“When there was a drought, I didn’t know if I had enough for my family to have 1 meal per day.”
Malleshwam is a 58-year-old farm laborer living in Medak with his wife and daughter. His older son lives in the adjacent house with his wife and newborn. Malleshwam has never received formal schooling and has been working on farms since he was nine years old. He owns ten small portions of land, but they are distributed across eight locations and hold no monetary value. Malleshwam lives a hand-to-mouth existence. He has no fixed income and survives by borrowing small loans from larger farm owners within his community. He is never charged interest, as he only borrows from two to three farmers with whom he has a long-standing relationship. He only trusts a handful of people in the community. He uses all his money to meet his family’s basic needs, to clear outstanding credits of ₹ 1500 per month, and buy ration in bulk. He rarely has anything left over at the end.
Though formal financial services could help lift Malleshwam out of a relentless cycle of debt, why does he not not trust these sources?
by the numbers
Like Malleshwam, Survivors are mostly men who are farmers with very limited education and income. Approximately 97 million (10% of the Indian population) fall in this segment.
AGE 35 OR BELOW
SOCIOECONOMIC (SES 1-3)
HIGH INCOME VOLATILITY
Survivors are the most financially exposed of the segments – they face considerable difficulty in raising funds to meet daily needs, especially due to volatile incomes. They are also the least confident in their ability to raise funds in an emergency.
Financial Behavior & Attitudes
SAVINGS BEHAVIOR & ATTITUDES
Survivors save infrequently and are the least likely to save with any type of financial service provider of all the segments.
They have lower uptake of informal financial group channels due to their social isolation, and have a low uptake of mobile money due to low access to smartphones.
BORROWING BEHAVIOR & ATTITUDES
Survivors tend to borrow frequently and exhibit high borrowing dependability. Due to their financial vulnerability, Survivors seek out certainty over risk.
Like most other India segments, Survivors infrequently borrow using mobile services or in group settings.