Janalakshmi Financial Services

An innovative branch operations manual that forms the foundation for a rapid scale-up.

Our long-standing relationship with Janalakshmi Financial Services has straddled strategic as well as activation engagements. By deploying a definitive design language for internal as well as external stakeholders, we’ve ensured a consistency in messaging across all platforms.


A brand with multiple touch-points needs to ensure consistency of experience. The signature iconography for Janalakshmi ensured clarity and consistency across various aspects of its operations.

The iconography magnifies the uniqueness of the brand and integrates a cultural and vernacular context. This ensures engagement with the audience, rather than alienating them with regulatory and management constructs.

These systems enable an intuitive flow of information and enhance the user experience. Above all, they simplify instructions for the user in an otherwise cluttered and verbose financial services setting.

Janalakshmi Branch Operating Manual

India’s largest microfinance institution provides various financial services to those excluded from mainstream banking. These services are delivered through a rapidly growing network of branches called Jana Centres (JC), which are primarily staffed by multi-lingual, low income, semi literate youth.

We designed an innovative system, which married a visual ready-reckoner with a monthly calendar to simplify the procedures essential to the running of a Jana Centre. Through a custom-designed visual iconography, the manual simplifies over 80 critical processes across various spheres. Role-specific, pocket-sized versions of these processes were provided for the front line staff.

Brand Initiatives

Likho Apni Kahaani (LAK) Blast

Through the philosophy of Likho Apni Kahaani (LAK) or ‘Write your Destiny,’ Janalakshmi aims to celebrate the aspirational trait in its employees and customers.
In August 2016, a series of workshops were conducted that were broadly based on the framework developed by Marshall Grant of NOI (New Organising Institute).

The workshops trained employees to create a personal narrative around their relationship with money and their advancement over the years.
These workshops unlocked a kind of energy that we had never anticipated, and over the next 15 days, the 180 participants reached out across the length and breadth of India and conducted similar workshops in each of the nearly 400 branches of Janalakshmi.

Arthika Nakshe

Arthika Nakshe (AN), which translates to ‘roadmap for financial well-being,’ is a financial advisory programme conducted by the Jana Urban Services for Transformation (JUST). Every Janalakshmi customer who receives a loan from the organisation participates in the programme, which is typically conducted by a Financial Advisory (FA) Executive.

Our role with the Arthika Nakshe project was to explore possibilities of enhancing engagement and creating customer confidence.
We began our en gagement by observing these sessions and discovered that although the programme was designed as a standarised process, many executives had modified the implementation according to their own convenience. In the process, they dropped important trust-creation interactions.

The programme required:
  • Consistency and uniformity of processes while providing space for human interaction.
  • A format independent of infrastructural needs like electricity, tables, etc. since not many Jana Centres were equipped with these.
  • A language agnostic approach, since Janalakshmi has a pan-India presence and such sessions were conducted across the length and breadth of the country.
  • An extremely simplified visual language since both, customers and Jana executives come from semi-literate backgrounds.
  • Easy adaptablity to the existing system that would not cause any disruption.

Our design solution:

We came up with a flipbook designed in a such a way that one side faces the customer, while the other faces the Jana executive.
This works in two ways:

  • The Jana executive’s side of the flipbook has cues and points that help him take the customer through the entire process in a uniform, step-by-step manner.
  • The flipbook on the side of the client has visuals that complement and simplify the financial concepts the executive is discussing.

The content of the flipbook was refined through repeated user-testing in the field. The AN flipbook is currently being used by all FA executives in conducting their financial advisory sessions across different centres in the country.

Sales Collaterals

Jana Cash

Jana Cash is an e-wallet developed by Janalakshmi. It is implemented using a network of Jana Cash points, with trained staff and point-of-sale machines.
Jana Cash points are set up in kirana shops, mobile phone stores and other places of congregation where the target audience meets on a day-to-day basis. The owners of the shops and the staff are trained as ‘agents.’

The challenge with this project was to sell a business idea in a limited period and to train the shopkeeper amidst the chaos and confusion characteristic of his working hours. We needed a tool that conveyed the concept of Jana Cash, explained its features and encouraged traders to become Jana Cash Agents.

A Jana Cash flipbook was determined to be the best solution. The designed flipbook streamlined the process, right down to the script of the sales staff, ensuring uniformity in implementation across the country.

“I would like to put on record my appreciation for the exceptional quality of work you have produced. I’ve never been part of a creative process that is so rich and satisfying, so thank you!”
– Anand Raman, Consultant

Enterprise Financial Services

Business First is for business/enterprise owners who are looking for stock purchase, machinery and equipment purchase or business expansion. As a part of the programme, Retail Officers (ROs) of every Jana Centre visit small businesses like kirana stores and medical shops, in the vicinity of the Centre, and personally explain the product to the shopkeepers.

We were brought in to make the interactions between the ROs and enterprise owners more engaging.
By shadowing two ROs, for 10 sessions, we understood the central issue: the ROs need a maximum of 15 minutes to explain the entire project. However, the owner of the enterprise is always short on time, given that he also has to attend to customers.

The programme required:
  • Consistency and uniformity in communication.
  • A format that was visually engaging for the customer.
  • Flexibility for the RO based on the amount of time the customer had for the interaction.
  • Enhancing the already existing experience without casuing any disruption.

Our design solution:

We created a flipbook based on the Jana Iconography. The book breaks down complex financial information into an engaging story that conveys all the features of the product. A small leaftlet complements the flipbook as a leave-behind for the customer. It serves as a reminder as well as a clarifying note.