Product development is an essential activity for market-responsive MFIs. As clients and their needs change, market-driven, demand-led MFIs need to refine their existing products or develop new ones. But product development is a complex, resource-consuming activity that should not be taken lightly and many MFIs fail to recognise the complexity and cost involved in this exercise. This paper outlines some of the basic questions and issues that MFIs should address prior to embarking on the process of product development.

Written by the CGAP-Coordinated Product Development Taskforce, the paper examines the pitfalls associated with rushing into new product development without adequate institutional preparation or systematic process. The paper offers clear guidelines for a systematic approach to product development that will minimise the risk of failure.

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