Jana Small Finance Bank

Reinforcing trust and credibility through Definitive Design

In 2017, Janalakshmi, India’s largest microfinance organisation, won a licence to open and operate a full-service bank and was rechristened Jana Small Finance Bank

Our job at Cracker & Rush was to ensure that the ethos and spirit of Janalakshmi was retained and redefined for Jana Small Finance Bank (JSFB).

The challenge, therefore, was more complex than a simple name change. It was to make a microfinance organisation attractive to the more affluent world of banking and its customers.

Although Janalakshmi works across a multitude of verticals, the common thread that brings their diverse activities together is their vision to transform the quality of life in India’s cities and towns, by CONNECTING PEOPLE and PLACE. It is this core sentiment that the logo has been designed to reflect.

The lower arm of the ‘J’ in the logo represents PEOPLE, the upper arm of the ‘J’ represents PLACE, and the multiple lines of the ‘J’ represent both JOURNEYS as well as CONNECTIONS. The LINES as JOURNEYS are a reflection of each individual’s journey to find meaning and relevance in their own lives. The LINES as CONNECTIONS are about the recognition that we are who we are because of the connections that we make, both to other individuals as well as to places.

The multicoloured nature of the lines depicts the tremendous variety of our journeys and connections, while also representing the multifaceted nature of the Jana Group’s work in the area of urban inclusion.
The logos of various Jana institutions are represented through different sub-sets from the larger colour palette of the Group logo, and the same holds true for the Jana Small Finance Bank.

Brand Identity Guidelines

Communicating a compelling brand message that is clear, distinctive and consistent

Having created a visual identity that embodied the organisation’s positioning and brand personality, we captured the same in a set of brand identity guidelines to ensure standardisation and brand integrity across the board.

These guidelines outline the use of the different aspects of the visual identity, across various collaterals. For instance, the visual language of the logo, its visual style and iconography, its use on different coloured backgrounds and on different mediums and even vernacular logo types.

The Brand Book

The brand book articulates a compelling, forward-looking story about the Jana SFB experience.

As Janalakshmi and its parent, the Jana Group, prepared to scale yet another peak, a brand book that captured the past, the present and the future of their journey seemed timely.
The book presents a cohesive narrative of the organisation’s story and also highlights the effective translation of this story into a trustworthy brand. It articulates the brand story in a compelling, clear and distinctive manner to create a sense of belongingness among employees, It inspires and compels them to participate in the Jana story and to collectively, as well as individually, benefit from being a part of it.

Signature Employee Induction Programme

Ensuring alignment with Jana Bank’s values and culture while setting employees up for success in their roles.

As is the case with all service organisations, attracting and retaining great talent is critical for Jana Small Finance Bank. One way to do this is to maximize alignment of the employee’s values with those of the company. The best way to achieve this is through a signature employee induction programme.
The two-day programme combines individual and group learning activities, as well as fieldwork and canned content. Over a total of four sessions, employees learn about the brand’s vision and values, and become well acquainted with the culture of the organisation.
The Induction Programme is organised around 3 documents: Starter Kit, Orientation Kit and Suno Unki Kahaan. The ‘Starter Kit’ is handed over to the JanaNayak on joining the organisation. It contains information on working hours, holiday policy, travel and HR policy, etc.

Day 1

On the day of the induction, the JanaNayaks are given an ‘Orientation Kit’ which helps them get an overview of Janalakshmi, and offers information that is essential to begin their Jana journey.
Day 1 of the Induction Programme begins with the ‘Likho Apni Kahaani’ session, where each employee is encouraged to share his/her personal journey, with a focus on the JanaNayak’s relationship with money and when they decided to take responsibility for their life. This helps them get in touch with their role as catalysts of change and progress.

Day 2

In the second session of the induction programme, ‘Suno Unki Kahaani’, JanaNayaks are asked to visit microfinance customers and better understand the roots of the organisation. A pre-designed fieldbook helps them observe the life of the customer from relevant perspectives and encourages them to document the same.
On Day 2, audio-visual media is used to communicate the real life stories of the JanaNayaks. An animation video that uses cricket as a metaphor to explain the institutional operating framework is also screened.

Brand Extensions

Over time, a number of assets have been developed by the organisation in the form of programmes and initiatives targeted at specific stakeholders.

While these had gained recognition and prominence, they lacked a unifying factor in terms of a messaging and aesthetic style. This would ensure consistency and avoid brand fragmentation.

Cracker & Rush worked closely with Jana Small Finance Bank and gave these assets unique identities that reflected and resonated with the cause and the target audience, while also reinforcing the identity of the parent brand.

Jana Sakhi serves the dual purpose of providing its employees with a women-friendly workplace, and of adding tangible value in the lives of Jana’s women customers. It envisions the creation of a community of women employees who will empower and support each other to exchange ideas, seek advice and obtain information to achieve their goals. For its women customers, the initiative is a platform to create awareness about various issues of financial and social importance, including health and hygiene.

The sense of sisterhood and solidarity among women that Jana Sakhi aims to achieve is captured in a simple, stylistic logo. The ‘h’ and ‘i’ of Sakhi were extended to depict two individuals with their arms around each other in a show of support and camaraderie, thus encapsulating the essence of Jana Sakhi.

Jana Spark – the induction programme for the first batch of Jana Small Finance Bank employees. The visual identity of the brand celebrates the beginning of an initiative, gives its founding members a distinct identity and is tied to the brand idea of Likho Apni Kahaani or unlocking potential – a small start that is likely to become huge. The core thought behind Jana Spark is ‘It Began with Me.’

Jana Shakti is the CSR initiative of JSFB that gives JanaNayaks the opportunity to make a difference and support a cause of their choice. A JanaNayak can identify an individual in need of financial support, donate an amount they are comfortable with and JSFB will contribute four times the JanaNayak’s donation.
The Jana Shakti logo reflects the laying of a strong foundation that will help individuals venture confidently into the future. It signifies a stepping stone from which the beneficiaries, with the help of the JanaNayaks, can map their journey forward. A visual mnemonic has also been developed in line with the visual language of the logo.

An overview of the brand’s journey