Mobile Savings, Micropayments & Health/Life Insurance: Promoting Financial Inclusion at the Base of the Pyramid
This entry has been selected as a finalist in the
G2012 Mexico Financial Inclusion: Innovative Solutions for Unlocking Access competition.
NAYA JEEVAN is a social enterprise that seeks to rejuvenate the lives of low‐income communities by providing them quality healthcare and economic opportunities.
About Your Organization
Country where this project is creating social impact
Pakistan, S, Karachi
Is your organization a
Non‐profit/NGO/citizen sector organization
How long has your organization been operating?
Has the organization received awards or honors? Please tell us about them
• 2008 NYU Stern Business plan Competition; Winners – Social Entrepreneurship Track
($75,000 1st prize)
• 2009 TED India Fellowship
• 2009 Clinton Global Initiative Invited Membership
• 2010 Asia 21 Young Leader
• 2010 Robert Wood Johnson TEDMED fellowship
• 2010 Clinton Global Initiative Invited Membership
• 2010 Opportunity Collaboration Cordes Fellowship
• 2010 Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE)
• 2011 Ashoka Fellowship (USA)
• 2011 Ariane de Rothschild Fellowship
• 2011 World Economic Forum/Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year -
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Select the stage that best applies to your solution
Scaling (the next step will be growing impact on a regional or even global scale)
How long have you been in operation?
Operating for 1‐5 years
Which of the following best describes the barrier(s) your innovation addresses? Choose up to two
The Need: What problem are you trying to solve?
In Pakistan, the government spends below 3% of GDP on a woefully under-resourced public health sector, and 97% of all healthcare expenditures occur out-of-pocket. For the poor, the situation is further compounded by financial exclusion; via both financial illiteracy and non-access to formal financial services. Thus, the unavailability of adequate public healthcare and financial services frequently results in a lack of savings, urban child labor, lost productivity/earnings, debt cycles and generational poverty. Thereby, the absence of health micro-insurance and financial inclusion means that the poor are deprived of asset protection, income generation and risk management tools. The three priority issues that these marginalized populations have to face are Access, Affordability and Quality.
The Solution: What is your solution? Be specific!
An entire ecosystem of multiple hybrid value chains (HVCs) can be structured around multinational corporations that can potentially serve the needs of approximately 660 million lives globally. We want contractors, small businesses and SME employees that are integrated in the supply chains of MNCs to be protected under a national scale health insurance plan catalyzed by the corporate sector that rewards them with affordable access to quality healthcare, co-financed by the corporation as part of a loyalty/incentive program. We plan to complement this by adding a micro-savings/micro-payment component to the existing health micro-insurance product in collaboration with a mobile financial services provider. Our low-income members will be able to enroll in a micropayment system that daily auto-deducts ~5 cents from their mobile bank balance and provides an option to divert 5-50 cents/day to a micro-savings account.
The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include your primary activities
NAYA JEEVAN strives to provide low-income marginalized populations with easy access to quality, affordable health insurance, with plans to combine this with access to uncollateralized easy-to-use financial services. This accessible, affordable quality healthcare plan for underserved communities has been cascaded by Kansai Paints (a Japanese paint company) to over 200 small business painters lying at the end of Kansai’s supply chain. Kansai has financed the annual health insurance program costs ($30/life/year) of these painters and their dependents in a tiered loyalty/incentive program in which the corporation has fully subsidized the health insurance plan of their loyal customers. This model can be replicated globally with a varying degree of corporate co-financing/subsidy which is contingent on: (i) the strategic value of these supply chain partnerships (ii) the cost of the health plan in that market and (iii) the impact on their bottom line – i.e. increased revenue/sales per dollar invested in this loyalty program.
NAYA JEEVAN’s health insurance plan includes:
• Annual medical check-up, which promote the early detection of disease.
• A 24-hour telemedicine helpline managed by doctors available to beneficiaries to handle any concerns or emergencies.
• A Health Rescue Fund, which assists beneficiaries for non-insurable conditions or when their insurance coverage is exceeded.
• Preventive Health workshops that detail the causes, symptoms, treatments and prevention against most common maladies to help individuals protect themselves and their families.
The Marketplace: Who are your peers and competitors? Identify others also working to address the needs you are and what differentiates you from them. What challenges could these players pose to your success or growth?
We collaborate with MNCs to cascade our health plan to their 3rd party contract staff through their corporate supply chains. We will be working with an established financial services provider (UBL OMNI) which has a network of agents/cash merchants to facilitate financial transactions such as micro-savings/micro-payments.
Our potential competitors include large insurance companies, but we have tried to pre-empt this competition by positioning ourselves as their customer, and purchasing group insurance plans for our clients from these companies. While MFIs do extend micro-credit to their clients, there is currently no single product available which integrates health insurance and mobile financial services such as mobile micropayments or microsavings.
This Entry is about (Issues)
Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world.
The founder and CEO of NAYA JEEVAN is Dr. Asher Hasan, an ASHOKA fellow who believes in the universal right to healthcare, financial inclusion and social protection. Raised in the UK, Asher was troubled to see the disparity in standard of living, lack of financial inclusion, and access to quality health care in Pakistan on his frequent trips to the country. The poor living conditions of the base-of-pyramid (BOP) population coupled with complete lack of sanitation and poor hygiene awareness led to rampant infectious disease and maternal/infant mortality that were exacerbated by lack of access to financial services. Asher felt there must be a way to finance and deliver quality healthcare, which he realized was unaffordable for the poor due to the absence of financial protection. He resolved to try a new approach to healthcare accessibility and financial inclusion for low-income families via a novel convergence of CSR, social entrepreneurship and institutionalized citizen philanthropy.
Please describe the goal of your initiative; outline what you are trying to achieve
By scaling this health plan, our organization aspires to help developing countries make progress towards the UN MDGs by decreasing the rate of preventable maternal deaths and infant mortality.
Other business objectives include:
• Financial Inclusion- by opening mobile bank accounts for beneficiaries and granting access to financial services.
• Reduction in Maternal/Child Mortality - through timely intervention and 24/7 access to ambulances, medical doctors, ERs etc.
• Poverty alleviation – by reducing the financial impact of medical expenses, increasing productivity via better health, and providing risk management tools.
• Mitigation of Child Labor/Abuse - healthy breadwinners will enable children to stay in school, enhance future earning potential and escape street abuse.
Which barrier(s) to financial inclusion does your solution seek to address? (select all applicable)
Physical and other accessibility obstacles that prevent communities from reaching financial services, The lack of affordable financial products tailored to the needs of underserved and excluded communities,.
If you selected 'other' above, please specify which other barriers to financial inclusion you solution seeks to address:
For which underserved or excluded communities will your solution create access to valuable, affordable, secure and comprehensive financial services?
A majority of the population in Pakistan lives below the poverty line, has little or no savings, and has zero access to quality private hospitals. Health shocks are a major cause of generational poverty, causing the poor to liquidate their assets, migrate and fall into debt at the mercy of loan sharks. The lack of health risk-spreading mechanism also prevents the poor from undertaking the kind of risky, income-generating activities that can pull them into the middle class. Approximately 40 million of this low-income population is currently connected to corporations and businesses, engaged as daily wage
workers. Our solution aims to create access to low-income groups; as well as low-income members of homogenous communities who can be approached via community mobilization. These populations will lie throughout the country in both rural and urban areas; servicing these will be possible through our nation-wide networks of partnering hospitals and cash transfer agents.
Could your solution work in other geographies or regions? If so, where?
Our globally innovative model of leveraging corporate supply chains can be replicated across the globe in all regions possessing marginalized populations bereft of asset protection and financial inclusion. There are over 660 million lives globally connected to the corporate supply chain alone, including 50 million uninsured lives in the USA. Our financial services component would, however, work with greater effectiveness in those countries which possess high cell phone penetration due to the utilization of mobile banking.
If your solution is dramatically successful, how will things be different in 10 years?
Our model would have been replicated across all 6 habitable continents; leading to the achievement of our vision of a world where all low-income populations have access to affordable quality healthcare and socioeconomic opportunity. Moreover, governments across the globe will will have adopted, customized and scaled this concept within their national social security programs. Finally, the idea of incentivizing supply chains through income generation or asset protection will be the norm as per a reward/loyalty mechanism; such involvement of concerned stakeholders will be expected, and such endeavors will no longer fall under the category of corporate social responsibility.
What will have had to have changed to make this happen?
NAYA JEEVAN will require significant growth capital (projected to be around USD 1.3 M) support our growth capital needs, and help it scale up its operations within Pakistan in order to access the large number of potential low-income customers who are currently out of our reach. Once it has achieved cash-flow positivity in Pakistan (projected to be around the start of 2014), it will start replicating the model in other developing countries such as India, Ghana and Philippines, for which it will require similar partnerships in those markets too.
Regions with relatively low mobile usage or telecom connectivity will need extended penetration in order for mobile banking to be made available. There will also be need for a change of mindset within the public sector, involving a greater inclination to innovate and expand.
What has been the impact of your solution to date?
NAYA JEEVAN has successfully enrolled over 16,500 low-income members from over 100 corporations and SME organizations. Our beneficiaries include approximately 8000 NGO school children, faculty, and staff. We have already enabled over twenty critical, life-saving interventions and over 3000 urgent medical consultations by mobile phone.
Other indicators of success would be improved health and socioeconomic outcomes in our beneficiary population. These outcomes are being monitored closely over time and will likely take 2-5 years to demonstrate a substantial effect. In the interim, surrogate markers such as decreased incidence of infectious disease and e.g. time from medical helpline call to revascularization in unstable angina patients should be indicative of positive health outcomes. Other outcomes would include the metric of income protected per beneficiary that would otherwise have been used to fund healthcare in the absence of NAYA JEEVAN’s health plan.
What is your projected impact over the next five years?
Over the next five years, NAYA JEEVAN plans to replicate its “HMO for the Marginalized” health plan model in neighboring countries including India and the UAE. There is also a possibility that we may grow by franchising our model or entering into joint ventures in other developing markets such as South Africa, Indonesia, Philippines, etc. In total, we expect to have over a million lives protected and mainstreamed into the global economy via insurance and financial inclusion. Our plans to leverage community mobilization via micro-retailers also means that we'll be enhancing income generation potential of the mobile cash transfer agents who will be facilitating these financial services.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
Barriers include a cultural/national mindset of ‘guilty until proven innocent’, which means innovative products are confronted with a healthy degree of skepticism. Another barrier is the legacy of a post-colonial, hierarchical, social structure that discriminates against low-income communities. NAYA JEEVAN continuously challenges this informal system of ‘socioeconomic apartheid’ between rich and poor as part of its corporate value system. Other barriers include possible political interference, due to which NAYA JEEVAN is apolitical and seeks to expand to other markets for geographical risk mitigation; and apprehension in the market about insurance due to religious concerns, due to which we have added a Islamic Takaful underwriter to our portfolio.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Enroll 25,000 lives and successfully execute pilot project for introduction of micro-payments and micro-savings.
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Increase awareness about NAYA JEEVAN from MNCs via corporate liaisons to urban slums via community mobilization.
Launch the P&G supply chain initiative with an initial target enrolment of 5,000 lives
Initiate a pilot project to test the integration of microinsurance and financial services distributed via an initial 250 agents.
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
Enrolment of 100,000 lives and formal launch of NAYA JEEVAN’s integrated insurance/savings product
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Open regional offices in Lahore and Islamabad, with increased number of in-house doctors to cater to increased beneficiaries.
Activate the Pakistani diaspora in US, UK, UAE to enroll their dependents/relatives in our health plan in Pakistan
Roll out the integrated health insurance/micropayments/microsavings product formally with 2000 mobile cash transfer agents.
Tell us about your partnerships
NAYA JEEVAN partners with major insurance companies such as Allianz-EFU who underwrite its health plan, and its nation-wide network of private hospitals which provide inpatient hospitalization to its beneficiaries. NAYA JEEVAN has also collaborated with Unilever, GSK, P&G, Pfizer and others in terms of delivering value-enriched services to our beneficiaries. NAYA JEEVAN is also a member of the World Economic Forum/Schwab Foundation, Clinton Global Initiative, TED, ANDE, and the Ariane de Rothschild Fellowship; and seeks to leverage these networks to enhance its social impact.
Are you currently targeting other specific populations, locations, or markets for your innovation? If so, where and why?
Our beneficiaries are predominantly from low income marginalized communities (average income less than $5/day), which inhabit urban slums. These communities typically retain archaic social taboos regarding diet and obesity (which is often viewed as a sign of prosperity and not disease), limited access to health care for women, family planning/contraception, and numerous other health related issues. Previous efforts to provide medical care have ranged from mediocre to none with little government assistance, intervention, or representation.
What type of operating environment and internal organizational factors make your innovation successful?
NAYA JEEVAN leverages corporate distribution channels which results in a win-win partnership for the beneficiaries, MNCs, supply chains and the overall healthcare ecosystem.
The health insurance industry in Pakistan (and many other developing countries) is still in its nascent stages but growing at a robust 35%-40% per annum. This positive 'halo effect' is conducive to NAYA JEEVAN's rapid growth.
NAYA JEEVAN's internal corporate values are encompassed by the acronym 'RISE ABOVE' which embodies R- Respect, I - Innovation, S -solidarity, E - Entrepreneurial, A - Action-oriented, B - Beneficence, O = Open, V - Vocal and E - Ethical.
Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list