Intensified customer focus boosts financial inclusion: Dvara

In 2020, financial services group Dvara worked with LeapFrog across several fronts to improve the experience of its customers, leading to a three-fold improvement in micro-loan disbursements to India’s financially excluded.

Dvara invests in and operates businesses across India, with a mission to make financial services accessible to all individuals and enterprises. These services include savings, micro-loans, small business finance, affordable housing, commercial vehicle finance, credit, insurance and pensions.

By working with LeapFrog to map out the journey of its small business customers, Dvara understood what improvements were needed and was able to scale up its micro-enterprise loan product. Once improvements were implemented, Dvara’s disbursements significantly increased, reducing the impact of COVID-19 on its own financial performance.

Dvara’s customer-focused digital improvements also reduced its turn-around time for loan disbursement to approximately three days (from eight to 10 days) and reduced its operational costs due to paperless documentation and digital processes.

In India, COVID-19 cases rose to a huge spike in September but continued falling to the end of 2020 to about 20,000 daily cases. Throughout the year there were more than 10 million confirmed cases – among the very worst in the world according to World Health Organization data.

Amid this pandemic, Dvara’s increase in micro loans were crucial for Indian businesses, particularly for small and medium business operating across a range of Indian states. It was among a number of LeapFrog companies that intensified efforts in the year to reach micro, small and medium enterprises, getting through the pandemic by meeting their need for working capital and more.

Dvara not only dramatically improved its customers’ experience and micro-loan disbursements, but seeing a clear need in the face of COVID-19, increased its digital operations. Due to strict lockdowns early in the year, collections, largely done physically and in cash, declined due to the difficulty of meeting in-person.

As a result of this customer experience initiative, Dvara’s digital collections went from 0 per cent to 6 per cent in the year, creating a safer, more efficient way for customers to make repayments. This contributed to a significant recovery in Dvara’s collections as 2020 progressed.

Dvara’s customer-focused digital improvements also reduced its turn-around time for loan disbursement to approximately three days (from eight to 10 days) and reduced its operational costs due to paperless documentation and digital processes.

Byron Smith

This case study was first published on June 2nd, 2021

LeapFrog Investments