Final Mile started as a dry intellectual pursuit. The founders were deeply curious about Behavioral Economics and Sciences AND its potential in being a more realistic and reliable model to explain human decision making and behavior. This eventually led to Final Mile in 2007. The idea behind Final Mile was to build a practice based on the precepts of behavioral sciences and design.
Final Mile was always meant to be a knowledge intensive organization but with a clear intent to apply all this knowledge into solving real world problems. This meant developing an understanding and integration of several adjacent fields like Cognitive Neuroscience, Psychology, Classical Economics and Design.
We recruited a set of diverse and high-quality talent who had a curiosity to learn new concepts, experiment new methods and build new approaches.
While we believed in the power of these methods, we had an equally strong belief in the power of context. So, instead of assuming several behavioral science principles to be universally true, we set out to build a practice that places Context and front and center of our work. This meant adequate in-context research into what truly drives behavior.
This brought us to our first big barrier and an eventual breakthrough. Researching behavior has always been a challenge. Methods like interviews, surveys and focus groups that rely on self reports have several limitations when it comes to behavior and decision making, both in their ability explain past behavior and predict future behavior. We innovated using games, context simulations and scenario based research models. We eventually built our proprietary research method: Ethnolab, which addresses several limitations of existing methods.
While our initial work was largely in the private sector, our first major inflection point was in 2009 when we were tasked to tackle a major problem on Mumbai suburban railway network. Some 10 people were dying daily, being hit by trains as they trespass on tracks. Final Mile’s approach resulted in a significant and sustained reduction in fatalities. This gave us confidence in taking our practice to several diverse fields: Global Health, Financial Inclusion, Safety, Human trafficking. We now have executed complex multi country efforts in these areas across continents.
From 2020, Final Mile will exclusively focus on work in the development/social sector and will not be seeking any work that is for profit.
From a client point of view, we bring a fresh and proven perspective to behavioral challenges. From an employee point of view, we provide an environment where one can solve highly complex meaningful problems working with colleagues from diverse backgrounds. And ultimately from a user perspective to whom we are eventually committed to, we will always treat you with empathy and fairness.