Impact on Retailers in India after 2018 Union Budget

The Union Budget for FY18-19 was much anticipated, owing to reasons more than one. The first full-fledged financial plan after the introduction of GST and the last one by the Narendra Modi-led government, the most significant event of the Indian financial year is over. With the national polls looming in, the Union Budget rolled out by finance minister Arun Jaitely was favourable towards agriculture, rural development, social infrastructure and digital transformation. However, international mobile phone companies, bond investors, equity servicing institutions and the defence sector are at the not-so-advantageous end of the spectrum. In general, this year’s Union Budget has been a shift from the typical stance of the government that all segments need equal attention.

An industry segment that sees clear growth opportunities is retail. Amidst public opinion that the budget had not mentioned the retail segment, the various provisions have subtle repercussions that will help widen the scope of consumption. Consequently, this will have a long-term impact on retailers, where they can reap benefits from consumers with a higher expendable income.

Here are the key provisions of the Union Budget for FY 18-19 that have relevant implications for retailers.

  • Reduction in Corporate Tax
    With regards to taxation, the budget has declared a reduction in corporate tax to 25% for companies with an annual turnover of up to Rs 250 crore. This accounts for almost 99% of the companies in India and would have an impact of Rs 7000 crore on government finances. As only 250 companies have a turnover above the threshold value, this is a significant reduction in terms of the business turnover cutoff of Rs 50 crore that had been announced in last year’s budget for the same tax bracket.
    This move has resulted in a decrease in the tax burden for small and medium businesses, who can now use these additional funds to purchase inventory or machinery, expand their premises, hire new employees or for marketing activities. In case it does not cover your entire expenses, retailers can also avail easy business finance from digitally-enabled FinTech lenders who provide customized credit products like Merchant Cash Advance.
  • Increased Investments in Digital India
    Lack of investment in digital infrastructure by the government has always been a pain point that has deterred the productivity and development of startups and small businesses. This is especially true for the e-commerce sector, as rural India is the driving force behind its growth. This year alone, e-tailers recorded a three-fold increase in the number of shoppers in small towns compared to metro cities.
    Under the massive Rs 3,073 crore Digital India Program, over 5 lakh Wi-Fi hotspots will be set up to provide broadband access to 20 crore rural citizens in over 2,50,000 villages. This opens up an avenue for individuals in rural India to harness the Internet for trade, banking, logistics and even to avail formal finance from digital lenders. E-commerce retailers can use this opportunity to its fullest, as 55% of the 185 million active consumers are predicted to be from rural India by 2020.
  • Changes in Personal Taxation
    A welcome move for the salaried middle class, this budget proposed a standard deduction of Rs 40,000 for transport allowance and medical reimbursement. While this may seem irrelevant to retailers, the impact of this allowance does indeed affect them. As personal income increases, so does the disposable component. Consumer behavioral studies ascertain that the disposable income is equitable to spends on retail. Thus, the re-introduction of medical and travel benefits is a favourable budget impact on retailers.
  • Refinancing for MSMEs
    The micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) sector plays a major role as India progresses towards becoming one of the biggest economies in the world. Despite contributing a staggering 15% to the country’s GDP with a high market share of 40% towards employment, these businesses have an unmet credit demand of $ 400 billion.
    Acknowledging the fact, the budget declared an allocation of Rs 3794 crore to the MSME sector for credit support, capital and interest subsidy on innovation. With this reform in play, the refinancing policy and eligibility criteria under Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency (MUDRA) program will be reviewed to encourage easier financing of MSMEs by NBFCs. This impact of the budget on retailers opens plenty of avenues avail formal source of finance in a timely manner.
    A unique Aadhaar-like identity for each enterprise will also be implemented for streamlining business identity. This measure can further enable Fintech lenders like Capital Float to process eKYC of enterprises swiftly and offer working capital finance in a matter of seconds.

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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

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All You Need To Know About Unsecured Business Loan for Traders

It takes money to make money.” We often hear this adage in the business world, and it does hold true. Even so, maintaining adequate cash reserves to meet the fixed and variable costs can be a real challenge, especially for start-ups and small businesses.

Most of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) initiate operations with a low level of funds while simultaneously facing competition from established players and dealing with the challenges of seasonal cycles. Consequently, they may not be able to generate the estimated sales volumes.

Even if a venture is performing as per expectations, it may need to make additional investments to hire qualified experts, adopt new technologies and maintain larger stocks of materials/inventory for sustained progress. With experience, SMEs know that a cash cushion is necessary for both survival and growth. An Unsecured Business loan for Traders best offers this advantage.

The Challenge

There are multiple sources of an SME loan for small enterprises, and sincere business borrowers approach a financial institution only when they are confident about and can prove their venture’s ability to pay back in time. Nevertheless, a high number of applications get rejected because these borrowers are unable to pledge financial assets as collateral against a loan.

Not everyone owns huge property. New entrepreneurs often start their operations from rented premises and may not have any significant assets to hypothecate. A secured business loan for traders can also be denied if the lending institution does not deem a particular asset to be valuable enough for the funding.

Solution for Cash Crunch in Business

The Solution

What comes as a relief for business owners is the fact that an unsecured SME/MSME loan is a prominent option for finance, and it comes at significantly more customized terms.

As the digital revolution continues to transform the lending industry, the possibilities of quick funding have only increased for small businesses, and there is an array of SME loan products available to them. A digitally operating FinTech company offers term loans that can be used to buy new premises (shop/showroom/office) or expand the business to new locations. Entrepreneurs can also apply for a working capital loan to continually fuel operations in the low phases of the business cycle.

Moreover, FinTechs offer loan to buy stocks. This facility is particularly helpful for customer-facing ventures such as retail and restaurants.

What is common to all these FinTech credit products is that they are unsecured loans – they can be taken on short notice and without pledging any asset as collateral.

How to apply for a business loan for traders ?

A majority of new-age business managers now understand the lending models of FinTech companies. Those who are still unaware of the concept can always do a quick online search to comprehend it. In brief, a FinTech lending company typically is a non-banking financial company (NBFC) that uses digital technology to make financial solutions quicker to access.

A business loan for traders is highly sought by small enterprises. Any Pvt Ltd (private limited company), LLP (limited liability partnership firm) or Sole Prop (sole proprietary company) can approach FinTech lenders for unsecured business loans.

While the exact eligibility criterion differs as per the kind of SME loan applied for, the principal requirement is the operational business history of at least one year. Pursuant to the rules of the money market, this stipulation is necessary to show that the business owners are genuine and have been running the company for some time.

To qualify for the requested amount, a business with active operations should also show its commitment towards tax compliance. It should also have a precise idea of its loan requirements. This not only helps the borrowing organisation to increase its chances of getting an approval for the credit, but it also makes it convenient to choose the right type and term of the loan.

Anyone applying for a business loan for traders should understand the cost of the loan upfront. When a FinTech is approached for such an investment, this cost includes the interest rate and a nominal processing fee that is usually less than 2% of the borrowed amount.

The application process is entirely digital, and that makes it shorter than the overwhelming procedures of visiting a traditional lender, printing multiple copies of documents and then staying in suspense for weeks to get the required amount.

Applying for a loan from a digital platform takes less than 10 minutes, and the application formats are available on the secure website of the FinTech lender. The application form usually comprises of some basic questions to evaluate the eligibility of the business for a loan. These questions include years in operation, average annual/monthly revenue, tax payments and past credit history, if any. Digital uploads of the relevant documents support the information.

There is no waiting game when a business applies for a loan from a FinTech lending company. As soon as the application is submitted, its evaluation by customised algorithms begins, and it may then be sent for a quick manual review.

FinTechs notify the borrowers of the decision on the application on the same day. If the decision results in an approval, they disburse the total approved amount in the next 2-3 working days. The amount is credited directly to the business bank account, and the SME can withdraw the necessary sums to fund the operations/stock purchases as required.

How to pay back the borrowed amount ?

Most loans are paid through equated monthly instalments (EMIs), and the same method can be used to repay a FinTech SME loan. To make this process more convenient for their borrowers, some companies give them the flexibility to vary the instalment amount when required. As soon as the business records reflect better revenues than the estimations, it can pay off the loan in full and save the trouble of managing EMIs for the complete schedule. The prepayment penalty charged by a FinTech is still less than that of banks and traditional NBFCs.

Is your business facing a cash crunch? Do you want to move to the next level of growth or invest funds to start operations at a new location? Capital Float is a friendly FinTech lender that is trusted by businesses in multiple industries. From term loans and working capital loans to funds for specific domains such as medical practice and online selling, we provide an array of credit products tailored to the needs of business owners and self-employed professionals.

Growth of revenue for traders

 

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To know all about the loan that you seek and the amount that you can borrow, feel free to call us at 1860 419 0999.

Oct 24, 2018

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First GST Whitepaper Exclusively for SMEs

We have created ‘GST- An Overview, Its Impact & Significance’ as a comprehensive GST handbook comprising of every aspect related to this new reform, with a special focus on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Starting with the salient features, this GST ebook takes readers through the three main components of the tax which eliminate the cascading effects of taxation. Further, the registration process, four-tiered tax structure, the benefits as well as challenges are explained in the GST whitepaper.

How this Whitepaper will help simplify GST for you

  • Revised GST Rates Update
  • Industry-wise Analysis of GST Impact
  • Clear, Brief Descriptions of Key Aspects
  • Easy Roadmap to Implement GST Changes
  • Business Advice by Financial Experts
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Oct 24, 2018