Great post Axel!
A few thoughts:
–While Compartamos is reach a slice of the population not currently served, I wonder if they are doing as much good in these communities as they are purporting. In particular, the use of social pressure in vulnerable communities could be very troubling as a way of enforcing repayment rates.
–I’d like to hear more about the switch from a non-profit to a for-profit institution and why that was done/what that shift enabled?
–I’m curious if there are positive spillover effects in the community to these loans or if the loans have only narrow impact (which is one of the growing critiques of the microfinance institutions–that they are able to temporarily relax credit constraints but not broadly change the broader problems of poverty).
–Finally, there are alternative models of analyzing credit worthiness that are springing up as a way to expand the pool of people with access to loans–using personal data collected via cell phones for example. At first glance, these models seem very promising as a way of reducing the social pressure component while still offering quality loans to low-income individuals who would be unable to get them otherwise.
A few thoughts:
–I’m curious how the Postal Service’s new fleet upgrade could impact their operational model–It could potential greatly improve operational efficiencies with things like drone delivery for rural areas and more fuel-efficient (or autonomous) vehicles in the next decade or so.
–I think that there has also been talk of them managing an email registry or email management of some sort
–This could be a potentially terrible idea, but one major reason the USPS is under so much stress is because of the prepayment of retirement benefits for employees. They have to prepay up to 75 years in advance, a requirement faced by no other “business” but these constraints could also potentially be loosened.
Like Amine, I would be interested to hear more about their plans for scale both in terms of geography–expanding the eye hospital, or in terms of expanding to different surgery types. I would also be curious how much the leader has had to do with the program’s success thus far and if the eye hospital can survive without such a transformational leader. Finally, you mention their outreach to the rural poor, but to remain sustainable model also depends on being able to attract at least some wealthy patients–how is this being ensured?