LN Revathy

Maersk Trade Finance, part of AP Moller-Maersk, the global leader in shipping services, is targeting a loan disbursement of $200 million for India’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in 2019.

The company, which started operations in 2016, has disbursed $0.7 billion globally, with more than $150 million in India in 2018, a 53 per cent jump when compared to the previous year, said Vipul Sardana, Global Head, Maersk Trade Finance.

In a telephonic conversation with BusinessLine, Sardana said: “Our global disbursement projection for 2019 is $500 million. We had, earlier this month, forayed into the South African market. We are now present in seven countries, including India, Singapore, UAE, the Netherlands, Spain and the US.”

“While access to capital is one of the biggest obstacles to global trade, it is more pronounced among SMEs. But these small and medium units account for close to 45 per cent of the output and 40 per cent of exports, besides adding millions of jobs every year.

“Our value proposition is compelling and significantly simple compared to bank finance,” he said. He added that “the future of business in the B2B credit space lies in transparency, single window flow of information, and interaction in a completely digital interface.

“We are differently positioned to assess risk, because we are a party to the transaction. The container business has been driving growth, and these containers serve as collateral. No doubt, the scale and complexity of the current global trade is unparalleled.

“We launched several products such as Remote Container Management, TradeLens (a trade digitisation solution using blockchain technology) and Cargo Insurance ( launched in partnership with IBM) to make trade finance solutions simple.

“We are in the process of launching a Cold Chain product,” he added.