The Gates Foundation is a private organization with vast ambitions; one of its goals is to reduce extreme poverty worldwide. In this case study, the foundation asked McKinsey to design a basic financial-services offering for inhabitants of remote communities in Mexico.
Description of situation
The majority of Mexico’s rural inhabitants are relatively poor, relying in part on government benefits for their livelihood. As they tend not to have bank accounts, they usually collect government benefits in cash from a limited number of state-bank branches. These branches are often a long way from where the recipients live, so it can take a lot of time and effort for them to collect their benefits. In addition, traveling to the branches can sometimes expose benefit recipients to crime along the way.
The Mexican government also owns and operates a chain of 22,000 stores, throughout Mexico, called Diconsa, which provide basic food, clothes, and other essential goods to the rural population. These stores are supplied via a network of central and regional warehouses and several thousand delivery trucks.
McKinsey has been asked to investigate and assess the possibility of using the Diconsa network to provide a basic set of financial services to supplement the limited number of state-bank branches. The offer would start with dispensing government-benefit payments and move progressively to include savings accounts, bill payment, insurance, credit, and other financial products.
- Write down important information.
- Feel free to ask the interviewer for an explanation of any point that is not clear to you.