By: Saurabh Jhalaria, CEO, SME Business, InCred
Digital India is no longer just a catch phrase. The Government has launched multiple initiatives under its Digital India campaign to realise the dream of a digitally empowered nation. The campaign has gained momentum. From the internet connectivity push to smart cities, cashless payments, Bharat Net, Digital library to name a few-each initiative is ensuring that the digital landscape of the country moves forward in the right direction. The Government is leading this change aggressively and Corporate India is ensuring that it follows suit. There are currently 50mn MSMEs in India who are fueling this digital growth and their numbers are growing every day. This focus on making India the fastest growing Digital Economy means that the IT sector, be it hardware or software, needs to be at the forefront of this digital drive.
WITH OPPORTUNITY COME CHALLENGES
Is the IT Distribution business equipped to handle the massive opportunity presented by the Digital Drive?
Opportunities come with challenges and this opportunity is not without its share. The IT Distribution business is primarily a 3-4 tier industry with OEMs & National Distributors at the top, followed by regional distributors in middle and resellers & system integrators at the bottom. MSMEs, who fill the bottom of the pyramid, are the ones responsible for running the wheel. Beside basic infrastructure, availability of skilled manpower and capital are the two key challenges faced by MSMEs looking to scale. With the promoter being involved in day-to-day businesses, an ecosystem is being developed to churn skilled manpower. This leaves the capital as the biggest and crucial cog in the wheel. With own capital always being a constraint, external funding becomes the only viable source to bridge this gap.
Various studies and reports have indicated that a one-size-fits-all approach of collateral and balance sheet based traditional lending has failed to address the needs of the MSMEs in general, and of the IT Distribution businesses in particular. This has resulted in many businesses losing out on worthwhile opportunities. Businesses evolve with time and size. With evolution, the nature of funding requirements also changes from short term working capital to medium term financing. This clearly indicates that the segment needs customized financing solutions, which address all needs across the value chain.
A NEW PERSPECTIVE
Supply Chain Financing with customized tenure is one such solution. This can leverage the strength of the corporate-dealer business relationship and blend it with cash flows. The funding is decided basis the past and projected business in line with the working capital cycle. This, together with a digital solution for approving funding and disbursement, is a unique solution that can empower businesses to leap forward.
InCred, a new-age diversified financial services group that leverages technology and data-science to make lending quick and easy, is now making finance easily available to players in the MSME sector. InCred is simplifying the lending process with a sharp focus on serving our borrowers’ unique requirements and circumstances – offering our customers a truly superior experience. Technology and data science ensure that the lending process is quick, simple and hassle-free. InCred’s Supply Chain Financing Solution for IT Distribution businesses is customised to fulfil the need across the value chain of the ecosystem and thus, contributing in a small way, to achieve the nation’s dream of putting India on the global digital map.