Social Business News

Developing a savings product for the Indian informal sector

Last week our colleague Fennie Lansbergen returned from a 8-day trip to Bangalore, India. Together with a team of business developers, Fennie is working on Goal Savings India, a social enterprise offering goal-oriented saving products targeted at the low-income customer segment in India. The trip to India allowed her to connect with main stakeholders, set up partnerships and grow the local team in to get feet on the ground in India.

In the same year Enviu and partners launch People’s Pension Trust Ghana (PPT), we’re working on the validation of a comparable product in India. Of the 487 million working people in India, 90% works in the informal sector. This group of over 450 million people does not have official jobs, don’t pay taxes and therefore are not actively participating in a pension product. That means that the majority of the population falls back into poverty after their retirement because they are not able to save for it.

6362154463_eb8bd64533_bPhoto: Arian Zwegers

Goal Savings India aims to address this problem, but will be slightly different from the Ghanaian micro pensions company PPT. Goal Savings India offers a goal oriented savings product, allowing people within the informal sector to save money for education, health care, their new company, or for retirement.

Validating the business model with Indian target groups

First interviews with potential target groups in India showed there’s a lack of knowledge and access to long-term financial products within the Indian informal sector. This has been the starting point for the development of an Indian savings product.


11810975254_ff4f755228_kPhoto: brando.n

Now that the issue and possible solution are clear, more focus group interviews are organised to get more insights on income, spending, savings behaviour and needs. Based on these interviews, the new Long Term Savings product can be adjusted to the specific needs of the customer segments.

Meet our new colleague from India

During her trip, Fennie conducted several target group interviews. More interviews will be held by Sudarshan, the new Indian team member. In the coming months he will conduct 50 more interviews with targeted customers. Following the interviews with the different customer segments, the team will set up a savings pilot to test whether people put their money where their mouth is.

More updates coming soon!