Where credit’s due: How Maadhyam is leveraging AWS to replace the middleman with middleware
Running your own business always takes time, commitment, and vision. But just as important is having enough working capital, not just to get it started but also to make sure it achieves sustainable growth.
While access to that capital in India has traditionally been through banks, the fintech industry has helped disrupt that space and made it easier for many Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and banks to connect and meet their business needs. Even though the COVID-19 pandemic hit many businesses, loans worth Rs 9.5 lakh crore were disbursed to MSMEs in financial year 2021, rising from Rs 6.8 lakh crore the previous year.
This, even with most lenders having to deal with more than a third of loan applicants being unable to find the right documentation, and more than a quarter of them ineligible for the amount they require.
Filling the gap between lenders and borrowers is Maadhyam, the latest offering from fintech platform. Launched late last year, the SaaS platform helps reduce turnaround time for loan disbursement for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) by partnering with not just with borrowers and lenders, but also intermediaries such as aggregators, thereby helping all parties improve their working capital flows and cash flows, and enabling growth to the whole ecosystem.
Creating its own ecosystem
“Maadhyam is like a catalyst which is creating its own ecosystem of lenders and borrowers in a B2B setup,” says Vineet Tyagi, CTO at Biz2Credit and Biz2X. “If you’re a banker and you want to increase your credit portfolio of businesses without a big invoice — say, Rs 5 lakh or less than that, what we do is connect borrowers through established companies and marketplaces.”
The company partners with marketplace aggregators such as Retailio, online pharmacy platform PharmEasy’s B2B arm, to offer financing solutions to SMEs from their ecosystem. They can then raise a credit request through their own platform. “That’ll go directly through the Maadhyam platform, and the bankers attached to [the aggregator’s] network can see a lead that has been generated. The bank can see the entire underwriting process and then can disburse the loan required,” Vineet explains.
Shift from lender-facing to borrower-facing
While most of Biz2X’s other products help banks and finance institutions with services such as loan origination, cash management, and others that are particularly for banks to improve customer experience, Maadhyam includes borrowers in the process. “Maadhyam is not only enabling the banks but also a whole different set of companies [including] marketplaces of any kind because we do invoice financing,” Vineet says.
As a part of the Biz2X’s $100 million investment commitment to India last year, Maadhyam’s strength lies in its ability to connect various SMEs who don’t have access to formal loans through the banking channels, as well as to speed up the loan disbursement process through automation and a digital underwriting process.
Since its launch in January 2022, Maadhyam has already brought on board Retailio from the marketplace aggregator side and is in advance discussions with 10-15 more such aggregators. They are also working with top banks and NBFCs (Non-Banking Financial Companies) to ensure SMEs get a good ROI for their capital requirements.
Reliable tech through partnering with AWS
To ensure their platform runs smoothly, Maadhyam — through Biz2X — works closely with AWS. Describing it as a healthy relationship, Vineet says AWS was clearly their first choice even after trying other cloud computing solutions.
Biz2X uses AWS services such as Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service, that automates key tasks such as patching, node provisioning, and updates; Amazon Simple Storage Service for scalability, data availability, security, and performance; as well as a number of other AWS-native security tools that removes layers of management and maintenance, and the need for other third-party tools.
“In terms of deployment, AWS is our key partner and whenever we're hosting or providing a service to the client, it is through AWS only,” he says.
Empowering businesses in the ‘Aatmanirbhar Economy’
Already in discussions with lenders, marketplaces, and borrowers, Maadhyam’s long-term vision also includes eventually becoming a direct financier for SMEs. Vineet says, “Maadhyam will soon directly go into the lending space, like we’ve been doing through Biz2Credit in the U.S.”
“We want to make India’s SMEs aatmanirbhar, it’s what we believe in. We’ve been doing it in the U.S. as well and it matches with our long-term vision — It’s what we’re working towards,” says Vineet.