Grameen Foundation India (GFI) recently signed up agreements with six partners under its flagship project “Business Correspondent Experiments and Demonstrating Scale (BEADS)“. The project aims to drive financial inclusion in remote rural areas by supporting innovations that will drive productivity, efficiency and viability of the Business Correspondent (BC) networks. In the process, over 280,000 customers and over 1,300 business correspondent agents will directly benefit from the project.
The six partners who would be working across 10 different states in India includes are:
Centre for Development Orientation and Training (CDOT)
Drishtee Development and Communication Limited
Fincare Small Finance Bank Limited
I25 Outreach Private Limited
Mann Deshi Mahila Sahakari Bank Limited
Sub-K Impact Solutions Limited
The 10 states covered under the project are: Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh.
The project supports informed pilots with established BC Network Managers (BCNMs) to test cost-effective and agile ways of establishing, on-boarding and training new BC Agents and to improve viability of individual agents by diversifying and increasing revenue as well as working on customer empowerment.
Talking about the program, Prabhat Labh, Chief Executive Officer, Grameen Foundation India said, “Business Correspondent model enabled by India’s robust digital ecosystem holds immense potential to drive financial inclusion and economic growth in India’s hinterland, and effectively serve the under-served populations, particularly women. We are truly excited about partnering with leading organizations in this space which are keen to innovate, learn and scale their impact.”
This action research project will test and scale effective BC models and approaches and engage interested stakeholders in order to drive sectoral learning, replication and transformation.
Gaurav Chakraverty, Chief Operating Officer, Grameen Foundation India spoke about the utilization of cutting-edge solutions for the communities. He said, “We are looking to enrich the BC agent and customer experience and engagement by adopting Human Centric Designs in product baskets, training and communication strategies using innovative technology solutions for scale.”
Through its collaborations with the six partners, Grameen Foundation India aims to develop a micro savings product and come up with a comprehensive package of financial and digital services to be offered through BC points to deliver compelling customer value proposition. BC partners will improve their agent selection and enhance the skills and gender sensitivity of BC agents and staffs. Through the project, GFI will also implement a customer education and marketing initiative that will facilitate the BC Networks to expand their customer base to new customer segments and drive uptake and usage of products.
About Grameen Foundation India
Grameen Foundation India is a leading social impact organization, working on financial inclusion, agriculture-based livelihoods and health and nutrition initiatives with the mission to enable the poor, especially women to overcome poverty and hunger. Inspired by the work of Nobel Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus, Grameen provides works in partnership with leading development organizations in India to ideate, innovate and scale breakthrough solutions that reach underserved populations, particularly women. Over the last 11 years, Grameen has directly impacted over 1.5 million people, primarily low income women in rural areas through its programs.