How to Increase Formal Savings for the Papad-Makers of Dharavi Slum

June 20th, 2014

We feature a post by Mudita Tiwari and Deepti Kc, featured on the Financial Access Initiative blog.
In Dharavi, Mumbai, the largest urban slum in Asia, groups of women make papad, crispy lentil dough wafers, for Lijjat Papad Company, one of the world’s largest papad retailers.  Lijjat requires any woman who works for the enterprise to first open a savings account, and to encourage savings, the company deposits a small proportion of the women’s earnings (2 rupees of every 32 rupees earned) directly into the savings accounts, adding a bonus during the Diwali festival.

Funded by a grant from Institute for Money Technology and Financial Inclusionat the University of California, Irvine, we interviewed 25 of these women entrepreneurs.  In our research, we wanted to understand whether the women, accustomed to a traditionally cash economy, would continue to use cash now that they had access to banking services like brick-and-mortar branches, ATMs, credit and debit cards and checks, and which cultural and economic factors influenced their preferences.

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