A few nice global marketing images I found:
La Concorde, KWV Head Office in Paarl, South Africa
This is one of the KWV-buildings in Paarl. KWV stands for ‘Kooperratiewe Wynbouers-vereniging.’ The former KWV Co-operative was formed on 8 January 1918 by the South African wine farmers, to act as a spokesperson, adviser, producer and marketing innovator to the South African wine industry in general, and to its farmer members.
Having a Nobel gas
Mike Milken shared a laugh while interviewing three Nobel Laureates in economics yesterday. Myron Scholes gave a plug for Skype in the context of telecom costs going to zero. (IMHO, voice communications will become just another application, marginally priced like email, that runs over a data network. The marginal cost to the consumer should be significantly less than the trillion dollar telecom market of today).
I was also interested in the statistics they provided on the booming medical tourism market in India. Summary: a heart valve transplant that would cost 0K in the U.S. can be obtained for K in India, and that price includes round trip airfare, a 2 week vacation visit to the Taj Mahal. In certain categories, the quality of care is much better than what can be obtained in U.S. hospitals. The heart bypass (CABG) death rate is 0.8% in India and 2.3% in the U.S.
This reminded me of an analysis I did back at Bain. I looked at the huge variation in CABG death rates across U.S. hospitals as a function of the cumulative number of CABG procedures performed at each hospital. As one might expect, the patient survival rate followed a perfect “experience curve” which has been seen in thousands of industries involving human activity and learning. One should expect that a heart surgeon’s success rate grows with the number of procedures they have done (same for the post-operative care team).
So hearing the Indian statistics, I would suggest that the experience curve is at work. The average Indian surgeon performs many more procedures per day than their U.S. counterpart.
In a separate panel, Bill Haseltine argued that the U.S. should learn from the Indian private-sector model of healthcare delivery. A U.S. surgeon may do 2-3 eye surgeries per day. Their Indian counterpart at an Aravind Center would perform 50 surgeries in a morning. The surgeon has a bed on each side. While they are performing a surgery at one bed, the next patient is being prepped behind them, and they rotate in place to get to their next patient. Aravind has “reengineered” the system for high volume, high quality service. And the doctors have a wonderful spirit; 70% of their patients are too poor to pay, yet the overall operation is profitable.
(panelists in this photo: Edward Prescott, Gary Becker, Michael Milken, Myron Scholes Here’s a conference summary of the panel.)
Since every day the office closes at 7pm i end up having a lot of time every evening. Eventually i started reading. There are plenty of books that i always wanted to read and never did i have the time.
Yesterday evening i ended ‘the Corporation’ from Joel Bakan. It is an interesting analysis about why are corporations harmful. How historically we came in this situation and what can be done. It is very clear in explaining why under the current legislation corporations are and will always be harmful. How they are similar to each other and how, for example, they can be socially useful only in the measure in which their ceo can prove they were just doing it to increase the corporation economic power. And how ceo are generally not bad people, but the legal position they have requires them to take certain position as their only parameter MUST BE: am i acting for the highest economical good of the stockholders? This is because there was a time when it was believed that the individual good will always bring on the global good, the invisible hand of the market, the high tide that rises all ships. Now, stats in hand, this is more and more criticised, but the law is still active. It is chilling, but helpful. After reading this book i feel i have a better understanding of modern society. Any idea of company self control, companies being partner of the government, companies being the next form of government and being controlled by citizens are thrashed with clear undeniable logic. You should read it too.