BIMA MILVIK Purwanti _ Emerging Wealth Health Index

Press Release

LeapFrog Investments launches Emerging Wealth and Health Index

  • Survey unearths attitudes of emerging consumers across eight major markets
  • Identifies 56 insights on access to healthcare and financial services
  • Results show digitally enabled consumers “more optimistic” about future, more likely to seek healthcare services

London, UK: LeapFrog Investments (“LeapFrog”), the profit with purpose investment firm, today launched the inaugural Emerging Wealth and Health Index.

LeapFrog surveyed nearly 4,000 low-income consumers across eight markets – India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria – that are home to around 30% of the world’s population.  The survey covers the rapidly-evolving consumption habits of low-and-middle-income people specifically, including the technologies they use, barriers that stop them accessing what they want, and their experiences of accessing wealth and health services. The breadth of the survey permits a 90 per cent confidence level and just 5 per cent margin of error on its findings.

The Emerging Wealth and Health Index found a wide variability between countries in terms of overall financial contentment and financial outlook, but strikingly, respondents in all eight markets share a highly optimistic view of their financial future.

Dr Andy Kuper, Founder and CEO of LeapFrog, said: “The 2022 Emerging Wealth and Health Index offers some striking insights. Emerging consumers are acutely aware of their lack of access to the essential services they need to rise into economic security. In their millions, they are actively gravitating to offerings that are easier to use, cheaper, and of better quality. The current high rates of exclusion and informality point to the enormous potential for reliable health and wealth companies to meet that immense and intense demand, filling critical gaps in these countries and driving economic growth. Our hope is that this data and the 56 insights we have distilled help others to serve emerging consumers – and build the next generation of scalable and deeply impactful health and wealth companies.”


Digitally enabled emerging consumers “more optimistic”

The data demonstrates a two-tiered economy for the digitally enabled versus the digitally excluded. Smartphones have become the dominant distribution method for many emerging market wealth and health products. Those who use a smartphone on a regular basis have much higher rates of access to insurance and banking, report greater reduction in stress due to their use of financial products, improved ability to cover household expenses, and improved capacity to save and plan ahead. The digitally enabled are also more optimistic: 84% of those who use smartphones have a positive outlook on their family’s financial future versus 73% for those who don’t use smartphones. Digital inclusion also supports greater spending momentum, and those who use smartphones have more appetite to expand their use of financial services, especially for insurance and savings or investment products.


Large gaps in the penetration and quality of health and wealth products

Global growth markets continue to face huge gaps in the penetration and quality of health and wealth products. The Index found that, on average, a high proportion of respondents in these markets (41%) report inability to access financial products in the last 12 months, a significant barrier to achieving financial security. (For most countries, the product that respondents most desire to access but could not is credit, but in Indonesia it is insurance.) Around 2 in 3 respondents faced some difficulty accessing the financial services they needed, either because costs were too high, they didn’t meet application criteria, or they didn’t have required documentation. Most respondents go to friends and family for financial advice rather than financial institutions or online resources.


Demand for insurance among low-income consumers

The 2022 Emerging Wealth and Health Index shows high rates of insurance demand across emerging markets, and insurance is one of the products respondents most wanted to consume in the coming 12 months.

In some of the world’s least served insurance markets like Indonesia, Nigeria and Ghana, where penetration rates are all below 2% (according to Swiss Re Sigma), around one in four respondents said that they planned to buy insurance in the next 12 months. In Kenya, which has penetration of only 2.2%, this figure was almost one in two. Overall, insurance ranked roughly on par with savings and investments as the financial product consumers most wanted to use next year. These results point to a growing awareness of the benefits of insurance, and a large opportunity for insurance businesses to tap into robust demand with innovative new products.

Two thirds of those who were surveyed said they faced difficulties accessing the financial services they needed, with high cost or lack of a reliable income cited as the main reason. Informal work, unemployment, or education status are also key drivers of financial exclusion.


Digital inclusion as a gateway to better wealth and health impact outcomes

More than 4 in 5 of respondents have a smartphone, although ownership is significantly lower in Bangladesh, Kenya, and Nigeria. Most smartphone owners use it for money transfers or online purchases. More than 2 in 3 respondents with access to a smartphone use it regularly for consumption. Usage is highest in Indonesia and Kenya, while lowest in Egypt and India.

Those who do not use smartphones face substantially worse health and wealth outcomes. Respondents who had not visited a doctor or a nurse in the last three months were also 20% more likely to not have used a smart phone in the same period, suggesting a relationship between digital and healthcare exclusion.

Those with a chronic condition are 46% more likely to use their smartphones to order medicines online. 18 to 25 year-olds are the most likely to buy medicines online (20%), compared to those 26 or older (11%). Smartphone users are far more likely to have lab tests done and visit hospitals. This aligns with industry trends, where mobile phones are increasingly a key commercial portal for booking diagnostics and healthcare visits.

Julie Wallace, Head of Impact at LeapFrog Investments, concludes: “Overcoming digital exclusion is a key enabling prerequisite to support better health and wealth outcomes. The impact learning from this survey is that this technological opportunity needs to be monitored closely, to ensure the digital have-nots are reached with the same benefits that are dramatically improving the lives of regular smartphone users.”

A full copy of the report can be found here.

LeapFrog invests in exceptional businesses in Africa and Asia, partnering with their leaders to achieve leaps of growth, profitability, and social impact. LeapFrog’s portfolio companies now reach 342 million people across 35 countries with healthcare or financial services. LeapFrog has raised over US$2bn from global institutional investors, including US$500mn recently committed by Temasek to LeapFrog and its future funds. LeapFrog was ranked by Fortune as one of the top five Companies to Change the World, the first private investment firm ever listed. For more information, go to:


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