Market research on the acceptability of a 'Health Debit Product' for SMEs in Pakistan
Master of Business Administration Executive
Faculty / School
Faculty of Business Administration (FBA)
Department of Marketing
Year of Award
Dr. Asim Shabir
MBA Executive Research Project
Health Benefits, Reimbursement, Market Research, Demand Feasibility, Healthcare Digitization, Health Debit Product, Out-Of-Pocket Expense
The primary aim of this study is to assess the feasibility of a Health Debit Product to be used as an instant form of reimbursement of healthcare costs for employees of a company offering this service. This study was conducted from January 2023 till April 2023, including the documentation and compilation of the data collected. The idea for the project has taken over a year to come to a stage where a feasibility study would assist in progressing forward with the idea.
We started by talking to some people in the industry to access the concept of a “health debit product”, later called MedEx. Upon getting a favorable response, we followed it up by formalizing the research study in this form. The first step was to conduct secondary research to understand the market size, market share and existing solutions available for an employer to offer health benefits to its employees and build a strong case for our research objective. This helped us in devising the methodology and research tools to be used for our primary research.
Since the reimbursement of health expenses is not publicly available data, we had only the insurance industry data available to build our case. Looking at the reports published by SECP and SMEDA, it was apparent that the SME market is underserved when it comes to health benefits coverage, and the case was built to interview and investigate what benefits are offered by the SMEs and if they would be willing to adopt our product in favor of their existing reimbursement and insurance offerings.
We conducted interviews in Karachi with small and medium-sized enterprises from various industry sectors to get a mix of responses that would cover not just one type of industry and give us varied responses. The responses were analyzed using thematic analysis to provide us with the results. We evaluated the product to be largely accepted by the industry and found a positive correlation between capital-intensive and focus-intensive organizations accepting our product in favor of existing offerings.
The key takeaway from this study suggests that the market has a positive outlook for the product, and a detailed financial and technical feasibility should be conducted before developing and launching this product. It is also advised that the evolving nature of the industry and changing economic conditions of the country should be factored in before developing the product.
Abbas, S., Shamim, A., & Talat, J. (2023). Market research on the acceptability of a 'Health Debit Product' for SMEs in Pakistan (Unpublished graduate research project). Institute of Business Administration, Pakistan. Retrieved from https://ir.iba.edu.pk/research-projects-emba/561
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