Making SMEs Loans a Breeze With Capital Float – ProductNation

Interviewed by Kritika Prashant

Typically, choosing to finance the SMEs looking for working capital loans, is not easy. First, the SMEs have smaller ticket size. Then they expect quick service and have high operational costs associated with it. ProductNation interviewed Shashank Rijyasringa and Gaurav Hinduja who started Capital Float in early 2013, a digital finance company that serves the loan requirements of SMEs in India.

Shashank having worked with McKinsey and Bain, has a background in creating, and packaging financial instruments. Gaurav on the other hand had grown and sold his family business before they met at Stanford as classmates.

“We were looking to address financial inclusion. We observed how the fin-tech space was being disrupted in US and China, and saw the huge opportunity in India. With 48 million SMEs, second just to China, with 50 million, India needed lenders who would tailor their offering to the needs of the customers. The rate of interest by the banks was much higher than expected. Also, the loan disbursement ate up a lot of time. So this need was largely catered to by the informal sector”, says Gaurav.

Registered as an NBFC with RBI, they started with an instrument for invoice financing (building loan product against invoice of blue-chip companies). The duo gradually evolved their products to provide working capital loans for SMEs. They developed underwriting models which address the specific scenarios of the SMEs.

“There are 2 broad categories of sellers coming up on eCommerce portals. First are those who sell on platforms like Zovi and Myntra, where the sellers are also the manufacturers. Other category includes retailers who sell on sites like Snapdeal and Paytm. They generate a huge demand for loans available at short notice periods with minimum hassle. That is where we found our sweet spot”, shares Shashank.

Here are some experpts from the interview:

How did you overcome the problems of traditional lending?

SR: “Firstly, our experience came in handy. My in-depth knowldge of micro-financing, packaging and selling loan instrument meant we could build the right services. Gaurav with his experience of running a business out of India, knew how to deliver the services we wanted to build.

Secondly, we met with our customers to understand what their problems really were. To a small business owner, every hour spent off the floor is an hour wasted. We came up with innovative methods like allowing same day approvals and providing loan facility over phone and laptop. These businesses needed greater accessibility and straight-forward procedures. They wanted someone who could understand the value of their time.

Third, and definitely the most crucial point was that we adopted trial and error method. Like any startup, we didn’t know exactly how things would work. We were building our instruments in-house. So we had to fail fast and experiment quickly. With agile methodology, today, we can deliver new loan products in 2 weeks. A bank would take about an year to do the same.”

How is the policy environment evolving in India, with respect to your industry?

GH:  “The Mudra banks for refinancing are a welcome move. With 950 million Aadhar numbers issued, allowing eKYC, is it much easier to issue loans. The Digital India initiative to create better internet connectivity will help us reach a much larger customer base.”

They are leveraging the Indian stack to refine their instruments and are growing with it.

How difficult is it to get payback of loans?

SR: “SMEs are the most financially aware and responsible segment, since they always manage their finances tightly. Also, our screening process mitigates high risk customers, allowing us to cater to the needs in minimum possible time frame. So that’s not much of an hassle.”

What would be the 3 lessons you have learned from your journey?

GH: “1. Perseverance – One needs to believe that the idea would work, when no one else knows if it will. It is important to stick to that optimism and keep trying to find the exact fit.

  1. Strong fundamentals – From the first day, the business needs to know where its money will come from. The cash flow should not be dependent on where one is, in the funding cycle.
  2. Rounded team – Build a great team if you want to build a great product. A strong team stands by you to make it possible.”

What would you say to the entrepreneurs starting up fresh out of college? 

SR: “There is no right time to startup. Whenever you get passionate about a problem and see a large market for it, go for it. Here are my 3 tips:

  1. Address a big problem. If you go after a problem which is not so big, it may not be worth all the effort. India provides huge opportunities with really major problems that need to be addressed.
  2. Maintain discipline. Whatever you do, think big and build for the long term.
  3. Understand your responsibility. As you grow your team, you need to realise that families of your employees are getting dependent on you. It is essential that you take your decisions wisely.”

What are the mistakes you wish you did not make?

GH: “We were too slow in the start. We should have been aggressive, and believed in ourselves more. We thought people might not accept a technological solution. We have realized however, that technology has to lead the change in society. Invest in constantly being disruptive and you will definitely make a difference.”

News piece sourced from ProductNation. Read the full piece here.

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Offers and Benefits at GIFF

We understand your working capital needs as an SME, and hence bring you the best of credit products in a comprehensive finance bonanza that extends from July 1 to September 30. Capital Float’s Great Indian Finance Festival or ‘GIFF’ offers you a one-stop shop for your working capital needs where you can choose loans with easy terms in an informed and beneficial way.

Why GIFF?

Taking a loan can be a stressful and arduous process for small business owners—from lengthy applications to intense verification and delayed disbursals. We at Capital Float know that timing makes all the difference. We wish to empower you to do what you do best—focus on your business. So let us take care of all the funding issues. You can focus on fuelling your ambitious plans while we power your growth engine by offering you the best of credit lines.

Here’s What You Gain

Not only does the Great Indian Finance Festival mean ease and speed of credit, it translates to something much more. It makes life easier for the growing pool of SMEs we engage with.

Gold: Avail a loan in the Flash Sale, and walk away with gold worth up to ₹10,000, depending on the loan amount borrowed.

Plummeting interest rate: It’s time to rejoice and tap into a great opportunity. Interest rates will be as low as 16%. A great boost for your business at a super-affordable rate is waiting round the corner!

Speedy application process: Now, there’s no need to wait in long queues at the bank. If you have an Internet connection, you can avail the best loan for your business on your smartphone, tablet, or from the comfort of your desktop. It takes less than 10 minutes to apply, and our cutting-edge processes help us disburse your loan in less than 3 days.

Let’s Celebrate Credit

We have already devised credit products that are attuned to the needs of small and medium enterprises. Here is what we have curated for the three-month online finance bonanza:

Merchant Cash Advance: Whether you are a restaurateur or a retail owner, there’s a high chance a majority of your revenue comes from clients’ card payments. You may then need to have consistent card settlements and short-term investments to meet your working capital needs. Merchant Cash Advance is your go-to loan, allowing you to access quick finance of up to Rs 1 crore, depending on your monthly card settlements. What’s more, you can avail of a loan that’s up to 200% of your monthly sales from card payment machines. In addition, the loan tenure ranges from 6 months to a year, on flexible payment terms. Fill out an application form in 10 minutes, get it verified within hours and get funds in as little as 3 days! All this happens thanks to our trusted partnerships with point-of-sale card machine vendors such as Pine Labs, Mswipe, ICICI Merchant Services, MRL Posnet and Bijlipay.

Unsecured Business / Term Loans: Business is about passion, but you may not always have received the backing so far. Our Term Loans and Unsecured Business Loans are tailor-made for you. We understand the worthiness of a positive cash flow and, based on this, are willing to lend you the short-term funds you need to grow and diversify. Our Term Finance helps you meet your working capital needs from Rs 1 lakh up to Rs 50 lakh over a tenure of 6 months to 3 years. Moreover, you don’t need to pledge collateral to get the loan.

Online Seller Finance: We understand the competitive world of e-commerce— the shrinking lead times, fluctuating levels of inventory, constantly changing pricing decisions and sky-high customer expectations. Our Online Seller Finance loans are designed for eCommerce merchants operating on online marketplaces. The funds received can be used to expand to other product segments, increase inventory or pay suppliers. We have partnered with leading online portals like Amazon, PayTM, Myntra, Shopclues eBay, etc. to service merchants like you operating on these marketplaces. We customise this credit line to your unique business needs, by analysing your monthly sales, projected revenue and other factors.We provide an unsecured loan up to Rs 1 crore or up to twice your monthly sales which mean that you no longer have to worry about expensive collateral to build your business online. No pre-closure charges and flexible repayment terms like fortnightly repayment will take your mind off financial burdens and let you focus on business growth. With the right documents and data, our Online Seller Finance can be disbursed within 3 working days.

Each of these credit offerings will run under Flash Sales, so watch out for announcements on the site. Each Flash Sale will run for 3 days and you can win exciting prizes apart from big discounts. So gear up to catch the right moment, and the right loan offer.

Clearly, GIFF is a goldmine of opportunities designed to serve SMEs across India. We will go along with you every step of the way, to help you realise your business ambitions! Visit www.capitalfloat.com/giff to know more.

Oct 24, 2018

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Cashflow Management Tutorial for School Owners

Cashflow is the lifeblood of any organisation, including schools. Unlike most small and medium enterprises that have unstable revenue because of variations in customer purchases and seasonal cycles, schools are usually assured of a running income from the fees paid by the students each quarter. However, cashflow management is as serious a task for educational institutions as it is for any other business.

With the fee they receive, schools have to pay their teaching and administrative staff, maintain the campus, periodically purchase lab equipment, sports supplies, furniture and other items, and keep some reserves for unforeseen expenses. When money falls short of requirements, they may have to apply for loans from a school finance company. In addition to banks, FinTech organisations have stepped forward as significant providers of school finance in India.

Whether a school manages its operations with its earnings or takes the support of school finance, it is essential to handle the fund prudently. The following tips for cashflow management in schools can help the owners avoid severe financial constraints:

Anticipate future requirements: Will some students be leaving the school to change their board (CBSE, State Board, ISC, IGCSE) from the next academic year? Will you be hiring any new staff members? Does the school need to replace any furniture or teaching equipment? It is good to have a basic idea of such needs as they have an impact on your earnings and expenses. If you feel that the outflow of cash could be more than the inflow and reserve funds, it may be necessary to apply for school finance.

Make arrangements with vendors: If you have developed long-term relationships with the vendors who regularly supply lab materials, sports gear, canteen groceries and other provisions to your school, you can make occasional arrangements on payment terms. As an example, if your regular pay cycle from the receipt of invoice is 30 days, it can be extended to 45 days in a period when you are spending funds on additional works in the school.

Work to maximise cash inflows: With constant improvements in your education services, you can attract new students, which will have a positive impact on your earnings. Schools that have classes till Standard VIII but have a reasonably high strength of students can work with an education board to upgrade to Standard X or XII. To facilitate the construction of a new building and for additional campus amenities, you can apply for school finance by sending a quick digital application to a FinTech company. The revenue generated from fees paid by students in new upper classes will help you to pay off the borrowed amount and interest in small EMIs.

Stay connected to lenders: If despite your best efforts on cashflow management, money falls short of requirements, remember that funding for schools in India is available on easy terms from a FinTech school finance company. You can get a collateral-free loan, and you need to submit only the soft copies of eligibility proving documents when you choose a FinTech company as your lender.

Apply for Unsecured school loan

Capital Float is a friendly FinTech organisation providing school finance to recognised educational institutions that have functional classes till Grade VIII or above and collect a yearly fee of minimum Rs 75 lakh.

Oct 24, 2018

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Revised GST Rates – with effect from 25 January 2018

The 25th GST Council was held on 18 January 2018, and the rates of 29 goods and 53 services were reduced to lower tax slabs. These revised rates came into effect on 25 January. Other highlights of the panel included the decision to divide between the Centre and State, collections worth ₹35,000 crores from the Integrated Goods and Services Tax. The proposal to bring petroleum and diesel products under the ambit of GST is likely to be considered in the next meeting.

Here are the key goods and services that have been lowered or raised into new GST slabs.  

Good/Service Present GST Rates Revised GST Rates
Diamonds & precious stones 3% 0.25%
Articles of straw, esparto or other plaiting materials, Velvet fabric 12% 5%
LPG supplied to household domestic consumers, Raw materials and consumables needed for launch vehicles, satellites and payloads, Tamarind kernel powder, Mehendi paste in cones, Tailoring services, Transportation of petroleum crude and petroleum products, job-work services for manufacture of leather goods and footwear 18% 5%
Sugar boiled confectionery, Drinking water packed in 20 litre bottles, Biodiesel, Drip irrigation system including laterals & sprinklers, Mechanical sprayer, Fertilizer grade Phosphoric acid, Bamboo wood building joinery, Transportation of petroleum crude and petroleum products with ITC credit, Metro and monorail projects, Common effluent treatment plants services for treatment of effluents, Mining or exploration services of petroleum crude and natural gas and for drilling services in respect of the said goods 18% 12%
Old and used motor vehicles(other than medium & large cars and SUVs) with a condition than no ITC is availed 28% 12%
Old and used motor vehicles [medium and large cars and SUVs] with a condition that No ITC is availed, Public transport buses that run on biofuel, Services by way of admission to theme parks, water parks, joy rides, merry-go-rounds, go-karting and ballet 28% 18%
Small housekeeping service providers, notified under section 9 (5) of GST Act, who provide housekeeping service through ECO,  without availing ITC nil 5%
Actionable claim in the form of chance to win in betting and gambling including horse racing nil 28%
Rice bran(other than de-oiled rice bran) 0% 5%
Cigarette filter rods 12% 18%

Oct 24, 2018