India Inc.’s dependence on cash has traditionally been high, especially with MSMEs. A radical policy move like demonetisation has however compelled small businesses to consider alternatives to cash, which hopefully will become a habit. A habit that will serve business well in the emerging environment.
Marketplaces have always been the preferred shopping choice since forever. In the offline world, marketplaces that showcased a variety of products sold by multiple merchants made it easier for a shopper to pick and choose the best product at the best price. When this model moved online (with the likes of Amazon, ebay, Flipkart, makemytrip), ‘convenience’ got redefined and was taken to another level.
Alternative Lending is a very broad term used to describe the wider set of business loan options available to business owners.
Given the general under-penetration of banking services in India, it is no surprise that Alternative Lending channels are making inroads.
The world is going online and everything needs to be Bigger, Better, Faster, and More! So why should getting a business loan be any different?
There are many tangible benefits that SMEs can enjoy by going online for their small business loan needs.
Loan Frame was started with an aim in mind – help borrowers access the right kind of business finance in the minimum possible time. Towards this end, we are creating the largest SME lending marketplace. We harness the power of technology to make this happen. We want that getting business loans for small businesses should be a quick, easy and transparent process as against the largely slow, painful, and opaque process that it is currently.
Window shopping is taken very seriously by some shoppers when they visit markets or malls. This isn’t surprising when it comes without any costs attached. Not so much when you are in the market for a loan for your small business. Each window you stop at ends up making you and your small business a little less credit worthy.
Optimising Your Small Business Loans With ‘Debt Consolidation’
The title quote could apply just as well to your loan book as it does to Rowling’s book! Habitually, borrowers have preferred to borrow from multiple sources, in multiple forms. A Term Loan from Bank ‘A’, a Working Capital Facility from Bank ‘B’, a Loan Against Property from NBFC ‘C’, an Overdraft from Bank ‘D’, and so on. The reasons for doing so are varied: changing needs over time that require additional borrowing, perception that distributing the lender base and type of loans increases borrowing ability, and a false hope that the true extent of leverage cannot be clearly assessed by a new lender.
Some of these reasons may have been valid in a pre-digitisation era and in a time when credit scores and records were not consolidated in one source. However, these perceived advantages have been rendered totally irrelevant now.
Dr. RP Singh is a consulting doctor working at a large hospital based out of Delhi with an entrepreneurial streak. He wished to start a new business, managing lab machines for clinics. Given the large, upfront capital investment required, he needed to get a business loan. However, getting a loan for his start-up at a reasonable cost was proving to be nearly impossible given the absence of a track record and the multi-geography nature of work and collateral.
The good news that you have been waiting for: interest rates have finally started inching downward. Copious flows of deposits have now allowed banks the leeway to reduce lending costs across maturities and loan products. SBI, Union Bank, and PNB have taken up the gauntlet of reducing MCLR (Marginal Cost of Funds Based Lending Rate) anywhere between 65-90bps (100bps = 1%). Feedback from banks and other lending agencies suggests that others will follow suit soon enough in order to remain competitive.
The crucial 50 day period following the demonetisation announcement is about to end. This period has been characterised by economic convulsions, adjustments, and apprehension about the future. The difficulties that businesses small and large have faced in this time are real and well known. However, the feelings of apprehension are as real for lenders as they are for borrowers.
Following demonetisation most lenders have gone into wait and watch mode as their risk appetite has gone down even as borrower risk profiles have gone up. According to RBI data , credit or loan growth for the fortnight that ended November 25 – the first reporting fortnight after demonetisation – declined to 6.6% from 7.9% on a year-on-year basis in the previous fortnight, i.e. before the demonetisation announcement. This is nearly half of the long period loan growth rate of 12.9% between 2012 and 2016. In the fortnight ended December 11 (the latest available), YOY growth dropped even further to 5.7%.