KR Srivats

In these trying Covid-19 times, the UK-headquartered CreditEnable, an AI-driven SME credit marketplace, wants to “ramp up” its activities in India and support more SMEs in accessing business loans, especially working capital financing, said its Group Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Nadia Sood.

This fintech, which has been operating in India since 2017, partners large private sector banks and NBFCs to digitally arrange credit to SMEs with loan requirements ranging from ₹10 lakh to ₹30 crore. CreditEnable’s India marketplace currently caters to as many as 20 leading lenders. It has now launched a free business stability health check initiative for SMEs in India looking to cope with Covid-19-induced business challenges.

“Unfortunately, SMEs got left behind even in the pre-Covid period. You can imagine how things will be post Covid for SMEs to get capital to push into businesses. Our business is all about helping them in terms of making a digital bridge between SME and lenders so that both parties can transact much more efficiently and faster and under much better terms for both of them,” said Sood.

“We will also, in the coming days, broaden our partnership with lenders and SME platform aggregators and ramp up our activities in India”.

As a digital and curated marketplace for SME finance, both lenders and borrowers benefit from reduced transaction costs, lower risk, better outcomes and faster deployment of capital. CreditEnable does not charge any fees on the SMEs for its offerings. Also, the back-end technology ensures that the right lender for each SME is identified, and that the process of looking for finance has no impact on their credit score.

In the current backdrop of Covid-19, CreditEnable has launched a new initiative, We Move Forward, for small and medium businesses, helping business leaders to keep their businesses safe during the crisis. “This is a programme that will do business stability health check for SMEs. We want to offer this facility (at no cost) to least 6 lakh SMEs from India in next one month and help them access working capital loans”, she said.

Huge demand

Sood highlighted that during the lockdown in India, there has been a huge demand from SMEs for working capital loans. “Since lockdown we have had 200 per cent increase in enquiries on a daily basis. In 15 days, we have received debt requirement requests of more than $ 500 million. There is so much need of capital requirement. Even in the times of lockdown, there is request from entrepreneurs who are looking to start new businesses. It’s testament to entrepreneurial spirit in India, which gives me lot of hope,” she said.

CreditEnable’s focus will be getting its services to as many SMEs as possible in India. “We are not limiting our activities to existing clients during the Covid-19 times”, she said.

Sood also said that CreditEnable would this year work further to strengthen its partnership with the Confederation of All India Traders ( CAIT), a body representing nearly 7 crore traders in India, so as to help many of its members in the informal sector to move into the formal sector and reduce their interest outgo by making available loans at affordable interest rates.