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3.5 million + Beneficiaries Reached

Reducing inequalities is at the heart of what Lok Capital does. To date, the companies in our portfolio have reached 3.5 million beneficiaries across a variety of parameters that relate to their economic, health or employment status - with a view to empower them and reduce inequalities across India. Our portfolio companies have enabled an increase in income of over 30% for its beneficiaries by supporting their livelihoods, enabled asset creation of 3,360 homes, facilitated ease of access to financial services, healthcare and agricultural products and services for 3.5 million satisfied customers, and have substantially improved the quality of life for many.

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$2.9 million Cost Savings in Healthcare

Through our support of companies in the healthcare sector, we have been able to improve health accessibility and outcomes by focusing on operations in affordable healthcare and outreach camps. This has resulted in a five-fold increase in the number of camps.

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3,360 Affordable Housing Enabled

Lok Capital believes access to housing is a basic right. For this reason, our portfolio includes institutions that help with housing needs. As a result of our support, affordable housing has been provided to 3,360 beneficiaries in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. Additionally, we have focused specifically on beneficiaries in low income states who are in need of access to better infrastructure.

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94% Women Beneficiaries

With gender equality being critical to sustainable development, Lok Capital has ensured that gender empowerment is mainstreamed across its portfolio. A gender focussed impact is at the core of our impact story, with 94% of our portfolio companies' beneficiaries being women. Many of our investee companies have gender focused their products, such as loans from microfinance institutions and savings for women's healthcare. Across our portfolio companies, women in the workforce have tripled since Lok Capital's involvement.

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$50 million Economic Value of Livelihoods Created

Secure and sustainable employment is critical to ensure a better future for the beneficiaries Lok Capital supports. Our extensive surveys have shown that, this year, we have enabled the creation of economic value worth $50 million based on directly attributable and quantifiable source of income for our beneficiaries.

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7,000 Households Moved out of Poverty

Supporting India's immediate need and global call for the upliftment of people who live in extreme poverty, Lok Capital has included companies in its portfolio whose work caters to beneficiaries below the poverty line and low-income households. To date, we have improved the livelihoods of over 7,000 households below the poverty line, and counting.

24 Investments

Funds

3 Themes

Themes

8 Sectors

Sectors

Banner down arrow Highlights

Vishal Mehta

Co-founder and Partner

Venky Natarajan

Co-founder and Partner

We are delighted to present Lok Capital's Impact Microsite 2018, covering our work and investments towards enhancing affordability and accessibility in India. This year, we performed a deep dive into six of our investee companies to investigate ground level improvements in people's lives. We spoke to 600 individual beneficiaries and management teams associated with Veritas, Suryoday, AffordPlan, Mintifi, Dr Mohan's and Osam across 24 locations. The results, presented in the dashboard section of this report, provide insights on the extent of our value creation and have exposed us to the perspectives of our various stakeholders.

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Banner down arrowFinancial Inclusion
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Vision

To be recognised through its fairness, responsible approach, and service quality as the most admired company in the inclusive financing space by all stakeholders.

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Mission

Make a difference and create a positive impact in the lives of millions of customers who operate micro, small and medium enterprises in India through sustainable financing solutions.

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Profile

Veritas is a Non Banking Financial Company (NBFC) working to meet the working capital and business credit requirements of small businesses in the MSME sector. It aims to make availing credit easy for the ‘below the line' segment, thereby making a positive impact on the lives of millions of Indians engaged in informal activities.

Veritas focuses on meeting the financial needs of the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) in India, which have remained largely underserved despite several initiatives. The firm has 140 branches and 21,000 customers across India.

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Genesis

Mr. Arulmany worked with Cholamandalam for a decade and a half and at Aptus Housing for four years as the CEO, from incorporation to building it into a USD 57 million (INR 400 crore) company. Mr. Arulmany then began looking for a new opportunity and founded Veritas in 2015, with the support of Lok Capital. After careful deliberation and evaluating various opportunities, MSMEs were chosen as the core segment since they largely operate in an informal set up. While they are unable to obtain access to formal credit, this target customer group has a low probability of defaulting in the short to medium term. Veritas has scaled its presence across eight states and has over 1,000 employees.

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Coverage

Veritas operates in 8 states and union territories in India including 2 low-income states.

SDGs

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Vision

To be a world class financial services organisation that provides products and value-added services to the economically challenged, helping them generate higher incomes, build an asset base and achieve a better, sustainable standard of living.

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Mission

To provide value-added services to the economically challenged, and help them achieve a better, sustainable standard of living.

To focus on the unserved and the underserved through innovative banking practices and continue to expand its reach to all states.

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Profile

Suryoday is a Mumbai-based small finance bank providing financial services to 930,000+ low-income customers.

Originally a microfinance institution, it aims to bring the best banking solutions to the ‘banked', ‘underbanked' and the ‘unbanked' sections of society. It provides JLG, MSME, CV, LAP and housing loans as well as savings and current accounts.

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Genesis

Suryoday started in 2008 as a microfinance institution providing loans to joint liability groups, with the objective of providing loans to women from economically weaker sections who do not have access to traditional banking.

It was founded by three core team members, R. Baskar Babu, V.L. Ramakrishnan, and Ganesh Rao, who had previously worked in various institutions in the financial services space such as Cholamandalam Finance and HDFC Bank. In January 2017, it launched its operations as a small finance bank. It is among the 10 companies and the only one from Maharashtra to obtain a 'Small Finance Bank' licence from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

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Coverage

Suryoday provides financial assistance to beneficiaries in over 200 cities, towns and villages across 10 states and union territories.

SDGs

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Vision

To create the largest distribution network for financial healthcare services in India.

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Mission

To tap into the huge affordability gap and develop formal financial services for the healthcare industry.

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Profile

AffordPlan is a Delhi-based healthcare savings product company that provides savings products for patients with planned and unplanned medical needs. AffordPlan is a unique savings medium which, through exclusive technological support, encourages patients to plan, save & pay for their treatment expenses beforehand. AffordPlan offers savings products for planned procedures such as maternity, orthopaedics, and cataract, and is also piloting an open product in all healthcare B2C models. Its long term goal is to fulfil all financial needs necessary for healthcare purposes for the entire family.

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Genesis

In 2015, Ola, a transport aggregator, acquired TaxiForSure. Two members from TFS' senior management, Mr. Hemal Bhatt and Mr. Tejbir Singh, decided to start a venture of their own and build something for the masses. The MIT/IIM alumni duo did their homework and found that private health insurance penetration in India is very low, which often pushes people into poverty traps due to lack of affordable healthcare. AffordPlan was conceived as healthcare oriented financial services ecosystem and founded in 2016, with an aim to serve those without access to health finance. Since then, the digitally-enabled, health-oriented, goal-based savings platform has rapidly expanded its partnership to more than 800 healthcare providers and has a presence in five key cities, namely New Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune and Ahmedabad.

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Coverage

The company currently operates in Delhi NCR, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune and Ahmedabad, and strives to expand its operations pan-India.

SDGs

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Vision

The vision of Mintifi is to empower the SME sector and expand its customer base by building on the existing network of FinTech ecosystem. Its objective is to improve the lives of small and medium businesses across India with its hassle-free borrowing solutions through cutting-edge technology.

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Mission

To simplify lending in India and extend unsecured loans to small businesses.

Use data-driven tools to facilitate a smooth, affordable, and transparent borrowing experience.

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Profile

Mintifi is one of India's first online lending platforms committed towards the growth of small and medium businesses across sectors. Mintifi enables MSME financing by leveraging technology to aggregate and utilise operational data as a key part of credit underwriting process.

There is a large and unmet demand in debt financing for around 29 million MSMEs operating in India. Mintifi aims to bridge this gap by fostering innovative partnerships to drive financial inclusion in the MSME space. Mintifi predominantly caters to small businesses in the following sectors: hospitality, travel, education, logistics, retail, and computer peripherals.

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Genesis

Mintifi was founded in 2017 by Mr. Anup Agarwal, Mr. Ankit Mehta and Mr. Sanjoy Shome, and provides loans and other lending facilities to small and medium businesses. It uses a data-driven process to assess a customer’s creditworthiness.

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Coverage

Mintifi has quickly scaled its coverage across India and caters to customers in 45 major cities across 20 states.

SDGs

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Distributor
Profile

Age 34

Household Size 10

Diploma or above 95%

Increase in Turnover 71%

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Farmer
Profile

Age 43

Household Size 7

Education Secondary & Above 42%

Women 13%

Pucca (Permanent) House 45%

Value of Land Owned $48,000

Number of Cattle Owned 2

Yield per Month (litres) 270

Phones 96%

Smart Phones 21%

 

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Vision

Create a dairy brand which inspires confidence amongst consumers for unfailing quality, outstanding processing infrastructure and hygienic products that offer value for money. Be a part of consumers' every meal based on binding trust generated through use of their products.

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Transform the dairy sector, directly improving livelihood opportunities for farmers through its safe and transparent processes

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Osam is a key dairy enterprise in Bihar and Jharkhand that is transforming the dairy sector, directly improving livelihood opportunities for farmers through its safe and transparent processes. It operates an integrated model of procurement, processing, and selling of milk thereby creating a milk revolution.

With the help of Lok Capital, Osam onboarded Stellapps, an end-to-end dairy technology solutions company, which helped in driving transparency throughout the procurement process. Osam plans to use the 5000+ farmers onboarded on Stellapps currently to reach a goal of 50,000 cattle recorded and regularly reported by end of 2019.

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Genesis

Osam was founded in 2012 by partner-cum-friends first generation entrepreneurs - Mr. Abhinav Shah, Mr. Harsh Thakkar, Mr. Rakesh Sharma, and Mr. Abhishek Raj, wanting to do something on their own after gaining a decade of experience in MNCs.

It started with the setting up of a dairy farm in the outskirts of Ranchi servicing 300 litres a day and scaled up to multiple chilling and processing plants which produce 80,000 litres of milk per day and various other dairy products. Today, the company procures milk from 18,000 farmers in 400 villages and has 200 distributors and 12,300 retailers.

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Coverage

Osam procures raw milk from over 18,000 farmers across 400 villages and has 6 processing plants in low-income states such as Jharkhand and Bihar.

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Vision

To build a chain that provides high quality and comprehensive care and to increase access to such care across geographies and income segments.

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Mission

To provide world class healthcare to patients with diabetes at affordable costs.

To carry out research on diabetes which will ultimately improve the treatment of patients with diabetes.

To train doctors, paramedical personnel, scientists, and students on various aspects of diabetes care and research in order to build expertise in the field of diabetes in India.

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Profile

Dr. Mohan's Diabetes Specialities Centre (DMDSC) is a healthcare provider for comprehensive diabetes care. It is the largest executive diabetes care provider in India, and operates 42 centres across the country. Along with offering complete screenings of the eye, kidney, heart, and feet to treat both the disease and its complications, they also provide counselling to families to identify high risk individuals in the next generation.

DMDSC has one of the largest databases of diabetic patients in the world, with over 400,000 diabetes patients registered. Through its investment, Lok Capital has leveraged ground-level insights to help develop and crystallize Dr. Mohan's route-to-market strategy in terms of both messaging and usage of media. Lok has aided DMDSC in developing a system that accurately captures insights at a centre level through local intelligence gathering, which includes understanding the target group across a 2-3 km radius, key influencers in the region, income levels, and other defining characteristics of the target group, local competitors etc.

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Genesis

The country's very first diabetes clinic was set up by Dr. Mohan's father, Dr. M. Viswanathan in Chennai, who was possibly the country's first diabetics specialist. When Dr. Mohan finished school in 1971, he was persuaded by his father to take up medicine. Ever since, his life has revolved around diabetes prevention and treatment.

In September 1991, Dr. Mohan set up his line of clinics starting with the DMDSC outpatient services in Chennai. It is also the world's first ISO 9001 – 2000 certified centre owing to the quality of its diabetes services. Since then, it has grown to scale over 40 branches across India in its commitment to deliver quality healthcare to all.

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Dr. Mohan's has over 40 primary centers across 8 states in India.

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Mintifi: FinTech SME Lending

About the Company

Mintifi is a leading technology platform offering business loans to small and medium enterprises in a fast yet simple way. It identified a huge gap in the market, catering to the long-term financial needs of the under-served and unbanked populations through their tech-driven products and service streams.

Role of Lok Capital

Lok Capital has been closely engaged with Mintifi since investing in the start-up, providing multiple streams of support. While there is strong demand for SME funding across the country, it was initially able to only service loans in tier 1 metros such as Mumbai and Delhi.

Lok Capital has assisted Mintifi in creating a regionally structured sales team, which has been instrumental in servicing loans in underserved tier 2 and tier 3 cities. Additionally, it has sponsored the development of a mobile application through its technical assistance programme that will enable Mintifi and its corporate partners to strengthen its processes. This application will help in coordinating leads, providing real time in-principle credit decision and facilitating loans disbursals among hard to reach areas across the country, including to those with poor credit histories, thus driving the growth of small businesses in non-metro areas.

Beneficiary Impact and Women Empowerment

Mintifi's broad product portfolio demonstrates its strong commitment towards financial empowerment and financial literacy of players in the SME sector. It has three major service offerings:

  • Working capital loan: Used to manage funds for day-to-day operations
  • Bill discounting limit: Short term business loans using unpaid bills as security (invoice financing)
  • Term plan: Funds that businesses avail as per their requirements

Mintifi is based on a marketplace model; it manoeuvres the distributor networks of corporate partners such as TTK Prestige, DTDC and Razorpay. It works with corporates to provide a lending mechanism to their distributors’ network so that they can grow their businesses in a sustainable manner.
Mintifi also takes pride in scaling the participation of women in key strategy and business development roles. CEO Mr. Anup Agarwal attributes Mintifi’s success to its women partners and leaders, who galvanise its growth narrative in the challenging FinTech environment.

Driving Data and Technology Innovation in FinTech

Data availability, especially cash flows, continues to be a major concern while offering financial products and services to the BoP segment of the society. Mintifi’s unique value proposition lies in its efforts to provide an ‘educated amount of credit’ to businesses and assess a customer’s worthiness through adoption of data-driven digital tools. The process involves an extensive process of industry selection, partner and anchor selection as well cyclical assessment of the industry. It has integrated technology into its operations to ensure that data from corporate partners and direct selling agents can be channelised to derive business insights for the distributors.

In the words of CEO Mr. Anup Agarwal, “lending, as an industry, is data hungry”. Mintifi has built their robust ecosystem through the usage of data-backed processes and data analytics, combined with new-age technology. They make concerted efforts for continuous innovation in their process management, namely customer acquisition, efficient operations and seamless delivery of services.

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Veritas: Inclusive Finance for MSMEs

About the Company

Veritas Finance Private Limited is a key player in the inclusive finance space in India. Veritas focuses on meeting the financial needs of the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME), which remain largely underserved. Since 2015,

Veritas has catered to more than 21,000 customers across 140 branches and has hired over 1000 employees. It offers working capital loans and long-term loans to small businesses in the MSME sector in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal. Veritas’ ability to adapt to heterogeneous customer profiles, while ensuring successful last mile delivery of credit has contributed to its success. Its business model focuses on:

  • Doorstep delivery
  • Minimum paperwork
  • Quick disbursement
  • Repayment mechanisms tailored to suit the customer's business

Role of Lok Capital

Lok Capital has supported Veritas since 2015, through the conception and operationalisation of the company, and continues to partner with it as a sounding board for execution. Lok helped pilot and launch a small ticket-size unsecured lending product for

meeting the working capital needs of small business. The product is aimed specifically at customers who are self-employed as cart hawkers, flower sellers, fruit vendors, etc. The average ticket size is around $900 and the product is designed to collect the repayments daily at the borrower’s place of business, making it convenient for them. To understand the needs of the borrowers and fine tune the product, Lok Capital spent a lot of time interacting with beneficiaries.

Lok Capital was also instrumental in on-boarding high-quality independent directors to the board of Veritas. This helped bring a longer-term vision on aspects such as risk and credit, apart from laying the ground for high standards of governance. In early stages of the company, Lok acted as an unbiased feedback loop, by making extensive field visits and providing actionable insights to the management. Veritas Managing Director, Mr. Arulmany notes that the experience Lok Capital brings across their investments ensures the company remains focused. He notes their specific contribution on innovation, encouraging the company to invest in technology. “Given a choice on whether to dedicate resources on technology, we would have seen all this as expenditure. Lok Capital encouraged us to view it as an investment instead of expenditure. This is the kind of vision that we need to have to make the organisation ready for the future. Without Lok Capital, I don’t think we would have been where we are today.”

Small Business Growth and Women Empowerment

Veritas supports small businesses such as grocery shops, vegetable sellers, traders, pharmacists, tea stalls, small restaurants, bakeries and flower merchants. By nature, they are unorganised, informal and may not be financially savvy. A part the of the credit assessment process is focussed on understanding the needs of the customer to expand their business which is followed through in end-use checks. This encourages customers to borrow for real business needs, thereby enhancing their income levels.

In a context where women face additional challenges in building a small business, Veritas has been a lifeline for the female entrepreneurs it supports. More than 16% of the customers are women. Mr. Arulmany identifies the Veritas brand as the strongest value proposition for the company – a brand that is associated with a strong focus on long-term customer needs.

FinTech Adoption

To increase the efficiency of loan processing, Veritas has adopted digital tools to interact with and provide services to their employees and customers.

Its ‘myinfo’ app serves as a one-stop-shop for HR-related support, from policy documents to geo-based attendance tracking. This is complimented by its V Talk app, which improves connectivity for field employees, keeping them connected to sales and other branch office members. Finally, its app for working capital customers offers them a digital passbook that monitors collections, offering geo-tagging and instant SMS to ensure they always have the latest information about their accounts.

The Road Ahead

Veritas' vision towards empowering MSMEs is designed across a couple of phases. Phase I is targeted to reach over 22,000 customers achieve with a $143 million (INR 1,000 crore) loan book.

Phase II is targeted to expand this to over the next 4-5 years with one million customers across 1000 branches and a loan book of $1,433 million (INR 10,000 crore). The company also envisions a public listing, during this phase, as a validation of a unique business model addressing the needs of the underbanked. Today, they are nearing the completion of phase I and gearing up confidently to move to the next phase in inclusive financing.

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Affordable: Savings Solutions for Healthcare

About the Company

Affordplan is a digital, healthcare focused, financial services platform. Today, AffordPlan offers sustainable savings solutions to patients in a country where massive out-of-pocket spends and unaffordable health services push individuals into poverty and debt traps.

AffordPlan has plans to offer insurance and loan products in the healthcare eco-system using its technology platform. AffordPlan uses an innovative approach in the affordable healthcare market, targeting low and middle-income groups, primarily via:

  • Enabling access to health service providers and infrastructure such as hospitals.
  • Encouraging health savings in a systematic and sustainable manner.
  • Providing a savings solution for vaccine programs, a unique service offering among health insurers.
  • Improving health seeking behaviour at the family and household levels.
  • Providing better rates for procedure, diagnostic services and pharmacies at partner hospitals.

Role of Lok Capital

Lok Capital’s extensive investment experience in financial services companies targeting lower income groups has helped guide AffordPlan’s business development strategy.

AffordPlan is an operations driven company and Lok Capital’s expertise and guidance in building ground-level operations was valuable in scaling and developing its distributed network. AffordPlan COO Mr. Hemal Bhatt notes, “Ours is a very distributed network of around 250 people in various remote locations. Lok Capital’s perspective on how to manage them effectively and how to bring in technology has been very helpful”. Lok Capital also plays an important role in building synergies for the company through its vast network of contacts in the healthcare sector.

Lok Capital is also supporting AffordPlan with operations and compliance by conducting technology and financial audits. It has also leveraged its repository of operational knowledge, advising them to track specific indicators on a dedicated Management Information System (MIS) and devise a data driven expansion plan. This has helped accelerate the pace of growth in geographies such as Mumbai and Bangalore. AffordPlan is also working on micro-insurance and lending products to broaden its product portfolio. Lok Capital has been involved in new product planning since its inception and will continue to support through to pilot stage.

Improving Health and Women Employment

Since 2016, AffordPlan has provided affordable healthcare solutions to over 20,000 patients by partnering with 800 healthcare providers. The company currently operates in Delhi NCR, Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune and Ahmedabad, and strives to expand its operations throughout India. Mr. Bhatt notes that even customers with health insurance cover purchase savings plans because they realise that the cost of health treatment is greater than the cost covered by insurance.

AffordPlan’s operating model works primarily with standalone or doctor-run hospitals, wherein financial counsellors are stationed to generate information and register customers. It is successful among hospitals, pharmacies and patients due to the innovative model of products and services it provides, offering visibility on cash flows and reducing the overall cost of treatments by as much as 15-20%. 95% of AffordPlan’s customers are women, with maternity related savings plans plans being the top product. The company also offers plans for eye-care, fertility and general surgery and plans to expand to other procedures where people have the time to plan and save for healthcare.

AffordPlan promotes gender parity in its hiring processes, with around 70% of its employees and all of its financial counsellors being women. Financial counsellors are provided with flexible timings corresponding to the operating hours of the out patient department for a nearby hospital. This provides an excellent opportunity for homemakers, who are otherwise excluded from the formal economy and job market, to join the workforce and manage their household at the same time. Having a dedicated workforce of women as financial counsellors ensures a high level of customer satisfaction and comfort by providing AffordPlan’s customers a platform to have mature conversations pertaining to maternity and savings. By training the financial counsellors to promote savings, AffordPlan has also empowered them in becoming self-reliant.

Influencing the Healthcare Ecosystem: A Trendsetter

Going forward, AffordPlan seeks to create a comprehensive portfolio of financial services. In a cash driven sector such as healthcare, AffordPlan has successfully penetrated the low and middle-income groups with digital payment solutions. While noting that smartphone penetration is high and that digital literacy has improved, Mr. Bhatt notes that “small little innovations go a long way” in boosting digital adoption.

By sending payments link through SMS and creating a dedicated mobile application, he has observed the growth of digital payments from 30% to 60%. The company is looking to opt for product differentiation as a growth strategy by introducing healthcare loans, micro-insurance and savings options for the general population. This will inevitably influence the way healthcare service providers operate in India, leading to a more equitable and sustainable ecosystem.

With a keen interest in customer behaviour, AffordPlan has identified customer financial discipline as a strategic metric to measure the impact of its initiatives. The company will continue to seek support from Lok Capital in building its distribution networks, scaling its operations and expanding its personnel networks in the Indian health financing market.

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Suryoday Small Finance Bank: A Bank for All

About the Company

Suryoday is a Mumbai-based small finance bank providing financial services to 930,000+ customers, with a strong presence in South, West, and East India. It aims to bring the best banking solutions to the banked, underbanked and unbanked sections of society by:

  • Offering credit products such as MFI loans, Vikas loans, shopkeeper loans etc
  • Focusing on the unserved and the underserved through innovative banking practices
  • Offering digital banking solutions to customers

Role of Lok Capital

Lok Capital has had a long-standing association with Suryoday. Since 2010, Lok Capital has played a key role in the successful transformation to a small finance bank, with Lok’s Managing Partner, Venky Natarajan, heading the SFB transformation committee.

Suryoday converted to a small finance bank in January 2017. When the bank branches were set up, the Lok Capital team saw an opportunity to help the company roll out a small ticket size individual loan product for micro enterprises. These micro enterprises are located within a 5 km radius of the Suryoday bank branch and loan ticket sizes range from $600 to $1200. The EMI is collected monthly, but the loan officers maintain regular interactions with the borrowers on their daily rounds. This helped the borrowers retire some of their high interest borrowings and also helped Suryoday build a brand of choice for micro enterprises.

Lok Capital has also played a key role advising Suryoday on how to best identify opportunities and target new markets. This advisory support by Lok Capital led to the creation of loan services of a small ticket size for a niche unbanked segment that previously had little or no access to finance. As acknowledged by Suryoday's CEO Mr. Baskar Babu, Lok Capital’s technical and financial assistance has helped transform Suryoday into a robust institution.

FinTech and Data Science for Financial Inclusion

According to CEO Mr. Baskar Babu, Suryoday intends to add value to the customer experience by enabling banking behaviour and inculcating saving habits. With customer centricity at the heart of its operations and business model, it harnesses data and financial technology to support the growth of banking among the unbanked and underbanked populations. Suryoday offers a full suite of innovative banking products coupled with a doorstep service and digital platform.

Considering technology adaptation and integration, Suryoday designs simple products and processes for its customers and employees engaged in delivering that experience. The core objective behind this is to make it convenient, multifunctional, intuitive and easy to use with few interventions. Financial technology therefore acts as an enabling tool for seamless delivery of holistic financial services.

Suryoday also undertakes projects, collecting qualitative socially relevant data from their customers to enable evidence-based decision making. This helps them to deliver consistent level of service, benefits and customer care to each segment of the customer base.

Improving Financial Literacy and Women Empowerment

Suryoday has led the way in financial inclusion, working tirelessly to build financial capabilities for the Bottom of Pyramid (BoP) segment. It has achieved this by keeping simplicity and customer centricity at the heart of their operations, while adhering to highest standards of compliance and governance.

Suryoday has also integrated gender equality into its ecosystem by conducting programmes providing assistance to women opening bank accounts, and actively encouraging them to improve their savings ratio. It identifies as an equal opportunity employer and promotes inclusive policies at workplace by staffing women in corporate offices, backend roles and field roles.

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Osam Dairy: Enabling Livelihoods for Smallholder Farmers

About the Company

Osam is a milk brand transforming the dairy sector in Jharkhand and Bihar through high quality customer offerings and improving farmer livelihoods, by providing transparency on price, quantity and quality. HR Food, marketing its products under Osam brand, is the largest private dairy player in the underdeveloped state of Jharkhand. It operates an integrated model of procurement, processing and selling of milk.

Role of Lok Capital

Lok Capital provides multiple strands of support to Osam, namely: financial, technical, management, networking support and market intelligence. As the CEO Mr. Abhinav Shah notes, Lok Capital’s assistance has helped in developing collaborations with industry experts, dairy companies, dairy professionals and other vendors in the dairy ecosystem.

Lok Capital assisted Osam with a technical assistance grant to launch its own CRM app. This application has geo-tagged all the retailers and ensures transparency throughout the procurement process. This has also enabled the inclusion of MSME businesses such as Kirana stores into the value chain and extended the product outreach. With real time monitoring, Osam can provide financial assistance to small retailers in the future.

Improving Farmer Access to Markets and Women Empowerment

Osam is credited with a long-term view towards setting top quality governance standards and best practice compliances in the dairy industry. Some of its trendsetting achievements including offering cattle insurance and starting direct payments to the bank account of farmers. It takes pride in maintaining the quality of its products through sanitary and phytosanitary checks at three levels: village, batch and plant levels.

It has created a sustainable impact among stakeholders in the dairy value chain, including farmers at the village level, employees at the factory level and among micro-enterprise partners. At the beneficiary level, it has been instrumental in increasing participation of women farmers, thereby increasing household incomes.

Osam facilitates sales via over 10,000 retailers across Bihar and Jharkhand and tracks its outreach to new retailers as a key metric for their operations. In order to expand its operations, it aims to expand its reach to other eastern states, such as West Bengal and Chattisgarh.

Supporting Technology and Innovation in the Dairy Industry

In addition to quality and professional expertise, the key differentiating factor for Osam has been its investment in technology, starting from procurement to market operations.

Lok Capital has facilitated Osam’s collaboration with Stellapps, a cloud-based procurement and analytics software that records the quantity and quality of each farmer’s milk at the point of collection. This has resulted in a transparent pricing system for farmers and also rewards them with better prices for higher quality milk. Farmers are thus incentivised to tend to the health and nutrition of their cattle to enhance milk yields and quality. The transparency of pricing enables accurate compensation for farmers who are also better able to plan and predict their incomes from milk sales. The software will allow Osam to register 50,000 cattle across 5000+ farmers by the end of 2019.

Osam CEO Mr. Abhinav Shah believes it is important to go beyond need-based support and advisory services to farmers by collecting cattle level data through the usage of RFID geo-tagging. This will reduce issues related to traceability and provide guidance related to extension services, reproductive cycle, vaccination, feed supply and health of the livestock.

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Dr.Mohan's Diabetes Specialities Centre: Healthcare for All

About the Company

Since 1991, DMDSC has offered comprehensive diabetes care to over 430,000 patients across 40+ centres in India. It stands out in its field with emphasis on meeting the personal, social and economic costs of the disease in a country where citizens can rarely afford medical intervention.

Diabetes has emerged as a major cause of India’s disease burden over the past few years, with Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) causing more than 50% of deaths in the country today. With a need for comprehensive diabetes management and care, DMDSC is pioneering diabetes treatment and prevention for its patients in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Chennai, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Kolkata, and Puducherry. Its services include:

  • Specialised consultation and diagnostics
  • Diet management services
  • Fitness services
  • Stress management services
  • Preventive care services
  • Precision diabetes services
  • Eye and foot care

Role of Lok Capital

Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre relied on a print media-focussed marketing strategy prior to Lok Capital’s investment. Lok Capital leveraged its operational experience and highlighted the need of regular reinforcement through marketing for diabetes management.

It aided DMSDC with developing a system that accurately captures insights at the centre level through a) local intelligence gathering, and b) understanding the defining characteristics of target groups in pre-identified regions. As a result, multi-layer marketing approach was developed that included: building awareness via PR and social media, widespread brand building via multiple media channels, and capturing local insights gathered through traditional marketing activities.

Through its technical assistance programme, Lok Capital sponsored an extensive customer survey of diabetic patients in Chennai. Lok has brought in a classification system which allows Dr. Mohan's to budget and measure the outlay of marketing dollars in alignment with centre specific revenue potential. In addition, Lok also aided the Dr. Mohan's team to develop a system that accurately captures insights at a centre level through local intelligence gathering. This includes understanding the target group across a 2-3 km radius, key influencers in the region, income levels and other defining characteristics of the target group, local competitors, etc. In order to operationalize the new approach, Lok has also helped to formalize the marketing department structure and onboard external agencies for both PR and social media. This is helping the company better understand the healthcare needs of those affected by the disease and refine their offerings accordingly and support in fine-tuning its marketing strategy.

Leading in Diabetes Research and Training

DMDSC stands out in the field of diabetes care through its consistent focus on research and innovation, training and capacity building, and strict adherence to quality standards.

Many healthcare professionals at DMDSC have been trained at the centre, and have progressed to working at the in-house research centre. Its research programmes currently comprise 25 PhD students and 20-25 scientists. It also offers training programmes on ophthalmology and nutrition under its academy, with a view to ensuring both professional growth and sustainability of diabetes care.

Diabetes Care for the Most Vulnerable

Internationally recognized by WHO, International Diabetes Federation, and others,

DMDSC operates the Sai Rural Diabetes Centre and DIRECT to support patients from economically weaker segments. Through these charitable organisations, children and adults are supported with free medicines, treatment and regular check-ups.

Innovation for Maximum Impact

Recognising the importance of sustainability in providing access to the economically weaker segments, DMDSC has also sought to make diabetes care more affordable. It has done this through its consistent commitment since its inception to: innovation, improving service delivery, and accessibility. These initiatives include:

  • Introduction of the first A1c machine in India, which reduced the time taken to provide results of diabetes tests from 24 hours to three minutes
  • Adoption of the Ambulatory Glucose Profile (AGP) diabetes diagnostic tool to minimise the turnaround time and improve the accuracy of diagnostic tests
  • Tele-medicine and m-health solutions to improve patient access and health monitoring systems
  • Development of nutrient substitutes for diabetes patients such as high fibre rice, brown rice flakes, etc.

It is innovation that has contributed to so much of DMDSC’s success, explains Managing Director Dr. Mohan: "There are very few… who have been able to innovate and beat us… we have always been ahead of time."

down arrowApproach
  • Our portfolio companies cater to beneficiaries from 33 out of 36 states and union territories in India.
  • Over the years and with Lok III, we’ve expanded our outreach in North India.
  • More importantly, we’ve expanded service delivery to meet the needs of our beneficiaries in Tier III cities and smaller towns and villages.
Legend

Company Branch

Branch/ Office/ Outlet

Beneficiary Presence

1-100 Beneficiaries

101-1000 Beneficiaries

1000+ Beneficiaries

Information shown on this map is compiled from various sources and may not be complete or accurate. It does not represent an on-the-ground survey and represents only the approximate location of the address. Lok Capital cannot be held responsible for the misuse or misinterpretation of any information and offers no warranty guarantees or representations of any kind in connection to its accuracy or completeness.

Ethos
Strategies
Measurement

Why we engage in purpose-driven finance

Lok Capital's position as a financial and strategic bridge helps us create and grow sustainable businesses that make a social impact in the areas of: financial inclusion, agriculture, healthcare, and livelihoods.

We partner with pioneers to scale up their business models that strive to include the unincluded by enabling income generation, asset creation, quality of life and ease of access. We believe that this approach will lead to a more inclusive and progressive India.

How we enable impact

We invest in institutions that aim to promote inclusive growth while generating market returns. Our investment process is anchored in sustainability, scalability, and inclusion. We have adopted a comprehensive Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF) that embeds these throughout the investment life cycle.

Sustainability, Scalability and Inclusiveness Embedded in our Investment Life Cycle:

  • Screening & Categorisation
  • Our initial screening identifies if the portfolio company fits within the context of our investment principles and is aligned to our values. Institutions which satisfy compliance requirements as per the E&S exclusion list are allocated a risk category and further evaluated by an external environmental, social, and governance (ESG) consultant.

  • Due Diligence
  • Our team works with the portfolio company to assess compliance with environmental, health and safety standards, including on-site due diligence visits. Our customer-centric approach means often engage consultants or experts to assess the sector-specific and social aspects to determine the value they get from our investment and their company success.

  • Action Plan
  • An investment decision is made based on a detailed assessment of the team's findings of the portfolio company's performance. An action plan is put in place to address gaps, if any, and timelines for implementation.

  • Monitoring
  • Our portfolio companies are obliged to submit ESG indicator reports on a quarterly basis to ensure monitoring of their performance, track their progress, identify and support in areas for improvement. We also emphasize action items required to plug these gaps through board meetings and other management meetings.

  • Reporting
  • To help all stakeholders better understand the impact of our investments, we regularly publish portfolio wide impact reports.

 

Our main priority is the relationships that we build with the promoters and the management of our portfolio companies. As such, we choose to work with institutions which have a transparent, customer-centric approach to business with focus on client protection, and where we have a clear alignment with the promoters in terms of profitability and growth.

We believe that growth requires a multi-dimensional approach. We strive to guide our partner companies in making better business decisions regarding their organisation, products, operations and clients, providing multiple strands of support. With our combined experience of over 100 years in entrepreneurial, investing, consulting, law and operations roles, we support our portfolio companies to make informed decisions. We enable impact at an institutional level by building strong institutions which in turn creates on-ground impact through engagement with beneficiaries.

How we measure impact

Our impact focussed investment thesis serves to create impact at an institutional level and beneficiary level.

At an institutional level, we seek to empower our portfolio companies with capital for growth, strategic advice, networking and recruitment support, governance structures, market intelligence, funding strategies and technology solutions. We measure the impact created since our involvement with the company within the framework of people, processes, innovation and outputs that we enable.

At the beneficiary level, our portfolio companies create on-ground impact across the various sectors/themes of financial inclusion, food and agriculture, and healthcare by providing their customers and beneficiaries with a means of income generation, asset creation, quality of life and ease of access.

This year, for the first time, we sought to measure the on-ground impact at a beneficiary level through extensive surveys with our beneficiaries. We picked a sample of six of our portfolio companies for a deep dive assessment. These provide an adequate representation of the sectors/themes that we invest in. We spoke to over 632 beneficiaries across 24 cities, towns and villages in 11 states. The data collected from surveys with beneficiaries and from the companies is mapped to a comprehensive framework of indicators which captures portfolio level and sector specific KPIs. This data helps us understand what we have enabled and how we can maximise our impact going forward.

  • Indicator Framework
  • The indicator framework has been contextualised to the nature of institutional support provided and impact pathways corresponding to the service delivery model of the portfolio companies. This includes outreach metrics reported by the company on a periodic basis as part of the ESG monitoring, indicators from global impact measurement standards and local or thematic indicators to measure social, environmental, and financial performance of the portfolio companies. The framework comprises of around 75 indicators applicable across various thematic areas. Together, these indicators provide a comprehensive overview of the impact that Lok Capital has enabled for people, processes, innovation and outputs at an institutional level and through income generation, asset creation, quality of life and ease of access at a beneficiary level.

  • Shortlist for Deep Dive Assessments
  • Six portfolio companies were selected for the deep dive assessment based on factors such as sectors, rural/urban presence, beneficiary type, data availability, company size, age of investment and number of beneficiaries.

  • Data Sources
  • We collected data from the portfolio companies on the indicators selected to measure institutional impact. Surveys were undertaken for beneficiaries of the six deep-dive companies to measure the impact at a beneficiary level. This included design and deployment of multiple instruments in various languages customized to the impact pathways enabled for the various types of beneficiaries – micro and small business entrepreneurs, farmers, patients and joint liability group members.

  • Trend and Current Period
  • Data for the impact indicators was collected for two time periods – baseline and current. Baseline refers to the reporting period the prior to Lok Capital's investment in the company or at the onset of the investment. This differs for each company. The reference for the current time period is FY 2018-19. Explore the impact indicators and their performance across time on the Impact Dashboard. Trend presents a comparison of indicators from baseline to the current period, reported at the company level and aggregated at a sector, theme and fund level, unadjusted for different baseline periods.

  • Currency Reporting
  • Impact indicators reported with the currency unit have been converted from INR to US Dollars for standardized reporting using constant currency INR/USD FBIL reference exchange rate of 69.7923 across all time periods.

  • Weightage & Adjustments
  • For indicators pertaining to beneficiaries and employees, aggregates at fund, theme and sector level are weighted based on the number of beneficiaries and employees respectively. No adjustments have been made to the data collected from the companies or surveys except for annualizing revenues for the current period.

  • Coverage
  • The coverage section presents an overview of the outreach of companies from Lok II and Lok III funds in 2018. The geospatial data was collected from companies along two dimensions – i) Company Branch - centres, branches, ATMs and retails outlets, and ii) Beneficiary Presence - service delivery catchment area and outreach camps. Based on the addresses reported, these are further categorised into:

    • Tier I cities – urban agglomerations with a population of 4 million or above
    • Tier II cities – cities with a population of 1 million to 4 million
    • Tier III cities – cities and towns with a population of 5,000 to 1 million
    • Others – includes small towns and villages.

  • Notes on Selected Indicators/Definitions
    • Economic Value of Livelihoods Created
    • This indicator comprises value generated from direct employment by the companies, i.e., salary income and creation of livelihoods for beneficiaries that is directly attributable to the company, e.g. income for dairy farmers for milk that is procured by the company.

    • Increase in Income
    • Annual household income was captured from beneficiary surveys for the current time period and a baseline reference of 2 years prior to the current period for beneficiaries who have been associated with the company for at least one year. Increase in income is the change in the reported annual household income by the beneficiaries in this time period.

    • Income Categories
    • Based on the report of the expert group to review the methodology for measurement of poverty headed by the C. Rangarajan and the income tax slabs, the following categories have been used for categorisation of beneficiaries according to annual household income:

      • Below Poverty Line - Below INR 60,000
      • Low Income Group - Between INR 60,000 - INR 250,000
      • Lower Middle Income Group - Between INR 250,000 - INR 500,000
      • Upper Middle Income Group - Between INR 500,000 - INR 1,000,000
      • High Income Group - Between INR 1,000,000 - INR 5,000,000
      • Ultra High Income Group - Above INR 5,000,000
    • SMEs
    • A micro enterprise will be defined as a unit where the annual turnover does not exceed five crore rupees; A small enterprise will be defined as a unit where the annual turnover is more than five crore rupees but does not exceed Rs 75 crore; A medium enterprise will be defined as a unit where the annual turnover is more than seventy five crore rupees but does not exceed Rs 250 crore. Source: Press Release dated 7th February 2018, Ministry of Ministry of Micro,Small & Medium Enterprises

    • Youth-Owned Enterprise
    • 51% of the company is by one or more members who are below 35 years.

    • Women-Owned Enterprise
    • 51% of the company is by one or more women.

    • Lead Time for Loan Approval
    • This refers to the time period (in days) from the time of loan application by the beneficiary till the loan is approved/rejected.

    • Satisfaction and Improvement Levels
    • These are satisfaction or improvement levels reported by the beneficiaries during the surveys.

    • Governance Policies
    • Governance policies of an organisation refer to a set of policies on Human Resource Policy, Client Protection Policy, Prevention of Sexual Harassment Policy, Employee Safety Policy,etc, that an organisation puts in place to improve corporate governance and management.

    • Direct Employment
    • Full-time workers employed directly by a portfolio company.

    • Indirect Employment
    • Full -Time workers employed by the beneficiary of a portfolio company. These include people employed by beneficiaries such as entrepreneurs and distributors.

    • Wage Equity/ Ratio
    • Ratio of the total wages paid during the reporting period, to all employees compared to the wages paid to the highest compensated full-time employee. A higher value indicates greater wage dispersion within the company.

    • Core Growth
    • Core growth is measured as the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of total revenues of the organisation since the baseline period, i.e. the reporting period the prior to Lok Capital’s investment in the company or at the onset of the investment. At a fund, theme and sector level, the growth rate is weighted based on quantum of investments in the company.

    • Low Income States
    • There are nine states in India which have a higher poverty rate as compared to the All-India percentage of population below poverty line (21.92%). These include Chhattisgarh (39.93%), Jharkhand (39.96%), Manipur (36.89%), Arunachal Pradesh (34.67%), Bihar (33.74%), Odisha (32.59%), Assam (31.98%), Madhya Pradesh (31.65%) and Uttar Pradesh (29.43%).
      Source: Table 162, Number and Percentage of Population Below Poverty Line. Reserve Bank of India, Government of India. 2013. Retrieved April 20, 2014.

    • Full and Partial Exits
    • An exit refers to the realization of gains (or losses) by the investor through liquidation of their position in the portfolio company. A full exit indicates a complete divestment of the holding while partial exit indicates divestment of part of a holding in the portfolio company.

     

    Our quantitative indicators are only a part of the story. To see the bigger picture in terms of our vision, our portfolio companies and how we're involved in enabling impact, we also capture ground insights from the beneficiaries and employees of the company. Complementing this with the transformation story of the company from the promoter's perspective gives the whole story – our impact story.

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Mr. R. K. Kriplani - Patient at DMSDC:

    Mr. Kriplani is a businessman and graduate in B.Com. He lives in Chennai with his wife and has two daughters. He was diagnosed with diabetes 11 years ago during a general check-up with his GP who referred him to Dr Mohan’s. Since then, he has been visiting Dr. Mohan’s for quarterly check-ups from the past 10 years. Mr. Kriplani believes the services accessed by him are at an affordable price. Due to the sincerity and timely services provided by the staff, and the efficiency of their results, he has never felt the need to compare Dr. Mohan’s services to others.

    His HbA1C level has been under control over the years. He has a good rapport with his doctor and dietician and is happy with the services and care that he receives. He avails the free of cost home-based collection of samples which is available to senior citizens. He requests for home-based services through his dietician who coordinates with departments associated with carrying out these tests. Mr. Kriplani immediately receives a confirmation text message of the scheduled services. He also receives a reminder call/text message ahead of his scheduled check-ups and has the flexibility to pick or modify dates and timings for check-up according to his convenience. At the centre, everything is efficiently organised and he is able to access the pharmacy and tests in less than 5 minutes. According to him, Dr. Mohan’s employs doctors with considerable knowledge and has friendly staff. He fondly noted that visits to Dr. Mohan’s are like visiting friends.

The staff is very helpful. The staff members took good care of me and treated me like a family member.
- Mr. C. Raja (Patient at DMSDC)

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Mr. Ram Sagar Sahani - Dairy Farmer at Osam:

Aged 75 years old, Mr. Ram Sagar Sahani is a landless dairy farmer in Maheshpur village, Bihar. He is a daily wage labourer who works on others' land holdings. With two cattle as his only asset, his only source of income was from cultivation of rice paddy in summer and wheat in winter. Since Osam opened a collection centre in his village, he has been supplying milk through them on a regular basis.

Osam has also supported Mr. Sahani with cattle insurance worth $500 each for $140 annual premium. In January 2018 one of the cattle died. Osam supported Mr. Sahani with his insurance claim and submit the required documentation. He received his claim within a month and purchased another animal with the insurance money. Mr. Sahani earns $50 a month via milk sales.

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Mr. Rajesh - Customer of Veritas:

    Aged 31 years old, self-employed Mr. Rajesh is from Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. He runs a banana leaf business and is the sole earner in a family of four. He required more space to support his 4-member family including two children.

    Mr. Rajesh took a loan of $11,500 which was approved in 2-4 weeks. With this, he was able to purchase a property which is now worth $33,000 ($21,500 at the time of purchase). Mr. Rajesh notes his social standing has improved since he has purchased his house, particularly among his relatives and friends, along with improvements in his working life.

I used the funds from the loan for my shop. Being able to get a loan from Veritas when I needed it made me feel more confident and secure.
- Ms. Remija (Customer of Veritas)

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Ms. Shuchi Sharma and Ms. Puja Sinha, Financial Counsellors at Affordplan

    Ms. Shuchi Sharma and Ms. Puja Sinha, aged 39 years and 32 years, respectively work as financial counsellors for Affordplan. They are stationed at BM Gupta Hospital and Mata Roop Rani Maggo Hospital. They have been working primarily on developing easy saving plans for gynaecological patients and pregnant women. Ms. Sinha notes that out of a total footfall of 20-25 patients, the financial counsellors interact with about 10 beneficiaries on a daily basis.

    As a part of their role, they understand the needs and requirements of their patients and accordingly suggest a care plan. They help patients understand the benefits associated with AffordPlan - easy savings, better planning of their out-of-pocket expenses and easy instalment options for payment. As Ms. Sharma notes, their role also requires them to act as a medium between the patient and hospital staff in case of a medical emergency. Ms. Sinha acknowledges the role of the AffordPlan app, which is easy to use, convenient for transactions, and ordering medicines.

    In their two plus years working with AffordPlan, they have seen the organisation grow exponentially. Ms. Shuchi Sharma recalls she initially had to initiate conversations and interactions with patients about AffordPlan’s services, but now the patients are aware about the benefits offered by AffordPlan and willingly speak with their representatives. They feel that word-of-mouth has played a huge role in traversing the growth story as patients refer the company and counsellors to their friends and family. This has instilled a sense of responsibility, which is reflected in the way they interact with patients.

    Ms. Sharma and Ms. Sinha are proud of being a part of AffordPlan and contributing to the social impact it delivers, providing affordable healthcare to all. Working with AffordPlan has helped them maintain a work-life balance, along with ensuring job security. They believe the periodic training and support from seniors has helped in their overall professional development.

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Ms. Jotshana Mayss Tripathy - Customer of Suryoday:

    Aged 26 years old, Ms. Tripathy is a former housewife from Cuttack, Odisha. With an entrepreneurial spirit, Ms. Tripathy has been able to increase her social family and increase the family’s income with the support of Suryoday.

    Suryoday provided Ms. Tripathy with a loan which has enabled her to develop her own business. From this initial effort, Ms. Tripathy has amassed savings worth $280 through the scheme. She has also doubled her annual income from $1,000 to $2,150.