What You Need to Know about the GST Impact on Pharma and Healthcare Industry?

The pharmaceutical and healthcare industry is a significant sector for the Indian economy. In terms of the volume of generic medicines produced, India is the third largest producer in the world and its rank in terms of the industry’s value stands at fourteen. The healthcare segment is expected to reach a valuation of $150 billion by the end of 2017. Like every other industry of the economy, the impact of GST is bound to be felt on the pharma industry as well.

To begin with, as different indirect taxes will be subsumed in a single tax, it will simplify the taxation system. Going further, the GST will affect the pricing, working capital, contracts with vendors, the ERP systems and internal processes in the sector.

To understand the GST impact on pharma companies, we need to be aware of the entire range of the pharmaceutical supply chain. At one end are pharma product manufacturers, contract and API manufacturers and the organisations that market the products in different parts of India. At the other end is a chain of Carrying and Forwarding Agents (C&F), distributors/wholesalers and retailers.

Two key parameters have changed in the pharma industry on account of GST. One is the manufacturing price, because many raw materials for medicines have been shifted from the 5% VAT bracket to the 12% GST bracket. Secondly, many medicinal salts and compounds have been wholly moved from 5% VAT to 12% GST rate on pharma industry. Furthermore, a number of health supplements that were earlier in the 12.5% to 15% tax bracket are now in the 18% to 28% GST bracket. The net effect of all these changes will be a significant hike in the price of medicines.

For a deeper view of the GST impact on pharma industry, we also need to consider the margins at which the complete supply chain works. In this sector, the clearing and forwarding agent has a 4% to 6% margin on the maximum retail price (MRP) of medicines, the distributor works at 7% to 8% margin on the same and the retailer has a margin of 20% on a medicine’s MRP. With the imposition of GST, the pharma companies will need to pay extra for the manufacturing cost, because the cost of raw materials has increased. Eventually, the product’s MRP will be revised to absorb the total effect.

Meanwhile, the government has also taken some steps to control and cap the price of some critical medicines, salts & compounds. This will result in a loss of 2% to 3% for the pharmaceutical manufacturing and marketing companies, who now have to bear higher costs.

From the viewpoint of wholesalers and retailers, the earning margins may not drop immediately, and supplies will be stabilised soon. The bigger concern will be the inventory held by them, on which the new GST rates will apply, although these goods were bought at the older VAT rates. In this case, the distributors and retailers will lose about 3% to 4% on their entire inventory.

Will the GST impact on healthcare industry also influence medical tourism?

By October 2015, the medical tourism sector of India was estimated to have a value of US $3 billion. It was projected to grow to $7-$8 billion by 2020. A number of studies have shown that the cost of healthcare services in India combined with the travelling and accommodation costs is around 30% to 40% lesser than similar medical procedures in first world countries such as the US, Canada, Australia and most Western European countries. The boom in India’s medical tourism has helped to generate more returns for the healthcare industry.

The overall impact of GST on healthcare and medical tourism industry will be a mix of positives and negatives. The diagnostic services have not been burdened by the tax. There is also no tax on medical devices like hearing aids. However, a 5% GST rate has been applied on vaccines, cardiac stents, diagnostic test kits and dialysis equipment. The rate of GST for X-ray tubes, radiotherapy apparatus and surgical instruments will be 12% and for high-end medical equipment, an 18% tax rate will be applied. While patients located in India may end up paying a higher cost for some products and services, the medical tourism industry is expected to grow, as the comparative costs in a few other countries still give an advantage to India.

Yoga, meditation centres and organic living practices in India also attract tourists from other parts of the world. The country is a home to a myriad of alternative practices like Homeopathy, Ayurveda, Siddha and Acupuncture, which are popular among medical tourists. These give an edge to India over Asian countries like UAE, Oman, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. However, the GST rate on Ayurvedic products has been raised to 12%. It attracted a levy of only about 5% in the pre-GST regime. This may impact the price of natural medicine products if the manufacturers decide to pass on the burden to customers. Visits to yoga classes will also be expensive, as it is yet another segment that has become taxable under GST.

Overall, the GST impact on healthcare and pharma industry is not fully established. The obvious benefit will be by way of reduced complexities and the consolidation of multiple taxes into a single rate. The negative impacts will be felt in the form of increased prices for customers and reduced margins for businesses in the supply chain. The GST Council is still deliberating over some reforms to alleviate the burden on the people affected.

Capital Float has been taking note of the changing conditions post the implementation of Goods and Services Tax on 01 July 2017. With the aim of promoting entrepreneurship in India, we maintain our convenient lending services to businesses in all the industries including the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector. We support the Make in India initiative and only happy to answer any query that you may have on the finance product that suits your business, loan interest rates and terms.

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Top 3 Reasons Why Unsecured Loans Help Small Businesses Grow Faster

A small business generally embarks on its journey through investments from angel investors or venture capitalists. As its business matures, it may aspire to borrow more money not only to keep the enterprise operational, but also to explore new horizons. Such a small business can approach banks and other traditional non-banking finance companies (NBFC) to procure business loans. However, these institutions follow a prolonged process for loan approval and prefer providing small business loans only against collateral. Most small businesses that are still in their growth phase do not have sufficient collateral to get secured business loans, and so their only avenue for business funding is an unsecured business loan.

The new age FinTech companies such as Capital Float provide unsecured loans in India to small businesses to help meet their urgent business needs. By applying innovative technologies, they are able to process an unsecured loan application in virtually no time. Their processing, from loan approval to disbursal, also remains completely transparent throughout. Once approved, the unsecured business loan amount is credited to the bank account of the customer in three working days.

Unsecured small business loans come to the rescue of small businesses at critical times, and with the right amount at the right time, they considerably aid a small business in growing faster. Let us look at how taking an unsecured business loan helps in business growth.

Maintaining healthy cash flows

In the past, small businesses used to be averse to availing an unsecured loan due to concerns about falling into a debt trap. They also occasionally lacked confidence in their ability to repay unsecured loans. This is no longer the case. In a fast-growing global economy such as India, plenty of opportunities are available for small businesses to explore with greater confidence. Maintaining a healthy cash flow position provides them with additional funds for marketing of products and services, adding new inventory, expanding premises or hiring more staff.

Unsecured small business loans provide the strategic edge to make wise investment choices, which help a small business to grow faster. The revenue earned from new business ventures can be used to repay the unsecured loan and to boost the cash flow position.

Timely access to funds

One of the great advantages of taking unsecured small business loans from FinTech companies is the hassle-free and speedy loan approval process. Business opportunities today appear in a flash and and could quickly disappear, unless tapped at the right moment. Therefore, a small business cannot afford to spend time on filling up lengthy unsecured loan application forms and collating the required business documents in support.

The application for an unsecured loan from FinTech companies can be done online or through a mobile app, and all essential business documents such as bank statements, previous loan statements, tax statements, business invoices, KYC documents and the like can be uploaded online. These companies focus on providing unsecured small business loans to SMEs and fully understand the business challenges faced by them.

A variety of unsecured loans for different business needs

Businesses can avail unsecured small business loans at competitive rates from FinTech companies such as Capital Float according to their need. We provide a variety of unsecured small business loans that are designed to take care of differing business requirements. These include:

• Term Finance: Small businesses that have been in operation for more than two years and have sound business financials can take unsecured loans such as Term Finance. This product allows a business to borrow money varying from rupees one lakh to rupees one crore, for a tenure ranging from a few months to up to three years. A nominal processing fee is charged, and there is generally no pre-closure penalty.

• Supply Chain Finance: SMEs with invoice receivables from large companies can avail themselves of Supply Chain Finance for up to 80% of the invoice value. This unsecured loan can be repaid either through monthly instalments or as a one-time payment upon receiving funds on your invoices.

• Online Seller Finance: Certain loans such as Online Seller Finance have been designed keeping in mind the specific requirements of merchants who sell aggressively through online marketplaces such as Flipkart and Amazon India. Such merchants can take up to 200% of their monthly receivables as an unsecured loan.

• Merchant Cash Advance: Businesses such as retail stores and restaurants that receive the bulk of their payments through card swipe machines can also take up to 200% of their monthly receivables as an advance upfront through this loan product. Merchant Cash Advance can be repaid through a fixed percentage deduction from the card settlement amount in the subsequent months.

Benefit from competitive interest rates for unsecured loans

Besides the various innovative services offered through technology, FinTech companies such as Capital Float also offer unsecured loans at the most competitive rates. The services offered are thoroughly professional in nature as compared to other NBFCs, and greater flexibility is offered in the repayment of unsecured loan, so that a business can focus more on achieving its growth targets.

Capital Float acts like a partner to small businesses, which could be traders, manufacturers, service providers or retailers. Unsecured small business loans are provided based on the financials of a small business, and at no point is there a requirement to pledge any asset.

Capital Float believes in being the pioneer in innovation while offering unsecured loans in India to SMEs. This is showcased through our various unsecured loan products to fulfil needs of businesses in every sector. Capital Float charges a flat processing fee of 2% across various unsecured loan products, and no hidden charges are levied beyond the interest rates.

Oct 24, 2018

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Unsecured Loans – Is It The Right Option to Grow Your Business?

Achieving growth is a dream for every business, more so if it is a small or medium enterprise. Who doesn’t like expanding their production and also the revenue of their business? While business expansion is necessary, one thing which is primarily required for business growth is finance (with acumen being the second important ingredient). How does one secure business finance?

Banks and financial institutions provide the solution – business loans.

Business loans are the perfect solutions to financing which enables business growth. Banks and financial institutions lend the much-required business finance in India to business enterprises. This finance comes in two variants – secured loans and unsecured loans. Do you know what they are and how they are different?

Secured business loans

Secured business loans are also called asset-backed loans. These loans are granted on the value of an asset which is pledged as collateral for the loan. These loans are risk-free from the lender’s perspective as in the case of default by the borrower, the asset which is pledged is possessed by the bank to fulfill the loan liability.

Unsecured business loans

Unsecured loans, on the contrary, do not require any collateral or security. The loan is granted on the repayment capacity of the business which is indicated by the enterprise’s creditworthiness. These loans are granted as short-term loans which also have short repayment tenure.

Difference between the two

Both secured and unsecured business loans are fundamentally different and their differences are as follows:

 Secured Loans  Unsecured Loans
They require a security against the value of the loan  These loans are granted without the requirement of any collateral
The interest rate is low  Interest rate is high
The amount of loan depends on the value of the asset pledged for the loan The amount of loan depends on the repayment capacity and creditworthiness of the enterprise

Do unsecured loans help in business growth?

Unsecured loans are very easily available and do not require any collateral. They thus have various advantages which make them an ideal solution for quick financing. But do such loans also enable business growth? Let’s find out:

No asset backing required

Secured loans are limiting in the sense that they require business assets to be pledged as collateral. Unsecured loans are easily available and they do not require any business assets to be secured. As such these loans are not restricting. If your business is small and does not have many assets, it becomes a problem to avail a secured loan. This hinders the growth of business. Unsecured loans, on the other hand, can be availed without any assets.

The quantum of loan is not limited

Suppose you require a loan worth Rs.50 lakhs but the value of assets which are to be pledged is limited to Rs.40 lakhs. Would you be able to acquire the desired loan? Secured loans allow loans limited to the value of the asset pledged. Even in this case, the total value of asset is not allowed as loan as a margin is retained by the lender. So, if you have an asset worth Rs.20 lakhs and want a loan of Rs.20 lakhs, you would be able to avail only 80% to 90% of the value of your asset (Rs.20 lakhs in this case) as loan (i.e. Rs.16 lakhs or Rs.18 lakhs). In case of unsecured loans, the loan is granted on the business potential and creditworthiness and not limited by the value of any asset. Thus, businesses can avail an unsecured loan as per their requirement for aiding growth.

Easily available

Unsecured loans are easily available as the funds are sanctioned within days of the loan application being done. As such, these loans provide the necessary funding to businesses in a short span of time which can be used to increase business profitability and boost business growth. These loans come in handy when the business is poised to grow following a surge in demand. As the loan is easily available, high demand can be met by increasing production. High demand yields better revenue for the business and enables it to grow.

Ideal for young businesses

Businesses which are still in their nascent stage require funding to expand and grow. This funding can be easily secured through an unsecured loan as it does not require any collateral, which is hard to source for budding businesses. Thus, the growth of these young enterprises is dependent on unsecured business loans.

Unsecured business loans, therefore, play an important part in the growth of businesses. Though long term secured loans are essential for long-term finance, short-term unsecured loans help businesses meet their more immediate requirements, which has a direct bearing on their growth.

NBFCs offer unsecured business loans which are also called as business installment loans or term finance. This loan offers the following benefits to businesses:

1. A loan of Rs.1 lakh to Rs.1 crore can be availed by businesses for any of their requirements.
2. There are no hidden or additional charges under the loan. Applicants are required to pay only a small processing fee of 2% of the loan amount borrowed. Apart from this there are no foreclosure or part-prepayment charges incurred on the loan.
3. Certain NBFCs use customized credit criteria while underwriting customers. The credit offering is tailored as per the applicant’s requirement.
4. The loan is sanctioned within 3 days of successful application thus providing the funds at the earliest.
5. No collateral security is required for the loan.
6. Application for the loan can be done quickly through the online medium which reduces unnecessary hassles.

Unsecured loans sometimes prove to be that important source of funding without which businesses couldn’t have grown and achieved enhanced profitability. If you are also looking for a business loan for your business growth avail an unsecured loan today!

Oct 24, 2018

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5 Ways SLACK Can Help Your Organisation

There are several tools in the market that people could use to communicate, such as Email, Skype, Whatsapp, Messenger, HipChat, Slack, etc. How do you pick the right communication tool for your organization? And does it even matter which one you choose? One tool which is considered as the latest and greatest among tech startups is Slack: a chat tool designed for companies. We decided to give Slack a shot, and started using it late last year at Capital Float.

There isn’t one clear solution to choosing a chat engine for office communication, but we recommend companies give their communication channels some serious thought. Slack has features which make it distinctive from other popular tools like Skype and Whatsapp – we won’t go into that here, but do read up for more context. We’ve definitely witnessed a positive impact from using Slack.

Here are a few things a great chat tool like Slack can help you do:

1) Get things done faster

Chat enables real-time communication, and hence collaboration. Discussions can happen in real-time, rather than asynchronously over email threads. Scheduling meeting times becomes much simpler. Email communication reduces, freeing up productive time. Slack fits better into workflows: the mobile app enables people to respond on the go and great keyboard shortcuts on desktop app enable rapid usage. This leads to quicker action being taken resulting in faster decision-making.

2) Organize your information

Conversations on Slack become an archive of internal information. You can create a different “channel” for each group or topical discussion. Channels help keep discussions focused. Slack’s search feature makes it easy to find data across the medium, either by channel or by person. Files shared are compiled into a list. You can ‘star’ things for later and you can pin messages in conversations.

3) Enable people to focus on the right things at the right time

Having a separate company chat tool enables people to keep work and personal communication separate. Work related messages won’t get lost, and people will be less tempted to start replying to personal communication. On the flip side, people can choose when it’s important to tune in or out. Notifications can be customized by channel on Slack and also by time of day. People can schedule notifications to turn off in the evenings, but be notified on an urgent basis if needed. Essentially, people can focus on what they’re doing while at work, but also be engaged and plugged-in when they are with family and friends.

4) Have more control over user access

It is important to keep control of who can access company data – even conversations. You can create private channels which limited users can see, and also control what specific users can access (e.g. a consultant could be made a restricted user). With Slack, you can enable Google App login or other single sign-on (SSO) mechanisms, which has a couple of benefits. Firstly, people can add themselves without creating new accounts, and no one has to ‘add’ contacts. Secondly, it ensures your chat user list is synced to your user management. When someone leaves your company you just have to remove them in one place to ensure they no longer have access to company info.

5) Innovate, connect dots in your business, and have fun

Being a cutting-edge tech company, Slack constantly innovates and also enables innovation. Slack has integrated with many applications, enabling you to play around with a myriad of other tools your business may use. Do you use Zendesk? You could create a channel which gets notifications when a ticket is created. How about Google Hangouts? You could spin up a new Hangout link for a channel. Slack also provides API access which can allow you to create workflows even with your internal systems. Slack’s funky interface and other cool in-built features can prove useful (e.g. a bot that can remind you of stuff) or simply give you inspiration.

While we’re excited about Slack, we realize it isn’t a perfect solution. A few things to keep in mind: Slack may not quite work as well for companies with primarily external-facing communication, since it’s built for intra company conversations. Even if Slack does work for your organization, there are still kinks in the machinery with pertinent features missing from the module. Video/ voice calling can be initiated from Slack (e.g. you can create links for Google Hangouts), but this feature isn’t built into the system. And while Slack has a high uptime and reliable message delivery, for companies in India, Slack isn’t quite optimized for our existing infrastructure. When used over a flaky network, Slack can perform inconsistently while Whatsapp functions adequately.

If you do decide to go down the path of trying something like Slack out for your company (which you should!), be prepared to work initially on getting people to use it. Here are a few tactical ideas to help you get your colleagues on board: have a few champions for the product. Go for grassroots growth, not taking a top-down approach. Create shameless plugs via email with simple instructions. Create channels which people really need to be a part of, otherwise they’re missing out. Be patient, and be positive! You’ll soon see desired results!

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Sakshi leads the investor facing product at Capital Float. Before that, she did product at KPCB backed Turo, a p2p car rental marketplace in SF. Her experience is in a mix of tech, design thinking, and strategy. She enjoys building delightful solutions to problems in traditional industries. At Stanford, she built her core foundation in CS, design, and economics. Beyond building products, she tries to sing and simultaneously play the piano, runs in Cubbon Park, and rolls out fresh pasta.

Sakshi is the Senior Product Manager at Capital Float.

Oct 24, 2018