Innovation without Disruption: How Prodigy Finance Achieved Both High Growth and Social Good

Published 12 Nov 2019
Reference 6523
Topic Strategy
Region Global

The case describes how three INSEAD alumni founded fintech company Prodigy Finance and created the market for international student loans by solving a problem long overlooked by the finance industry: funding for students in pursuit of advanced education outside their home country, especially “high-earning degree programmes” at top universities with high tuition fees and few scholarships. Traditional banks had ignored this burning need and stayed focused purely on domestic borrowers and local credit records. The founders of Prodigy Finance took a radically different approach, creating a lending platform based on a forward-looking, cross-border risk assessment model and connecting international student borrowers with individual and institutional investors. By 2019, Prodigy Finance had helped over 11,200 students from 132 countries, lending more than US$538 million. This strategic move offers an illustration of “nondisruptive market creation”, a concept coined by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, authors of the bestselling Blue Ocean Strategy and Blue Ocean Shift. By identifying and solving a problem that had never been addressed, Prodigy Finance created a new market beyond existing industry boundaries, unlocking and capturing burgeoning new demand without displacing or competing with what the financial services sector had to offer.

Teaching objectives

This case is intended for use in MBA and executive classrooms, with the following objectives: 1) To illustrate nondisruptive creation and the major advantages of this market-creating method. 2) Use the case as a context to take students through the major steps of identifying potential opportunities for nondisruptive creation. 3) Demonstrate how to use new technologies, new platforms and new business models to achieve nondisruptive market creation.

  • Fintech
  • Loan Industry
  • Student Loans
  • Bond
  • P2P Lending
  • Community Investment
  • Debt Financing
  • Credit Risk Assessment
  • Social Good
  • Social Impact
  • Disruption
  • Nondisruption
  • Nondisruptive Creation
  • Nondisruptive Innovation
  • Q11920