business leaders

business leaders

Indranil Ghosh has launched a new podcast where he unpacks the success stories from his network of champions in impact business.

For over a decade, I have been working companies which have made a material impact on the environment, on human health, and on social equality—while also returning extraordinary financial returns to shareholders along the way.

Each week starting August 10th, I will unpack the success stories of entrepreneurial champions from my network, digging deep to find the winning practices that listeners can use in their own ventures and ESG investment portfolios.

Guests will include Javier Cavada, President and CEO of Highview Power, who will talk about the company’s pioneering CRYOBattery which is pushing the frontiers of energy storage. Highview offers a clean, cost-competitive solution to store energy at grid scale for hours and even days—much longer than Li-ion batteries which are suited for 1-2 hours of storage.

I will also be talking to Glen Martin who will introduce his fourth venture Hyox Space—an exciting new venture with a blueprint to revolutionize aviation and ground transportation with clean hydrogen at a lower cost that today’s carbon-based fuels.

There are many exciting discussions to look forward to. I hope you will tune in every week on Acast, Apple iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify or your favourite podcast channel. 

 

Recent episodes include:

  • Clean Hydrogen for Transportation, featuring Infrastructure Innovator & Aerospace Engineer, Glen Martin
  • The Food-Energy-Waste Circular Economy, featuring President and Chairman of Empire State Greenhouses, Louis Ferro
  • Building a Climate Impact Investment Platform, with Founder & Managing Partner at Greenbackers Investment Capital, Robert Hokin

 

For more details, check out the Impact Unicorns website at www.impact-unicorns.com.

 

Anders Corr shares an article he wrote for Epoch Times that explains why China’s billionaires are fake.

Alibaba’s Jack Ma and Joseph Tsai apparently can’t afford their own private jets. They had to borrow money from Credit Suisse to get them, despite each having cashed out over $5 billion in stock since 2017. Where’s all that cash gone? Is it even real? Do they keep it in banks for which they have to get Chinese Communist Party (CCP) permission for withdrawals? That is to say, is it really their money, or not?

According to Kyle Bass, chief investment officer of Hayman Capital Management, “Tsai and Ma are only billionaires because the CCP says they are. As the world has already witnessed, it can and will change in an instant.”

Bass stated that Ma and Tsai’s “need to borrow from western banks to fund their luxurious lifestyle” is a mystery. “It’s entirely possible that any US dollars they harvest through share sales must [be] paid to CCP party members,” he wrote.

A request for comment sent to Ma and Tsai via Alibaba only yielded a link to Alibaba’s prior comments. A spokesperson for Alibaba Group there characterized Chinese billionaires who do things like hock stock as collateral for jet loans as “ordinary.” They pointed out that Ma is no longer an executive at Alibaba.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange while the price of Alibaba Group’s initial price offering (IPO) is decided, in New York City on Sept. 19, 2014. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

“Share pledges by senior executives of US companies, including Elon Musk of Tesla and Larry Ellison of Oracle, are well-documented in the news, and based on even a cursory survey of public filings of other US companies, including Amazon, Bank of America, Bristol Myers Squibb, General Electric, Netflix and Walmart, it is clear that many companies do not prohibit share pledges by executives,” the Alibaba spokesperson wrote.

But according to Ryan McMorrow at the Financial Times, “Share pledging, whereby banks accept stock as collateral for loans while the borrower retains ownership of the shares, is risky and most US companies limit its use by executives. Any forced selling of pledged stock can exacerbate the fall of a company’s share price.

Key points include:

  • Banks risking their client money for the CCP
  • Borrowing against Alibaba stock
  • Stock pledges as a common method to raise cash

Read the full article, “China’s Billionaires Are Fake”, in the Epoch Times. 

 

 

As we move towards the end of the pandemic and a surge in business, Geoff Wilson provides a post for leaders to help navigate the next economic journey.

We are in a world of opportunity and hurt.  Demand is high, spirits (and prices) are up, and supply is constrained.  What’s a leader to do?

When I was a young man I learned microeconomics on the back of a simple diagram with two lines…one for demand (always downward sloping) and one for supply (this one goes up).

Turns out, the microeconomists were right.  Mostly.

We are living in a fever dream at the moment.  It comes with the pleasure fog of rising demand for…well…everything as people regain the confidence that they can interact and transact with one another without threatening lives. It also comes with the tormenting nightmare of not being able to hire, source, or build the products and services that they need.

There’s plenty of blame to go around. The most plausible explanation is that we are simply mired in the midst of a massive supply chain bullwhip that is synchronized around the world for once. As positive and negative information trickles out across industry chains, individuals firms attempt to adjust…and they do so badly.

Add the labor-market distortions brought by extended unemployment benefits, extended school and family support organization closures, fear of the unknowns around coronavirus reoccurrence, and general inflation; and you have a multi-faceted political and commercial game that would make George R. R. Martin blush.

But all of this is couched, at least for the moment, within a massive environment of opportunity.  Demand is popping for most of the economy, and poised to pop for much of the rest.

So (as I’m often wont to ask), what’s a leader to do?

Here are a few ideas.

 

Key points include:

  • Prioritizing the opportunity
  • Time to innovate
  • Explore new supply chain structures and mechanisms

 

Read the full article, Revenge of the Microeconomist in the Real World, on WilsonGrowthPartners.com.

 

 

Robbie Baxter shares a roundup of key insights from this year’s D2C (direct to consumer) summit.

A perk of my work as a speaker is that I get to go to a lot of conferences.

It’s one of my favorite ways to learn, and to build my community.

This month, I’m taking it a step further, and co-creating a new conference, along with my friends at FIPP, the global media association based in the UK. Definitely more work, but also a greater opportunity for learning and connection.

Next week, we are launching the first D2C Summit, where we will explore the world of direct-to-consumer revenue models, which are critical to the success of media businesses today.

I’m personally hosting “fireside chats” with 10 experts and practitioners for the conference, so I have been busy the past few weeks, researching their stories, and developing outlines for each conversation. Many of these stories center on subscription and membership offerings, my area of focus, but each has a different angle and I’m learning so much.

Here are some tidbits of what I’ve learned from this early preparation.

If you think you would find it useful and interesting, join us at d2c.global. And, as a subscriber to my newsletter, enjoy this 20% off code: SPEAKER20

A SNEAK PEEK OF KEY INSIGHTS FROM THE D2C SUMMIT

From David Lorsch, CRO, Strava, who will be speaking on Building a Subscription Business in a Social Platform

Key Learning: There’s a fine balance when your subscription is based on participation in a social community, and the organization needs to have a clear philosophy on what features should be free, and what goes behind the paywall.

From Ira Ehrenpreis, Partner, DBL who will be speaking on How Profit and Purpose are Combining to Create The New 21st Century Iconic D2C Companies like Tesla, The Real Real and Farmers Business Network

Key Learning: Your organization’s mission is increasingly important to investors, employees and customers alike, particularly in direct-to-consumer businesses, and how to balance longterm goals around impact with short term goals around revenue.

 

Key points include:

  • Determining the use case for the B2B2C buyer
  • The power of storytelling
  • Strategy in phases

 

Read the full article, Best Practices in D2C Subscriptions and the Power of Professional Development, on LinkedIn.