BSE SME and Startups, a platform of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) that facilitates the listing of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups, and helps them raise funds from public, has been seeing good momentum in the listing of SMEs in the post-Covid period, supported by awareness programmes, change in the mindset of entrepreneurs to unlock values, and growing business opportunities for SMEs.

During 2022, 50 companies got listed on the SME Platform, launched in 2012, and mobilised a total capital of ₹694 crore. In 2021, 27 SMEs were listed, raising ₹382 crore. The year 2020 saw 17 companies getting listed and raising ₹103 crore, while in 2019, 33 SMEs were listed and mobilised ₹462 crore. About 407 companies got listed on the SME platform with a market cap of ₹63,620 crore as on September 30. These companies have raised ₹4,492 crore.

“In the post-Covid period, we have seen a good number of listing happening from SMEs, much more than what anyone could expect. In the last one month alone, we saw more than 10 SMEs getting listed on our SME platform,” Ajay Thakur, Head – BSE SME & Startup, told businessline. He said that SMEs from across segments were getting listed.

‘Good potential seen’

Every year, the listing number only moves up, signalling growing confidence among SMEs. “Of course, it takes much effort to convince the SMEs, as there are apprehensions about listing. While it is a long way to go, we see a change in mindset and an increasing number of entrepreneurs are keen to unlock the value of their companies by listing. Overall, we see a good potential for about 500 SMEs to get listed on our platform every year,” he added.

Anand Chari, Deputy General Manager of BSE SME & Startup, said the organisation had been trying to burst the myth around compliance requirements for SMEs. We have been conducting road shows in overseas markets to tell investors about the SME platform so that they can invest their money in these companies.

He also outlined the benefits that SMEs enjoy due to listing, including increased credibility among bankers, investors, and others. While it improves visibility to attract good talent, these SMEs are also able to get more business.

Thakur said that the Tamil Nadu government had taken a proactive step by providing a 50 per cent subsidy for the listing expenses or ₹30 lakh, whichever is higher. “This is the biggest decision taken by any State government, which will motivate many SMEs from Tamil Nadu to go for listing. A few other State governments have also announced a subsidy of ₹5 lakh for SMEs going for listing,” he added. BSE has signed up with other State governments, banks and professional institutions to propagate the benefits of listing.

“SMEs’ next paradigm shift can happen in the capital market, as it is a no-cost or low-cost fundraising opportunity to scale their business. This resolves challenges of raising funds for capex and opex needs,” said M K Anand, an MSME expert and founder of SEE CHANGE.