Intimidated by the long-drawn process of getting a loan approved from conventional sources such as banks and traditional NBFCs, schools in India often discard the idea of borrowing funds for improvements on their campus. They try to make the most of their limited available funds, even if it means some degree of compromise on the quality of upgrades they had planned for the school.
Such an approach does not bring any benefits in the long term. In some cases, it may even backfire. For instance, if a school purchases low-quality furniture due to inadequate funds, which causes discomfort to students/staff using it for 6-7 hours every day, it may not only tarnish the school’s reputation but also cause serious health problems for the users.
What comes as a relief is that school loans are available on easy terms from FinTech companies that are essentially NBFCs but have a streamlined digital lending model for quick disbursal of funds. From a loan for buying school furniture to any other loan for school development, they can provide funds within a week of application receipt. The application needs to be substantiated by only the soft copies of a few documents verifying the credibility of the school.
So what are the benefits of leveraging a quick school loan from such a source? Does it lead to more profitability for the educational institution?
Here’s how the benefits of these loans unfold:
Enable improvements in infrastructure and purchase of new teaching equipment
FinTechs can provide a loan for school construction which helps the borrowing institution to divide students of the same class into different sections. With this, teachers can give more attention to each student, and the quality of teaching improves. The building structure can also be expanded when a school decides to admit more students or has to advance its existing classes to higher grades.
Schools can also take a loan for smart class facilities that are sought in every private school today and have become significant for a generation growing in the digital age. Other areas where a school loan can be used include furbishing of labs and computer rooms, purchase of games supplies and investment in vehicles for transportation services.
Invigorate interest in admissions
The most direct impact of bringing improvements in school facilities is a rise in the number of students who want to be a part of the institution. While senior students can understand the benefits of moving to an optimally planned school on their own, the parents of younger children who join an academy from kindergarten will also try to place their children in such a school. Provision of excellent facilities and keeping pace with new techniques that transform the learning environment is a natural incentive for more admissions in a school.
The good repute of a school can instantly attract students who move to the city due to their parents’ job transfers and have to find an educational institution in minimum time to avoid loss of studies in an ongoing academic session.
Collection of more fees
More admissions imply higher fee collection, and constant increase in this amount eventually leads to increased profitability for schools. A school loan taken to add new facilities and create better learning experiences has multiple benefits for schools that aim to be the leaders in delivering quality education services. Evidently, the increase in their earnings also helps them to repay the borrowed fund.
Whether you need a small loan for school furniture or up to Rs. 50 lakh to finance any development process in your school, Capital Float ensures that you get it most conveniently. Visit https://www.capitalfloat.com/school-finance to apply for your fund today.
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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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- Maintain discipline. Whatever you do, think big and build for the long term.
- 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.
Oct 24, 2018
To take a trivial example, which of us ever sed undertakes laborious physical exercise except to obtain some advantage.
Oct 24, 2018
The SME sector in India is large and burgeoning. It contributes 45% of the industrial output and 40% of exports, and employs over 40 million people. With rapid economic growth and the impetus being given by the Government, this sector is expected to grow at a phenomenal pace, from accounting for 15% of India’s GDP in 2015 to 22% in 2018.
SMEs need funding
Despite its enviable growth, the smaller merchants and retailers face chronic cash shortage. Traditional banking offers more challenges than solutions to such enterprises. They are faced with long approval periods, demands of collateral, unsurmountable eligibility criteria and loan terms that are unsuitable to address short-term cash flow issues.
Unsecured Loans Provide the Relief
This is where unsecured loans come to their rescue. These are typically shorter-term loans that do not require collateral or guarantors. Some financial solutions are specifically designed to aid SMEs to address their working capital needs or expand their existing business. SMEs often work with limited resources and may find it challenging to pledge collateral to secure a loan. Unsecured business loans prove to be highly beneficial in this regard.
The Greatest Challenge to Overcome
Since unsecured loans by definition have no collateral to back them, a stringent underwriting process needs to be in place to ascertains the applicant’s intent and ability to repay the loan. The loan underwriting process must include the collation and verification of all the data provided by the applicant. This information is analyzed to determine the financial health of the enterprise and the creditworthiness of the individuals most closely associated with the business.
Relying on Cutting-Edge Technology
At Capital Float, we deploy cutting-edge technology to ensure that the process of loan approval is smooth, seamless and swift. This data driven process begins with the loan seeker filing an online application and uploading/giving access to all the relevant documents, including the company’s ITR, sales figures, balance sheet and cash flow statements. Our systems pull the data automatically from various external sources and populate the relevant fields. Capital Float lays specific importance to digital data available in the eco system e.g.; telly ledgers and purchase ledgers.
Apart from the documents provided, weightage is given to company ratings provided by rating agencies like CRISIL and ICRA. The bureau data is used extensively which goes beyond CIBIL scores and looks at hundreds of variables which might predict customer behavior.
The system collates all this information and draws up algorithm-based scores for each business. This initial screening process has no human intervention, since the technology is intelligent enough to identify a risky borrower and reject an application that does not meet the minimum criteria. All this is done in a matter of five minutes; whereas traditional banking could take anywhere between one to three months to decision a loan.
Once an application clears the first screening, experts from Capital Float visits the company’s premises, which could be the registered office or the factory. The experts spend time to understand the business model, the processes, the production capacity and the utilization of existing resources to gain a deeper insight into the health of the enterprise.
These inputs are also entered into the system, which uses powerful algorithms to analyze all the data being collated. These algorithms aid credit managers to take a more informed decision regarding loan approvals.
Thus, with the help of ground-breaking technology, Capital Float is able to approve loans in less than a week, while also ensuring NPAs remain exceptionally low.
Oct 24, 2018