Global Health Ideas

Finding global health solutions through innovation and technology

India’s Supply Chain: Impact on Global Health?

‘The Biggest Challenge Is There Is No Organized Supply Chain’


This headline in Wharton’s newsletter intrigued me, only time for a quick posting, but this is certainly food for thought. Wal Mart is expanding operations in India and there are two quotes of note that we should think about in the context of culture; delivery and distribution of medical/health goods to those in need; and in the context of refrigeration of medication and/or vaccinations:


“The biggest challenge is that there is no organized supply chain in India. We’ve even been surprised by some of the leading manufacturers in India like Unilever, Procter & Gamble, and some other big names, who are actually welcoming the arrival of organized supply chains in India and Wal-Mart pioneering that effort. Because of the lack of that supply chain today, there is no forecasting, there is no understanding of how demand is. It’s largely a push based system. So, I think, getting that transparency across the supply chain will be very unique.”


“The other thing is, there is no refrigerated cold chain for fresh produce in India, so therefore a lot gets wasted. By McKinsey’s own work, which the consulting firm has done, almost 40% of fresh produce in India gets wasted from farmland to the time it reaches the consumer.”


“India is very unique. In fact, I have lived in China, so maybe I can say it with a little bit more liberty that the only thing common between India and China is the one billion people. If you really operate in the two countries, I think, there are very different consumers, very different kinds of legislation, very different levels of economic development, social infrastructure, and governmental management of the economy.”

Read the full interview here.


One Response

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  1. This is a bit scary.

    I’m really curious what Mckinsey means by “a lot gets wasted.”
    And which consumers are they speaking of? …those that exchange money in grocery stores, at the vegetable and fruit carts, cows, monkeys, those that don’t exchange at all?

    And what exactly counts as efficient when, despite having a billion people, India still has one of the lowest per capita energy use levels among emerging economies?

    One of the reasons their per capita energy consumption is still low and very efficient is because many people find low energy and resource alternatives to problems that western organizations like Wal Mart throw a ton of energy at- like refrigeration for example.


    July 13, 2008 at 1:56 am

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