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Context for panel discussion stemmed from a detailed customer study conducted by Edelweiss with over 2000 MSMEs across India 

Business disruption was significant during the month of April, with improvement in activity and sentiments visible over the last few weeks. 

Optimism and resilience are high among majority of MSMEs, though challenges related to receivables and supply chain continue to impact many of them

Mumbai, June 30th2020: Edelweiss SME Lending celebrated its third consecutive edition of International MSME Day through a virtual webinar comprising a panel of industry experts. The theme of the panel discussion was ‘MSMEs: New Heroes in the New Normal!’

Rashesh Shah, Chairman & CEO, Edelweiss Group said, “The last 4-5 years have been truly transformative for MSMEs, with the introduction of GST, the India stack and formalisation of the sector and economy. COVID-19 has impacted the MSMEs but it could also potentially be a trend accelerator for the business. The pandemic is opening up fresh opportunities for businesses to script better stories of success. The current economic condition is an opportunity to recalibrate, retest and most importantly repivot. We need to view the current context and the India story with a bi-focal lens, one that balances these short-term challenges, with the long-term opportunity.”

The current situation has posed several challenges to the spirit of entrepreneurship. Survival of business in the long-run and getting payments from clients, remain the top two concerns for SMEs and retail businesses. The webinar sought to acknowledge the contribution of MSMEs in light of current challenges, while leveraging this as a platform to share insights and expertise on what to expect in the near future and thrive, in the new normal that awaits us.  

Panellists included Mr. Mehernosh Tata (Head, Edelweiss SME Lending), Mr. Sunil Srivastava (Ex Dy MD, State Bank of India; Sr. Advisor Edelweiss & World Bank), Mr. Navin Chandani (MD & CEO, CRIF High Mark), Mr. Shailendra Kawade (Promoter & Chairman, Mylab Discovery Solutions) and Mr. Vikas Dimri (Director, SME Head – Trade & Working Capital, Deutsche Bank).

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In his closing remarks, Deepak Mittal, CEO Credit, Edelweiss Group, said, “MSMEs are realising that business models will need tweaking, be it in delivery or servicing, in demand aggregation or in digitizing payments. Reinvention and reimagination, have now changed in their definition. MSMEs should seize this opportunity to reconnect with their customers and rethink their proposition. This is a time to be nimble and MSMEs can be far quicker, to leverage emerging opportunities vis-à-vis larger enterprises.”

Key insights from the panel discussion are as follows – 

  • While uncertainty is high, fundamentals of business remain the same. Indian businesses are resilient by design. The inherent capability to find ways to survive & thrive shall never be underestimated
  • Flexibility, agility and increased adaptability to evolving customer needs, will be key to future sustainability 
  • Social distancing will continue, but customer engagement and reach must deepen as we move from a product-centric to customer-centric economy 
  • Digital transformation is underway. For a lender, it speeds up decision making and improves quality of credit decisions. For MSMEs, they can access quicker credit when needed. Banks will now have the ability to make better credit decisions
  • Digitization, Alternate Data and increased focus of Financial Fitness, will be key to profitability when considering future business models   

About Edelweiss SME Lending:

Edelweiss SME Lending commenced operations in 2013 and has grown organically to service the MSME industry over 100 cities and towns in India and offers small business loans, equipment loans and loans secured against residential, commercial and industrial properties. The delivery is backed by technology platform and use of data analytics to decision the loan faster.

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The SME business is one of the early adopters of technology in the lending space and is working on introducing new, innovative products with an objective to entirely serve the MSME eco-system. The business has been at the forefront of testing and adopting several digital initiatives which span customer acquisition, credit decision architecture, on-boarding and customer life cycle management. 

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