% of global market share and there is no more potent illustration of this sharing movement than the unprecedented expansion of social networking sites such as Facebook and Friendster. There is huge potential to harness this collaborative spirit; to transform the ways in which market needs are translated into responsive design and, for supply chains of all shapes and sizes to respond.  Let’s look at ways in which the opening up of these global forces can shape the way connectivity and mobility transforms end-to-end workflow and the quality of lives. (more…)

Sixty percent of global poverty is rural; reaching 90% in Bangladesh and 65% to 90% in Sub Saharan Africa. An estimated 1 billion people do not have access to all weather roads and, more than 60% of all people in poor countries live more than 8 kms from those that do exist. And anyone who has viewed the Last Mile video on this Blog will see how infrastructure and transportation issues are pressing right to the dockside.

Add to these stark facts the fall in commodity prices triggered by the global financial crisis as well as a drop in investment flows into the developing world and individual Millenium Development Goals are under real pressure to achieve their targets. It is time to look at a cross cutting theme – transport and infrastructure.

Affordable roads are the key

Let’s face it. How can we eradicate extreme poverty (MDG 1) without the connectivity to link problems with their solutions and, how can we empower communities if they lack the financial resources to link them to the markets they need for sustainable growth?   Let’s look at the missing link. (more…)

Imagine the view from Everest. That summit beyond compare, the calm and then … the ringtone. With 100,000 phone masts erected each year, coverage is virtually blanket and the impact of mobile telephony with all its features is growing. And yet, once the must have accessory of the well off, it has become a vital working tool for those from the Majority World.

A Study by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), an agency of the UN, Confronting the Crisis: Its impact on the ICT Industry is all about how the crash, crunch and crisis has impacted the ICT industry and makes clear that “the ICT industry occupies a unique place at the cross roads of technical investment, productivity and social policy in terms of the digital divide.”  The Report sees ICT as one of the solution industries and mobile technology as a key enabler and means to assist many sectors and geographies to accelerate out of these uncertain times.

 The Report reveals that half the globe now pays to use a mobile phone, although it is tough – as with newspaper readership – to figure out how many people actually use mobile phones.  For example, in Africa many villages share a single phone and, the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh provides loans for  women to set up shop hiring out mobile access.

T L sees mobile telephony as key to inclusive and sustainable growth and welcomes the insight and base data that this ITU Report provides. (more…)

Learn Spanish and any textbook will tell you that there are four seasons and, for a long time clothes retailers went the same way. Fashion retailers all over the world prepared the Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter collections with design and colour driving the production cycles to match. Orders would be placed well in advance and that meant forecasts with 30 week horizons.

And then, Zara and affordable fashion hit the scene; cycle time reduced to 8 weeks from sketch to shop and 4 seasons became 6 – in any language. And counting … (more…)