Contenders at Cannes 2024: Dabba Savings Account – ESAF Small Finance Bank | McCann Worldgroup India

Leading up to Cannes Lions, we showcase creative campaigns submitted from across the Asia Pacific.

Campaign Background

McCann Worldgroup India

25% of rural Indian women face constraints to have a bank account. They save cash inside a ‘Dabba’ (steel rice canister), believing it is auspicious. But their men take it away.

ESAF Bank wanted to bring banking into their rural lives. We re-created the rice dabba to have a partition hidden in plain sight. While the top section continues to store rice, the hidden bottom section could safely store the cash.

Our women representatives began attending the women-only monthly gatherings in the villages. We distributed the new Dabbas, opening Savings Accounts for them. Women continued their saving habit and deposited at these meetings regularly.

For easy withdrawals, we equipped the neighborhood rice shops with micro-ATMs using India’s biometric technology – Aadhaar. The women could authenticate with a fingerprint, the shopkeepers handed them the cash.

We launched in eight districts in Southern India as the first phase – without any advertising or publicity – so it was kept a secret amongst the women.

In a few months, we got 121,670 women to open accounts, secretly. They started doing bank transactions for the first time, no longer fearing banking formalities.

ESAF Small Finance Bank empowered these women with true financial inclusion and growth.

The Work

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