#3 |Varun: Decoding Bharat 🇮🇳

Dharmesh Ba
D91 Labs
Published in
3 min readMay 23, 2019


The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams

This research is executed in collaboration with Gopi Chand Yenumula

Short story

Varun is a 29-year old man who works as a security guard as a part of an agency. He is currently being assigned to co-working organisation on a contract basis. Varun is unmarried and stays with three other roommates in Bangalore. He is originally from Mayurbhanj, Orrisa and moved to Bangalore 5 years back and has been working as a security guard since then. Varun comes from a farming background where his dad owns a piece of land and grows rice.

Financial Journey

  • Varun completed his second PUC and this has been his first job. He has been saving for the past 5 years to start a business back in his home town.
  • He currently saves around Rs. 4000 of his monthly salary of Rs.19.3k and sends money home occasionally once is 3 months around 10k.
  • He spends his money on his room rent, clothing, food and other essentials.
  • Varun saves through his dad’s bank account and has accumulated around 1.5 Lakhs. But has not invested in any other financial instruments.
  • Varun’s family does not have any outstanding loans as of today.

Light at the end of the tunnel

  • Varun envisions to start a tiling and distribution of emerald stones in Mayurbhanj, as the town has mining areas around.
  • He estimates that he would need around Rs.3 Lakh to set up his business.
  • His inspiration to set up one such business comes from his observation of friends and relatives.
  • He also has an alternative plan of starting a two-wheeler garage as one of his relatives is a mechanic and has expertise in the field.
  • He would need around 2 Lakhs for this business.

Credit Sources

  • Varun's credit sources are mostly informal which includes his family and friends.
  • Larger requirements are planned against some asset pledged lending. This includes jewellery or farmland

Tech Journey

  • Varun recently purchases a Mi 6 phone. Consumes most of the social media apps in it like Youtube, Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram.
  • Though Varun does not actively post on social media, he consumes posts from his social circles.
  • Varun wants to try the UPI apps like Google Pay and PhonePe but has run into some issues of activating them.

Personal Journey

  • Varun has good communication capability in English. Varun picked up English initially from school and later by watching movies on his mobile.
  • His current goal is to reach the savings target that would allow him to go back to his hometown and start a business.

To read the complete transcript of the interview, please use the following link

Complete interview transcript

Collaborator credits:

Interviewed by: Gopi Chand Yenumula, Zestmoney

Transcribed and edited by DHARMESHBA, D91 Labs

This research is executed in collaboration with Zestmoney

About the research:

This documentation is a result of the in-person interview along with the participants’ consent. The interviews might be conducted in their native languages and translated to English in the best possible way to reach a large audience.

Disclaimer: The name in this documentation is masked to honour the privacy of the participant. The participant was not comfortable with us recording the audio, hence we had to take notes and transcribe it later.

About D91 labs:

This research was executed and documented by D91 labs. D91 labs is an open source initiative by setu.co to help Bharat build great fintech products. We organise and publish user research, insights and frameworks for fintech in India. Please follow us on medium for more exciting stories and insights on Bharat.

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Dharmesh Ba
D91 Labs

Building @D91Labs, Design lead @setu. NID alumnus, ex-Cleartax. All things fintech.