The Human Account is led, created and developed by Dalberg with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

 

Local partners are Lagos Business School in Nigeria, Ashoka University in India, not-for-profit development finance company, Karandaaz in Pakistan, and research and advisory firm, Busara Center for Behavioral Economics in Kenya.

INDIA

Independents

optimistic, open, entrepreneurial

16% of India  |  155 million

 

Independents are women who are fiercely self-reliant and less likely to have spouses who take control of finances. They have good financial health and are frequent savers due to strong financial discipline and planning. Independents seek out conversations with family and friends in person and on the phone, and would be willing to learn through media channels, although they have had less access to technology.

Independents

India Average

INCOME

self-employed

N/A

N/A

formally employed

N/A

N/A

EDUCATION

no education

31%

20%

up to tertiary

N/A

N/A

PHONE

own smartphone

22%

31%

feature phone

63%

61%

LAND

own land

62%

54%

have access to land

N/A

N/A

GENDER (FEMALE)

79%

47%

AGE (18-24)

15%

18%

GEOGRAPHY (RURAL)

62%

73%

SOCIOECONOMIC

32%

SES A-B

FORMAL ACCOUNT

OWNERSHIP

49%

38%

INFORMAL

FINANCIAL USAGE

22%

20%

MOBILE WALLET

OWNERSHIP

4%

8%

TECH USE

(LOWEST FREQUENCY)

79%

62%

 

CONTEXT

Who are they?

“I want to be the head of the self help groups for my cluster.

It is a paid government position and I am already taking

inputs from the previous head on how to go about it.”

LAXMI

SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS (SES)

Independents

India

Independents are close to the average in SES but less educated than the average. This segment is predominantly female and slightly older, with 64% of the segment over the age of 35.

32% of Independents report taking financial decisions themselves, which is the highest of the female dominated segments. Amongst the Independents, 23% report that “others” take responsibility which may reflect the larger family networks of Independents and their interaction with others.

HOUSEHOLD DECISION MAKING

Independents

India

ASPIRATIONS

What do they want?

Independents aspire to take fate into their own hands and be agents of their children’s success. They want efficient tools that support their vision to be upwardly mobile, completely self reliant and entirely in control. As optimistic and forward-looking individuals, Independents dream of opportunities to jump up on the next “rung” of the ladder, such as pursuing an entrepreneurial opportunity. As a result, they look for products and services that help them realize these aspirations.  

 

BEHAVIOR

How do they manage their finances?

 

“My husband doesn’t think like I do that our daughter

should be educated. I give my husband logic.

If that doesn’t work, I ask my mother to talk to him.”

LAXMI

Independents’ overall financial health is higher than the average for India, with 63% of Independents reporting low income volatility. Part of this result may be a result of Independents’ effective expense management and strong planning skills, which ensure that they never fall short in terms of paying short-term bills and meeting daily household needs and larger expenses such as school fees.

INCOME VOLATILITY

Independents

India

SAVINGS WITH FAMILY OR AT HOME

Independents

India

Independents are close to the average in how often they set aside money at home, with 22% saving at once every three months and 25% at least once a month.

TECH USE FREQUENCY

Independents

India

Independents are middling to low users of virtually all forms of technology. They have below-average smartphone ownership and as a result, use digital technologies very infrequently compared to the average.

 

Independents also have slightly lower access to basic phones than the average, although they have access to common property phones in line with the India average. This is slightly surprising given their strong social connections, but suggests that conversations take place in-person for Independents rather than via technology. When they do use technology, their predominant use is around receiving calls, and less around making calls. This skew may be driven by their strong and wide-ranging social networks that rely on them for information.

 

PSYCHOLOGY

How do they think?

"I want to be the head of the self help groups for my cluster.

It is a paid government position and I am already taking inputs

from the previous head on how to go about it."

LAXMI

Independents have a strong sense of agency and high self-esteem. They believe they have control over their circumstances and attribute their successes to their own hard work and perseverance.

 

53% of Independents have high to highest levels of self-esteem, which is the highest across all segments. This self-esteem may manifest in an ability to self-advocate, and a hopefulness  and optimism for the future. This strong sense of self esteem in combination with their low respect for traditional  authority figures (lowest of all segments), can make Independents more likely to seek self-improvement, be self-reliant and challenge the status-quo.

LOCUS OF CONTROL

Independents

India

CONSCIENTIOUSNESS

Independents

India

Independents are highly deliberate, goal-oriented savers, with 83% scoring middle to the highest level on deliberateness. Independents are the highest in their dependability and planfulness across all segments, which is reflected in their above average saving frequency and participation in informal finance, such as chit funds, self-help groups etc. In emergencies or difficult times, 65% of Independents rely on their own personal resources and are less likely to seek out social sources for help. Their strong planning and dependability is also likely to result in a lower reliance on having others (e.g. family, friends) with them to review financial information, as well as a tendency to take calculated risks, given their openness to new products and schemes.

Despite their openness to seek out new ideas, the familial network remains their most trusted and relied upon source for Independents with 54% of Independents recently relying on family as a source of financial information above all other sources.  They are less likely to turn to friends than the average with only 17% relying on friends as a source as information. This is likely due to Independents’ financial independence and literacy - they are more likely to be relied upon by others for guidance than seek it out.

RECENTLY USED SOURCES OF INFORMATION

Independents

India

INFLUENCE

Independents

India

Although they are not yet influencers, Independents have high potential to be influencers within their network. 68% of Independents already report being a central source of information in their community compared to the national average of 48%. Many aspire to be more involved in community activities and given their high trust for those around them, they likely stay up to date through word of mouth and by seeking out key figures in the community. Accordingly, they report feeling confident that they are a central source of information in the community and are therefore, likely to disseminate information to other individuals within their communities.

They are very low in their reliance on others (e.g. family, friends) to review financial information with 76% reporting low reliance on others compared to the average of 56%. This is reflective of their strong financial planning - Independents are frequent savers and heavily self reliant and resilient in emergencies. Despite their lower wealth, their openness also steers them to want to expand their capital and try new schemes, and they feel comfortable in seeking this out on their own.

RELIANCE

Independents

India

 

OPPORTUNITIES

How might we help increase the learning potential

of women through supporting entrepreneurial

ventures that are targeted at women?  

+

How might we create products and services

that fulfil women’s aspirations to be influencers

within their networks?

 

USER PROFILE

 

Laxmi

“I want to be the head of the self help groups

for my cluster. It is a paid government position

and I am already taking inputs from the

previous head on how to go about it.”

 

 

Laxmi is a mother-of-three who lives Muzaffarpur. She works as a teacher in a private school. As her salary is often late, her family’s finances are less stable than she would like them to be. Laxmi is a strong planner and keeps accounts of all her family’s finances. Laxmi is a 27-year-old teacher in a private school in the village. She earns ₹ 1500 rupees per month. Her husband works as a daily wage mechanic and her three children attend both the private and public school so they can avail the government scholarships. Laxmi dreams of a good education for her children, in particular, providing her daughters the tools they need to be secure and financially independent in the future.

USER INSIGHTS

Offer loans that empower women to aspire to entrepreneurial goals

Laxmi wants to grow her own tailoring business so that she may support her children in their education and stabilize her income. She has tried multiple loans, but she needs a customized loan that offers high return and will finance her business.

 

Laxmi would benefit from a loan to support investment in her tailoring business to become more efficient and productive.

Framing services and schemes towards children's education

Laxmi’s aspirations are centered around her children and their education. She prioritizes them above all other obligations and wants to improve her earning potential to better support them. Formal financial services that have value propositions targeted at children would be valuable to women like Laxmi.

Laxmi needs a product that capitalizes on her strong planning abilities and saving habits in the interest of her children’s education.