There has probably never been a better time to start a business in India. Multiple positive developments in the recent past have laid the foundation for a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem for years to come. Some Governmental initiatives such as “Make in India”, “Startup India” etc., have indicated that at the highest level of policy-making, there is now a strong desire to support new businesses. Increasing digitization and improving infrastructure means that even the youngest of businesses can now reach out to millions of potential customers. The brightest minds in the country are now being drawn away from previously coveted corporate jobs and are opening up to the challenge of executing an indigenous endeavour from ground-up. These are exciting times.
These young businesses can bring significant value to the Indian economy. At their helm are smart, passionate entrepreneurs with products or services which cater to tangible demands in the market. With the right support and nurturing, many of these ventures can grow into successful businesses. However, far too often, we see many of these budding entrepreneurs failing to realize their true potential. While there can be many reasons why a young business fails to scale up, research globally has identified a clear obstacle – lack of appropriate and timely credit.
The problem of the “Missing Middle” in developing economies is well documented. Such economies have a large number of micro-firms, some large firms but very few medium-sized firms. The absence or the paucity of medium-sized enterprises isn’t because these businesses lack the potential to be profitable, but because access to finance is traditionally a cumbersome process. In India, less than 1/4th of the financing demand of SMEs is met by formal institutional supply. Small businesses fail to benefit from the leverage which debt financing provides and is essential for propelling growth. As a consequence, SMEs contribute to only 8% of the Indian GDP – a stark contrast with the 40%+ contribution made by small businesses in developed economies.
This is not to say that the financing needs of SMEs are being completely ignored. For more than two decades lending to small businesses has been a priority agenda item for policy makers and regulatory bodies. A host of initiatives have been launched but on-ground progress has been slow. A key bottleneck is that these small-medium sized businesses are unable to furnish adequate credit history.
In a country like India, with a thriving informal finance ecosystem, most small businesses do not build credit records in their initial days as they can access finance through informal lending channels. As the size of their operation increases, so does their financial need. At this point, they are unable to turn to formal means of credit supply due to the lack of universally recognized documentation. At this stage, their growth is stunted as the informal market is unable to provide required financing at reasonable rates. It is a perfect Catch 22 scenario – to get credit you need to have prior history but to have prior history you need to secure credit!
Building credit history with a bureau, e.g. CIBIL, takes time. Start small, be patient and build it over time. In India we now have personal as well as business credit scores available separately, though the former continues to be the more dominant decision input to most underwriting models. The credit worthiness of the promoter of a small business is crucial since the fortunes of the business are so closely entwined with his personal credit standing. It is thus vital to establish and grow your personal credit score. Start with small loans and service them in a timely fashion. If you are unable to get unsecured financing (e.g. a credit card), you can potentially start with a secured loan (e.g. auto loan) or a loan which is backed by a guarantor. Do not over-leverage your self – having multiple loans outstanding and/or high utilization on your existing limits negatively affect your score. Avoid such credit behaviour. Most of these points apply to business credit scores as well – start small and diligently service re-payments.
The entrepreneurial journey can be a deeply rewarding one. Focus on building your credit history along the way to help achieve your goals.
Vaibhav has over seven years of experience in the financial services industry across analytics, sales and trading. He has worked across major financial centres in Asia managing equity portfolios of large institutional investors across the region. In his last role prior to joining CF, he was a member of the Program Trading desk at Deutsche Bank’s Sydney office. He holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from IIT Kharagpur in Electronics Engineering and is a CFA Charterholder.
Vaibhav heads Business Development at Capital Float.
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As India’s leading digital lender, we are always mindful of what’s most important for us: our customers. All Capital Float’s finance solutions can be customized based on the nature of your business and the rate of cash flows, among other things. Our online loan application process ensures that you can avail a loan anytime, anywhere with minimal documents. Flexible repayment terms through offline and online channels are facilitated to ensure that you have a seamless financing experience with Capital Float, through and through.
With the added ease that digital wallets provide, we have collaborated with Paytm to set up yet another payment option for your convenience. EMI payment can now be done through your Paytm wallet in two ways: directly through the Paytm app or from your Paytm wallet via the Capital Float mobile app.
Here are the steps for a successful EMI transaction using your Paytm wallet.
1. Via the Paytm Mobile App
Step 1: Login to the Paytm app on your smartphone. Under the ‘Recharge/Pay for’ section, click on Loans
Step 2: From the list of financial lenders listed, choose Capital Float
Step 3: On the page ‘Pay Your Loan EMI’, enter your Loan Account Number (LAN) and click on Get Payable Amount.
Step 4: Your due EMI will be automatically generated on the next screen. Click on ‘Proceed to Pay’ to make the payment.
2. Via the Capital Float App
Step 1: Open the Capital Float app, and Login by entering your registered phone number or email ID & password. You can also Login via Google if you had registered with a Gmail email address.
Step 2: Under the Loans tab, click on the option ‘Repay’. If your EMI payment is overdue, check the Updates tab for Overdue and select ‘Pay Now’.
Step 3: The Overdue Amount will be shown. If you select Upcoming Amount only, then this will get preselected. You can enter a lesser amount under ‘Make Payment of’ as well.
Step 4: Choose the option ‘Pay from your Paytm wallet’ and login using your registered mobile number and a 6-digit OTP code.
Step 5: Recharge using debit card/credit card/net banking or utilize the available balance in your Paytm wallet to complete the transaction.
Note: Capital Float accepts EMI payments via Paytm ONLY through the above mentioned methods. A Capital Float representative will NOT ask you to make loan payments to other mobile numbers. In case you receive such a request, please contact us at 1800 419 0999 or email us at email@example.com
Oct 24, 2018
Capital Float, the largest digital lender to SMEs in India, has partnered with OfBusiness, a leading B2B e-commerce marketplace, to help small scale Indian manufacturers and traders avail easy funding for expanding their business. Through this partnership, buyers on the OfBusiness platform can leverage Capital Float’s Pay Later product to avail instant funds for procuring industrial materials.
Capital Float has enabled purchase financing for small scale manufacturing companies and assists them in growing their business on OfBusiness. This partnership will help in bringing these informal borrowers into the mainstream credit ecosystem. Buyers on this platform often face hurdles in obtaining timely finance to operate and expand their business, due to their lack of credit history based on traditional credit parameters. However, Capital Float’s tech and big data-driven algorithms uniquely underwrite applicants, confirming their eligibility in minutes, while also offering credit limits in real time. Some of the factors taken into consideration during the decision-making process include transaction history, cancellation rate and customer rating on the platform.
“For the first time, a partnership of this scale is focussed on enabling B2B e-commerce buyers in India. We are the pioneers of digital lending in India and the first movers in the online seller financing space. The insights we have gained by closely working with online sellers has aided us in developing this best-in-class product, custom-built to address the needs of buyers on the OfBusiness platform,” said Sashank Rishyasringa, Co-Founder, Capital Float. “Through this partnership, we aim to diversify our customer portfolio and strengthen our position in this space. Our target is to increase our present loan disbursement by three times by the end of September 2016,” he added.
Capital Float has strategic partnerships with some of the largest online marketplaces. Equipped with this rich experience in the online selling space, Capital Float is augmenting its reach by penetrating into the B2B e-commerce segment. The company is aptly placed to serve the unique needs of the sector with it’s highly customized credit offerings and swift processes.
“SME financing in the manufacturing space requires deep understanding of SME’s cash flows. We at OfBusiness, are committed to building a tech-enabled ecosystem for SMEs for all their commerce and credit needs. Partnering with Capital Float has enabled us to bring customized financing solutions in the manufacturing space,” said Ruchi Kalra, Co-founder, OfBusiness.
Publications that have covered the release:
Capital Float partners with B2B e-marketplace OfBusiness
My Big Plunge
Oct 24, 2018
Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) have received a tremendous fillip of late, with the Government pitching in to give a hands up to this very vital business sector. SMEs engaged in businesses ranging from electronics to ad services, or from engineering to textile to handicrafts routinely face a cash crunch that handicaps their everyday operations, as well as hampers plans for expansion.
SMES and the short-term loan
It takes immense courage to begin your business, and taking risks of establishing, sustaining, and expanding it can be prohibitive for many. Financing is the fundamental issue here, and many businesses are compelled to shut shop or to approach banks in order to raise short-term business loans.
Finances are the lifeblood for any enterprise, and any business plan worth its salt must include sound planning for fund sources as well. Short-term business loans and short-term finance are available in plenty and offer SMEs a chance to overcome their temporary financial problems as also provide an opportunity to expand their business. However, these loans are not without pitfalls. Here are some tips that will help an SME to take a well-considered decision when it comes to applying for short-term business loans:
1. Do your homework
SMEs are recommended to do adequate research to identify the option that are most suitable to them. Occasionally, and especially if the borrower has a good credit score, a simple overdraft or line of credit can help the SME to tide over their cash flow problems. Bank loans carry low-interest rates, but the paperwork involved and time taken to sanction can be burdensome. Crowdfunding, inventory financing, and credit card financing are options that can be explored. Promoters also help to finance a large chunk of working capital requirements. But if a short-term loan is a final option, a careful look at the costs involved can help to tip the scales over.
2. Try online loans
Short-term online loans are meant to be repaid anywhere between 90 days to three years. They are quick, convenient and flexible. A good deal of the paperwork process is cut off and friendly financiers also help eliminate the traditional application method of back-and-forth conversation. The huge advantage lies in not necessarily having to offer collateral. Provided an SME finds the right fintech lender, they can benefit from the speed of digital processing. Additionally, preclosure penalties and hidden charges are also avoided. Genuine financiers will also provide the convenience of flexible loan tenures.
3. Measure business liquidity
There is always a possibility that even a profitable SME can run into cash-flow problems, regardless of the numbers reflected on the cash-book records. Delays in receivables have hurt many a lucrative business, and are in fact a common cause for cash-flow mismatches. In such cases, measuring the liquidity of the business can be very useful for an SME in order to find an alternative way to mitigate problems of a cash crunch. The proper evaluation of liquidity can be extremely beneficial, and can be measured in two ways:
Quick Ratio It shows the capability of business in covering current liabilities with current assets, and utilises the formula:
Quick Ratio= (Current Assets – Inventory)/ Current Liabilities
It is measured by calculating the difference between the current assets and current liabilities, with the formula:
Working Capital = Current Assets – Current Liabilities
Getting these figures in hand can help measure business solvency, and thus available funds can be duly channelised and prioritised.
4. Capitalise on credit score
It pays to maintain a good credit score history, in more ways than one. A good credit ranking can help you bargain for lower interest rates on short term business loans. Also, it opens up room for tapping into other means of raising money, such as getting into partnerships or seeking non-traditional lenders for funding.
On occasion, the lender may analyze both your business and your personal debt load, in addition to your credit score. If any of these is already high, the lender may hesitate to extend or provide fresh credit for your business. So, it is important to keep a tight rein over your credit utilisation, so that the services offered by the lender are not affected by your credit score.
5. Check APR
While comparing and selecting the best short-term business loan and finance service, one must always keep in mind the number of applications they are filing for apply for the term loan. After receiving multiple loan offers, one must select the most suitable loan offer by comparing the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of every term loan lender. This is perhaps the most important calculation to estimate how expensive a loan is. Once you understand the logic of short-term business loans, it is easy to decide whether or not getting a particular loan is a right choice in terms of its actual cost.
6. Be ready for lender’s queries
Things don’t end here. There are chances that the lending party can contact the SME for verifying their documents that they submitted while applying for term loan. Thus, the SME owner must always be ready for answering any query regarding their documentation or regarding their future goals for the company. A small preparation toward this can prove to be very beneficial in getting a loan finalised. Ergo, shortfalls of cash may be inevitable, but not insuperable. A little bit of math and careful consideration of the choices can help you get the cash you need—hopefully at the price you can afford— without having to fall into a debt cycle.
Oct 24, 2018