In the past ten years, India has seen a growth in the number of start-ups coming forward to offer customised solutions in the fields of education, hospitality, travel, transport, healthcare, entertainment, marketing, e-commerce, waste management and consulting. Most of them, however, start with modest funds. They also deal with the challenges of validating their R&D, finding profitable markets and managing office administration costs and overheads.
It is also a common for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the service segment to experience their initial expenses being higher than their revenue.
Another problem encountered frequently is that while a business may be prompt at paying the bills raised by its suppliers and utility companies, it may not have customers who pay on time. Even though Accounts Receivable is an asset for any organisation, it gets converted into cash only at a later date. How then should such a business fund its current expenses and keep fuelling its operations? The answer lies in an SME loan, which is the best resort at this point.
Taking an SME or MSME loan is also a wise decision for an enterprise that has planned its next step towards growth or wants to invest some funds immediately in utilising a new business opportunity.
What kinds of loans are available in the market?
The service industry has numerous sub-domains, and a business loan for service company are provided by banks and non-banking finance companies (NBFCs).
The potent ability of digital NBFCs to offer unsecured business loans have made them a competitive source of finance for micro, small and medium enterprises. With a lending model facilitated by digital technology, these companies are also known as FinTechs, and they offer bespoke credit products for organisations providing professional solutions.
Your business loan for service company could be a working capital loan, invoice finance, credit for expanding the business or any other tailored loan for professional services.
A Working capital loan is usually taken to fund the daily operations and cover expenses such as wages, purchase of equipment or to manage entries on accounts payable. These are short-term loans that help businesses to stay focused on their growth.
Similar to a merchant cash advance, invoice finance is another popular SME loan where the lender advances money against the unpaid account receivables of the borrowing business. If you have raised bills to some of your clients, and they are yet to be paid, you can use the same to get a loan from a FinTech company.
Loans can also be used for business expansion and opening new branch offices or shops. Doctors who wish to start more prominent clinics, retailers who want to add more shelves in their shop or to purchase the adjoining premises to expand, and other entities that seek a business loan for service company growth can approach a FinTech lender for quick funds.
Can these NBFCs provide adequate amounts to suit your requirements?
A loan application requires you to state the purpose of the funds. It is good to have a precise idea of the amount to fulfil such business needs, and for this, you should check the exact market costs of the assets that you plan to buy with the borrowed amount.
As an example, if you are taking a working capital loan to buy motorcycles to facilitate the courier delivery services offered by your company, find the price of these vehicles and enter the same amount in your loan application. While there are no rules against requesting a more substantial sum, it is good not to go overboard. This prudence will help you in avoiding higher EMIs.
The amount that you can get on business loan for service company may range from a few lakh rupees to almost a crore. With such a broad scope for funds, the requirements of most SMEs are conveniently met.
How to apply for a business loan: The Process in General
To avail credit from conventional sources, you generally have to visit the lender’s office at least once and discuss the complete procedure. You may be asked to submit multiple photocopies of ID proofs and business financial health documents.
An MSME loan from the digitally operating FinTech company, however, is availed on much easier terms.
While the eligibility criterion differs from loan to loan, it is accommodating enough to include a high number of businesses. FinTechs only need to be sure of the repaying abilities of their borrowers, for which they ask for at least one year of successful operational history.
Owners of any Pvt Ltd, Prop, or LLP (limited liability partnership) company can check their eligibility and apply for their business loan online. They merely need to visit the website of the FinTech lender and fill in the application digitally. Remember that the portal of a genuine lender will be encrypted with a valid security certificate, and the URL will start with an ‘https’ prefix.
Since it is a digitized process, the upload of soft copies of documents is enough to verify the authenticity and eligibility of business for the funds. Among other things, the latest copy of tax returns may also be required.
It does not take long to know the status of your application. You will learn of the lender’s decision in minutes, and for every approved loan application, the amount is disbursed in 2-3 working days. It is deposited directly in the business bank account.
Loan costs and repayment
FinTech loans are offered without hidden overhead charges such as legal fee, loan insurance premium, documentation charge, commitment fee and other miscellaneous dues.
This implies that you only pay interest and a nominal loan processing fee along with the principal in your EMIs. Additionally, the terms of repayment are flexible, and instalments can be varied as per your business earnings.
While availing of a loan to solving cash crunch, SMEs can finance their business strategies without hypothecating any valuable asset to a lender.
Capital Float has adopted a digitally refined lending framework to enable the growing number of SMEs in India to easily procure the funds they need for their ambitious plans. As an online platform offering funds for various business requirements, we have trimmed the formal loan issuing process to make it stress-free and quick for businesses.
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To get more information on loans for specific business types, please visit our website or call us at 1860 419 0999.
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The Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sector is of key importance to the Indian economy given that it employs the second largest workforce in the country after the agricultural sector.
Statistics offer a clearer picture. Accounting for 45% of industrial output and 40% of exports, the SME sector can be a significant driver of economic growth. SMEs also produces more than 8000 quality products for the Indian and international markets.
In recognition of their significant contribution, SMEs are receiving a welcome push from industrial associations and government bodies. Yet their biggest challenge continues to be business loan requirements. Lack of timely financial help wreaks havoc on the growth of small businesses. Funding, if not received at the right time is of no use. Often, SMEs are turned away by traditional banks for a number of reasons. Further, the inflexible and complex loan application and approval processes of conventional lenders are discouraging for most small enterprises.
Fortunately, change is in the offing. Thanks to the growing presence of FinTech lenders, small and medium enterprises have reason to cheer. Business loan requirements for two different companies can never be the same. Keeping this mind, online lenders like Capital Float have stepped in to offer a wide variety of customized loans for business in India.
Here is a quick look at the bouquet of flexible credit products that Capital Float provides to SMEs.
A quickly disbursed working capital loan, Term Finance is a great product for B2B service providers, manufacturers, traders and distributors alike. It helps fast-track business growth and boost profit margins. Term Finance is a convenient means to acquire fast business funding needed to meet your short-term requirements and ensure a positive monthly cash flow.
Online Seller Finance:
With the online selling space growing exponentially, there is an omnipresent demand for high liquidity. Our Online Seller Finance has made loans for businesses in India, especially e-commerce merchants, easily available. B2C and B2B marketplaces can get ahead of competition, expand to new markets and diversify into new product categories with the help of this customized credit solution. Attuned to your business ambitions, this collateral-free business funding ensures you have liquidity in the swiftest manner possible.
An innovative financial product, Pay Later is ideal for SMEs with increasing orders in the pipeline and need to make supplier payments regularly. It greatly benefits those that can avail large cash discounts from suppliers. Pay Later works well for an enterprise with a base of blue chip suppliers, too. Carrying a predefined credit capacity customized for every applicant, Our Pay Later credit facility helps a variety of SMEs in times of cash crunch.
Merchant Cash Advance:
A simple and user-friendly business funding solution, Merchant Cash Advance ensures you have access to liquidity as and when required. Most suitable for restaurateurs and retail store owners, your unique business loan requirements are met in the most affordable manner. Active use of card payment devices offers an easy experience to customers. Point-of-sale machines aren’t just means of cashless transactions; they can become instruments for availing working capital finance. Merchants who earn revenue from debit and credit card swipes can avail of business funding through this tailor-made financial product. We offer working capital finance up to 200% on the merchant’s sales from monthly card swipes. Capital Float has partnered with multiple point-of-sale (POS) card machine vendors such as MRL Posnet, Pine Labs, Bijlipay Mswipe, ICICI Merchant Services, etc. Partnering with these vendors helps merchants access their customized working capital solutions.
Supply Chain Finance:
Enterprises often need to work with multiple suppliers. Using bills as financial instruments then becomes a given. Delays in payment are likely to impact the growth of a business. Fully comprehending the importance of correct timing, Capital Float’s Supply Chain Finance has been designed to come to the aid of small and medium business owners. This unique loan product takes care of cash crunch situations through accounts receivable financing, which instantly liquidates the SMEs bills into cash. A revolutionary way to put more money into your business by collateralizing your business’ outstanding bills, Supply Chain Finance enables SMEs to procure an advance of up to 80% of their bill value.
India is witness to the recent boom in the radio taxi business. Finding an Ola taxi or an Uber cab is convenient and something one can do round the clock. Inspired by these success stories a number of people from diverse walks of life are looking at taking up work as drivers for tech-based taxi services. While it offers an easy means to earn a good income and hold a steady job, the taxi business needs basic investment in the tools of the trade— a car wired into a tech-based platform.
Taxi Finance, Capital Float’s innovative financial product, offers taxi drivers the freedom to earn more. With this loan, a taxi driver can now own a car, operate independently, and enjoy the benefit of flexible working hours. Capital Float has partnered with several reputed taxi aggregators to enable cab drivers to ply their cars on their platforms and substantially increase their revenue. The aggregator repays the loan installments by deducting the amount from the driver’s earnings on a weekly basis.
Taxi Finance offers a simple, affordable way to earn on the driver’s terms, providing easy business funding that is in stark contrast to business loans in India offered by traditional banking institutions.
Unique business loan requirements underline the need for tailor-made financial products. We have financial solutions that cater to any SME’s working capital need. Minimal documentation and zero-collateral are among the unique selling points of these business funding solutions. Additionally, easy eligibility criteria combined with no pre-closure or hidden charges make these funding options SME-friendly. With instant approvals and quick disbursal of business loans, it makes sense to choose from one of our many innovatively designed financial products.
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Oct 24, 2018
Let us consider the following hypothetical scenario:
ABC & Co., a small services firm, began operations in mid-2011. It reported a 40% jump in annual turnover from Rs. 5 Cr in FY 2012 to Rs. 7 Cr in FY 2013. As a startup, the company has not yet broken even and reported losses for consecutive years. The promoter is well educated, previously worked in organizations of repute for over a decade before deciding to float this venture. The short-term finance requirement of ABC & Co is about Rs. 40 lac for 90 days, but does not have any physical collateral to offer as security. At this stage, the promoter of ABC & Co. decides to approach banks and NBFCs in the market to fund this debt gap.
What would this promoter’s experience be in today’s scenario? Would he be successful in securing the necessary funds?
According to a recent statistic, 33% of companies operating in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises sector have access to banks and financial institutions, while the rest remain excluded and are compelled to raise money through informal channels.
This debt gap is alarming especially in the backdrop of the fact that SME segment contributes nearly 10 percent of the country’s gross domestic product and 45% of all industrial output.
Till date, banks and NBFCs have not been able to finance this debt gap effectively. What has prevented or restricted them from profitably penetrating this sector? Is it due to inherent credit risk in the segment, lack of collateral, government regulation and laws, or simply because there are greener pastures elsewhere to lend money?
Lets us understand the debt requirement of the SME segment (both early-stage as well as mature entities) before we try to further dissect this issue. In our example, ABC & Co. could require financing for primarily two reasons:
1) Capex, i.e. medium to long-term finance for business expansion, product diversification, renovation of business premises, or purchase of machinery.
2) Working Capital i.e. to cover short-term immediate cash flow needs arising from day-to-day business operations.
To cater to this demand, banks and financial institutions already have specific products (both fund and non-fund based) that can be broadly categorized into two categories for the sake of simplicity:
1) Simple lending products, which would typically cater to the first requirement of SMEs for Capex. These are medium to long-term financing products in the form of equipment and machinery loans, high yield unsecured business loans, Loan against Property etc.
2) Specialised lending products, which typically include factoring, trade finance, cash management services, project finance, bank guarantee, or letters of credit, which typically cater to the second requirement of working capital finance.
As is evident from the above, it is not the lack of “products” that explains the under-penetration of finance flowing to the SME sector. Rather, it is in the design, applicability and administration of these products to the SME sector that banks have fallen short.
In an effort to go deeper, we can identify four key reasons among others, for this shortfall:
1) Sole Focus on Financials: The current approach to SME lending in most institutions is still heavily dependent on business financials- i.e. looking at historical data to predict future creditworthiness. Typically this involves a lot of paper work and many visits to the applicant.
This approach has not been very successful in the SME sector to-date due to the fact that the financials provided by the applicant are often opaque given the cash nature of business transactions and incentives to under report income to save on taxes. ABC & Co., on this parameter alone (aside from business vintage) would be filtered out as the current financial position reflecting business losses would not be very appealing to most financiers.
2) Bureau Reporting: There are two kinds of credit bureau reports that can be generated by member banks and NBFCs – Individual and Corporate. While individual records are provided by most bureaus, only CIBIL currently provides reports for corporate entities in India. Valid records for SME entities are still not very evolved in the country. And while the bureaus can provide data on credit worthiness of the individuals involved in any given company, they cannot give relevant insights about an applicant who is a first time borrower.
Since ABC & Co. is newly established, there would not be any bureau record on the company. The application would then have to be judged on the strength of the individual records for the promoter as well as the business viability of ABC & Co.
3) Selective Segmentation: The implication of the above two factors is that only the “upper layer” of the medium to large enterprise segment is able to pass through banks’ and NBFCs’ credit assessment parameters, leaving aside the major chunk of “small” entrepreneurs and entities whose need for adequate finance is more pronounced. These small entities could be major links in the supply chains of large players, and their inability to access finance could have the ripple effects across the value chain.
4) Lack of Collateral Security: Lending in India traditionally has relied on taking adequate collateral as a “risk mitigant” to cover the credit risks associated with SME lending and the ambiguity around appraising this segment. The Loan to Value ratio (LTV) becomes the yardstick to segregate and approve or reject cases based on risk. This ratio is inversely proportional to the risk perception of the applicant.
Since ABC & Co. does not have any physical collateral such as property or machinery to offer and the promoter has pitched in whatever money he had in the form of initial capital into the business, his application would be rejected by most banks and NBFCs in the market today.
This problem of access to finance for SMEs in India is even more accentuated for early-stage companies or startups such as ABC & Co. In their case, past financial performance would be not a correct indicator of the future potential of the enterprise. After initial round of equity funding from family and friends or seed investors, working capital requirements or ad-hoc needs for short term finance would inevitably kick in and must be dealt with in a timely manner to keep the firm operational.
To conclude, traditional lending to the SME sector in India can best be described as a “One Size Fits All Approach.” The risk management techniques used by banks and other financial institutions today are invariably more suitable for medium and large corporate entities. The same set of rules when inadvertently applied to small and early-stage enterprises result in a faulty output, i.e. the systemic rejection of most SME loan applications like ABC & Co. Given the intense nature of competition in the lending industry today, the consequence is that too many banks and financial institutions end up chasing the same set of “good” customers, leaving aside a much larger untapped segment of SMEs in the process.
Watch this space for more articles on the subject as well as suggested ways to underwrite “small” and
“early-stage” entities in the SME sector.
(Image credit: http://blog.directcapital.com/misc/small-business-loan-video/)
Oct 24, 2018
To provide quality education, private schools in India must have cutting-edge infrastructure and well-planned facilities. This is even more important now because the generation currently in schools is growing in an environment of mobile computing devices and e-commerce. Since private institutions are entirely dependent on their own earnings to improve their campus, they may need school loans to finance such expenses.
Let us look at the top reasons that drive schools towards taking loans from banks and NBFCs:
1. To construct a new school building
Loan for construction of school building is commonly sought by institutions that are successfully providing education services but need more classrooms to accommodate the increasing number of students. Adding more sections for each grade is also a good idea when schools are focused on keeping a low student:teacher ratio.
2. To build a playground/sports court
School loans may also be required to add a playground, basketball courts, tennis courts or rooms for indoor sports. Games are an essential part of school education, and if a small unsecured loan from an institutional lender can help to build a beautiful playing field, the investment is worthwhile.
3. To develop a laboratory
Schools need to have well-equipped labs for practical experiments concerning physics, chemistry, biology and to give students hands-on experience with computer studies. Some private schools are also required to have Home Science labs as per the curriculum for their students. A quick loan for school laboratory can be procured at easy terms from a FinTech lending company. Such lenders usually provide up to Rs 50 lakhs on loan for building school laboratory.
4. To buy furniture for classrooms, staffroom
A simple reason to apply for a loan could be the purchase of new or additional furniture for students and staff. The cost of ergonomic desks and chairs may not be within the budget of the school, and financial support from a FinTech company can come in handy.
5. To purchase commercial vehicles
Schools that provide transportation services to their students and staff may need to buy new buses or vans. If adequate finance is not available for such purchases, FinTech lenders can offer simple digital modes to provide unsecured loans with flexible repayment options.
6. To build or improve a library
Well-stocked libraries are essential components of any school’s infrastructure. A school that has been running successfully for some time, but does not have a library, can borrow funds from school loan companies to build a quality library on its campus. Unsecured school loans can also be taken to buy stocks of new books that are too expensive to purchase in the available library budget.
7. To start a new facility on premises – stationery/canteen/uniform shop
Private schools try to offer all the essential facilities for the convenience of students. If there is a stationery unit on the campus, students can purchase prescribed textbooks and other essential items without having to visit markets. A shop for summer and winter uniforms makes it easy to buy the exact uniform as required by the school. While canteens are not “must-haves”, they are good to provide hygienic menu options to the students and staff. School loans may be taken to fund such facilities.
8. For repairs and renovation
A school that already has structures or facilities for education and sports may also need a loan to repair, renovate and improve them. It can digitally apply for such funds on a FinTech company’s website.
9. To purchase new teaching devices, audio-visual equipment
School loans fund the purchase of interactive teaching devices that are becoming increasingly important in the digital age. Educational institutions can borrow to install whiteboards, overhead projectors and other audio-visual teaching aids to make learning more interesting for their students.
10. To add/improve day-boarding facilities
Some private schools offer day-boarding amenities to their students. As a part of this facility, they need to provide healthy meals and areas for rest and recreation. To build and improve such environment, they may need loans that are offered most conveniently from FinTech companies.
As a leading digital NBFC offering loans to educational institutions, Capital Float funds all such requirements of schools in India. To know more about our financing products, feel free to call us on 1860 419 0999.
Oct 24, 2018