Money & Banking

U GRO Capital holds ‘virtual board meet’ to discuss Covid 19

Our Bureau MUMBAI | Updated on March 31, 2020 Published on March 31, 2020

Clears three-month moratorium on loan repayment

The Covid-19 pandemic is finding its resonance in India Inc’s boardrooms. A week after India Inc realigned its work practices to deal with the operational challenges during a nationwide lockdown, Mumbai-based BSE-listed tech-based SME lending platform U GRO Capital’s Board met on March 30 through a video conference to formulate a strategy to respond to the crisis.

The meeting brought together the board members of the company located in Mumbai, Delhi and Dubai who took stock of the situation and discussed the steps taken to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.

The company’s top management also joined the meet. It approved key decisions including a three-month moratorium on the repayment of loans prescribed by RBI last week, becoming the first fintech small business lender to respond to Covid-19, taking cognisance of borrower sentiments.

Key board members such as Satyananda Mishra, N K Maini, Ranjana Agarwal, Navin Puri, Rajeev K Agarwal, Abhijit Sen and S Karuppasamy attended the meeting.

The company, backed by marquee investors such as PAG, New Quest, ADV Partners and Samena Capital, carried out a comprehensive borrower survey to assess the Covid-19 impact on business.

With more than 7,700 small business loans and ₹1,200 crore worth of disbursals as of February 2020, U GRO Capital retains significant liquidity and a very high capital adequacy ratio.

“We follow a stringent corporate governance framework while operating and the board meeting underlines the commitment of our management and leadership teams to uphold the trust and transparency in this unprecedented scenario,” said Shachindra Nath, Executive Chairman and Managing Director, U GRO Capital.

U GRO Capital conducted a Covid-19 Disruption Index Survey among its customer base. The survey was aimed at developing an in-depth understanding of the qualitative and quantitative impact of Covid-19 on the company’s borrowers, based on the responses from approximately 1,000 customers across eight sectors, 69 sub-sectors and nine cities, covering manufacturing, servicing and traders segments.

“The survey revealed the deep stress that the current lockdown has had on MSMEs in the country with most of them having to either temporarily shut down the business or operate at a much lower capacity. This is the time for us, as a responsible lender, to partner with such small businesses and work together to emerge victorious from this crisis. We believe that the three-month moratorium provided will help these businesses better manage cash flows, help them pay salaries to their employees,” Nath said.

The board also took note of the initiatives U GRO Capital had undertaken to ensure health and safety of its employees by switching to work-from-home model before lockdown. The company is now fully operational with rigorous systems and processes in place to facilitate daily operations. The fact that the company had always operated on a cloud framework helped ease the transition, he said.

Meanwhile, U GRO Capital is utilising the time available to focus on longer-term strategic projects such as the formation of marquee supply chain financing co-lending partnerships, development of cutting-edge payment solutions for small businesses, development of an advanced rule engine with ML capabilities and building a framework for digital administration for customer engagement/loyalty,” Nath added.

Published on March 31, 2020

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