August 09, 2020
#1 India’s population expected to decline to 1.09 Billion by 2100.
A recently published report by Lancet, carried out a study on population levels up to 2100. The report provides various projects for the coming few decades up to 80 years. The report manages to debunk the fear of population explosion in India. It states that India’s population is expected to decline to 1.09 Billion by 2100 after reaching a peak of 1.60 Billion by 2048.
The picture of India’s population is not as alarming as it was 10-30 years back as India’s social-economic and health indicators are changing, women are getting literate, more contraception are available and more people are working.
#2 Starbucks Future Uncertain??? - Losses of $2 billion year on year as of Q3 Fiscal 2020 Results
Post Covid Starbucks is looking at a uncertain future, with losses of $2 billion over last year as reported in their Q3 Fiscal 2020 Results. As most companies have been severely affected with the impact of Covid, especially the lack of consumer spending in restaurants and cafe, Starbucks, which had become a pit stop between home and office, has faced severe losses.
The good news is that the situation isn’t as grim as the one faced by its former CEO Howard Schultz in 2008. However, the company is responding with a playbook that Schultz had discarded to save Starbucks during the 2008/09 financial crisis. Starbucks at the moment is shifting from the experimental model that made Starbucks Starbucks, to that of conveyor belt coffee shop.
So the question that remains is how does Starbucks create a third place that is not a drive through or a grab and go, but a place where the experience of coffee culture still exists, if it wants to get back to being the king/queen of coffee.
#3 Star Wars: A New Space Opera - Bharti Global (Airtel) invests $500 million in OneWeb, a satellite company
Bharti Global has added $500 million to their existing investment of $25 million in OneWeb, a satellite company that had filed for bankruptcy in 2015. The main question that arises is that if the investment is throwing good money after bad? Fortunately the answer is NO. Amazon, Facebook, Space X and Google via Space X are looking at the sky to provide broadband via satellites. With Facebook and Google’s investment in Jio, Bharti needs to enter the Star Wars to keep itself alive and kicking.
#4 Lap it up in Chocolate: Story of Nutella - Pivoting in uncertain times
In 1940s, Pietro Ferrero, founder of the Ferrero Group, wanted to make and sell sweets, thus he created a precursor to Nutella called Giandujot. By 1946, Giandujot gained a cult following after Napoleon put a blockade on coco supplies. However post World War 2, Italy’s condition was dire and chocolate was a luxury in the country. Giandujot at this time was sold in blocks, but Italian people didn’t have enough money to buy bars of chocolate. Steps up Michelle Ferrero (son of Pietro), who quickly came up with a solution - convert Giandujot into a spreadable paste and sell it in a reusable jar. This gave customers more incentive to buy the product. Why? More volume of chocolate available, can be used in multiple ways for the same taste, and jars can be used for other purposes, including buying more Giandujot minus the cost of the jar. With little addons to the quantity of coco and cocoa butter, Nutella was formed.
The story of Nutella is very interesting as it showcases that pivoting in desperate times can lead to innovation and subsequently massive success. It is important to read consumer behaviour and act fast - Giovanni Ferrero, current Chairman, is worth $32 billion as of 2019.
#5 “Never spend the principal only the interest” - Kevin O’Leary
Kevin O’Leary, popularly known as Mr. Wonderful on Shark Tank is a businessman, author, politician, and television personality.
#6 Biggest wealth transfer in history - $100 trillion in inheritance in the coming few decades
The wealthiest generation in history (Boomers) are starting to retire and soon they will be passing on their inheritance, which globally is estimated to be $100 trillion in the coming few decades. Will this transfer be good or bad for the economy? There are several factors to consider such as type of inheritance etc. however, the two main points of consideration are estate taxes and the use of money as it switches hands from the generation of savers and hoarders to a generation of big spenders.
#7 Black Box VR - Marrying your love of gym and gaming
Black Box VR is the world’s first virtual reality gym. Located in San Francisco, USA, the gym is like any other boutique gym with shower, locker rooms etc. however the experience is digital. Through virtual reality and gaming principles, Black Box VR immerses users in a world that creates a serious, competitive and fun workout. It also tracks users’ form and provides real-time feedback and performance metrics with the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning.