6 platforms that are helping MSMEs during the coronavirus-led lockdown
The coronavirus outbreak shook the foundations of the present-day society. India is managing the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic using unprecedented public health and economic measures.
MSMEs, which account for 30 percent of India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), have been the worst affected. With businesses shut off and fixed costs drooping, SMEs and MSMEs are unable to handle the situation.
Just before India entered the fourth phase of the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus, a slew of relief measures was announced by the Finance Minister on May 13 under the economic stimulus package for the MSME sector.
The government plans to provide collateral-free automatic loans amounting to Rs 3 lakh crore for the micro and small enterprises, with a moratorium on the payment for the first year. This is for those units which have Rs 25 crore of outstanding loans or Rs 100 crore of turnover. This is expected to benefit around 45 lakh units.
At this unprecedented time, many companies are also chipping in to help SMEs and MSMEs to evolve and stay afloat.
YourStory brings you six such platforms that are helping micro-businesses and boosting the SME sector.
Amazon India has set up a special fund to support delivery service partners and transportation partners associated with the company, and provide financial aid for April. Through the one-time disbursement, the fund will support the partners in multiple ways, including enabling them to provide financial aid to close to 40,000 of their staff for the month of April.
Additionally, it will help cover some critical fixed infrastructure costs, and support liquidity as well as cash flow for these businesses as they resume and scale their operations post lockdown.
Based out of Bengaluru, Instamojo began its journey in the Fintech space in 2012 to digitally empower the MSME sector. Founded by Sampad Swain, Akash Gehani, and Aditya Sengupta, Instamojo’s flagship product – an online payment link – helps solve the challenge of digital payments which several small businesses face. The company expanded its product portfolio by providing logistics and lending services to MSMEs, called MojoXpress and MojoCapital respectively. Their lending product helped address the cash crunch which several small businesses across the country face.
Today, Instamojo hosts over one million merchants on its platform, and launched ‘CreditBook’ – a digital khata to help digitise transaction records for one million SMEs.
At the time of COVID-19, when small businesses like kiranas are struggling to survive, Instamojo aims to help such small businesses bounce back to action by digitally empowering them through Priority KYC, an initiative that helps small businesses set up their store online in less than five minutes.
New merchants on the Instamojo platform can get their KYC documents approved within 24 hours of uploading, post which they can immediately begin setting their store up. Additionally, transactions worth Rs 50,000 or first 20 transactions (whichever comes first) has been made free for first-time users.
Despite the lockdown, the company has seen a 25 – 30 percent increase in merchants over the last two months.
Tradeindia is India’s largest online B2B marketplace, connecting buyers and suppliers. Their mission is to help SMEs go digital. Now more than ever, the company is committed to providing SMEs with the resources they need to take their businesses online. As the shift from offline to online accelerates, the companies are being asked to do more with less.
Tradeindia client relations team helps SMEs with tools to digitise their business operations and make the business future-ready.
Crediwatch is an information intelligence platform providing big data risk analysis to lenders and corporates, helping them make credit decisions. The company provides ‘Data Insights-as-a-Service’ to enable lenders, businesses with actionable credit intelligence on private entities to improve trust and increase their lending and trading activity.
Crediwatch is using its technology platform to help clients and partners brave the impact of COVID-19. Given that the company works on a ‘zero human touch’ model, none of their solutions has been impacted due to remote working environments – helping deliver uninterrupted solutions to our clients.
The company has followed standard BCP protocols, keeping in mind info-sec guidelines, to continue work during this challenging time.
Happy Loans provides customised loan offerings to micro-enterprise owners to meet their specific demands. It assesses over 1,000 variables about the merchant to underwrite their micro business. Its credit model is based on the merchant’s level of business engagement with the partner, their behaviour towards borrowing, APIs, demographics, and business trends.
The ML-based MSME digital lender has launched a 'Lockdown Loan'. The digital credit facility is developed to address the working capital woes of Indian micro enterprises during the lockdown. It will provide them capital access of Rs 25,000 and Rs 50,000, with bullet repayment after six months. Lockdown Loan comes with COVID-19 protection insurance, wherein full loan waiver is extended to the coronavirus infected.
Locus, a global B2B SaaS company, has announced the launch of a free tool ‘QuickStart,’ which is a self-serve lite version of the product suite for startups and small and medium enterprises to improve their supply chain efficiency amid COVID-19 pandemic. The company is also providing a free trial for two months from the start of the subscription, which will help them improve their supply chain.
Edited by Kanishk Singh