To sin or not to sin?

Compensation premium in sin-industries What makes doe-eyed graduates work for a firm that exploits human weaknesses?  Young graduates often make emphatic declarations that they will not work for companies that engage in morally dubious activities. They profess to work for companies that they can be proud of. As someone who has just graduated, I can … Continue reading To sin or not to sin?


ITC: Less of a puff

ITC’s roots go back a century. It was incorporated as Imperial Tobacco Company of India in 1910 and for the first 6 decades of its existence, it was devoted to growing and consolidating its cigarette and leaf tobacco business.  From cigarettes to hotels & what not  The winds changed direction in 1975. Since then, ITC’s … Continue reading ITC: Less of a puff

Dropping the middleman

No community marketplace is immune to the threat of disintermediation. No matter what the service, if it costs money to use a platform, there is always going to be people looking for ways to cut it out of the loop. Platforms employ several methods to deter disintermediation, such as creating terms of service that prohibit … Continue reading Dropping the middleman

Ocado: from delivering groceries to selling technology

There’s no dearth of companies trying to exploit technology to provide leaner, more personalised solutions for their customers. Thousands have gone down the automation path, but few have found enlightenment. Each year, millions of dollars are spent on developing AI and ML capabilities, but much of it is in vain. In a sea of moderately-successful … Continue reading Ocado: from delivering groceries to selling technology

McDonald’s: flipping burgers or buildings?

In 2019 your favourite (or not) fast-food chain McDonald’s reported a whopping $ 21 billion revenue. The order of magnitude is definitely not surprising for a company that’s literally omnipresent, but a further breakdown of its reported revenue and income will make you see that McDonald's does more than just flipping burgers. McDonald’s might be … Continue reading McDonald’s: flipping burgers or buildings?

COVID-19 Chronicles: How mental biases leave us unprepared for disasters

The current crisis may have you thinking that governments will learn important lessons and be better prepared to tackle future epidemics. As time goes on, bad memories lose their jolt - and when the next crisis strikes, we again prefer to stick our heads in the sand.

COVID-19 Chronicles: How epidemics shape societies

There is too much noise surrounding how the COVID-19 crisis might impact the global economy. Let us take a cue from history to explore how this pandemic might shape our society.