DBS Bank’s handcrafted solutions to empower MSMEs across India

DBS Bank’s handcrafted solutions to empower MSMEs across India
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It’s proven beyond doubt that the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) sector is the backbone of the national economic structure and has unremittingly acted as the bulwark for the Indian economy. With around 6.3 crore such units throughout the geographical expanse of the country, MSMEs contribute more than 7% of the manufacturing GDP and nearly 30% of the overall GDP.

Being a major contributor to the socio-economic development of the country, this sector has been resilient enough to ward off global economic shocks and adversities. But with the Covid-induced pandemic ravaging the economy, business owners especially from the MSME sector need to not only readjust their strategy for a digital-first world, but also need critical financial support to tide through the uncertainty and build resilience.

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To ensure that MSMEs are able to sustain and participate in economic growth, several schemes have been developed to support this sector. One company at the forefront of this is DBS Bank India Limited, the wholly-owned subsidiary of DBS Group Holdings Ltd. In India, DBS has developed a holistic approach for the sector and embarked on programmes to enable MSMEs to nurture their business, upgrade their skills and capabilities to survive in the post-COVID-19 economy.

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DBS has launched an online credit solutions platform - DBS Digital Business Loans for SMEs offering credit up to ₹20 crore. The offering harnesses the full power of the digital medium and simplifies the loan application process to further aid businesses and entrepreneurs. “DBS Business Loans is secure and fast. Honestly, as an SME, DBS has made our life very simple.”, asserts Mr. Vikram Mody of Mody Resins, based in Mumbai. “The challenges for small businesses in 2020 and 2021 were very different. In 2020, we faced the pandemic for the first time, and we were learning. In 2021, we knew how to handle it better. So, I expect to see a U-shaped recovery rather than the V-shaped we witnessed in 2020”, he expands.

Across the country, MSMEs are reeling from the effects of the pandemic, yet they are at the heart of an inclusive recovery. Towards this end, DBS has joined hands with social enterprise Haqdarshak, a platform that lists MSME-specific welfare schemes, offering a one-stop solution for enterprises to access the right government-assisted incentives. Delineating his thoughts about the way forward for business growth, Sudarshan Chari, Head- Business Banking, DBS Bank India said, "At DBS, we are committed to empowering businesses to unlock new opportunities. We have introduced special initiatives for MSMEs that complement the government's relief measures and support businesses that have been impacted by disruptions arising due to COVID-19. We believe that propositions like ‘Haqdarshak’ will benefit smaller enterprises tremendously on their road to recovery."

DBS SME Banking provides a complete suite of digital banking products and services ranging from trade, transaction, and money collection that make business operations more efficient. Champion Commercial, a speciality chemical company based in Mumbai has adopted DBS’ tailor-made banking solutions and transitioned to more digitized operations to keep business active during 2020. The company’s Managing Director Gaurav Singhania noted that his company “Haven't issued a single cheque in the last 12 months! Work is far more efficient and faster. We don't need to rely on human intervention and visits to the branch.”

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In 2020, the bank marked a significant milestone with the amalgamation of the erstwhile Lakshmi Vilas Bank with its India franchise, DBS Bank India Limited. This enabled DBS to access a larger network of cities, including key SME clusters, thereby accelerating its growth plans and enabling the bank to build a greater scale in the country. The bank has now bolstered its presence with a network of over 600 branches in 19 states across India.

While technology is enabling continuity, DBS Bank India has also enhanced its support measures for this segment through robust products. The bank has accelerated its growth plans by adopting a 'phygital' model, covering key SME clusters. The goal is to enable MSMEs to augment working capital, meet operational liabilities and navigate their businesses through the current crisis. Mr. Mamalaivasan, a managing partner at Gothai Dall Traders in Tamilnadu noted that “Even during pandemic times, DBS Bank had ensured that all the services were rendered to us without any hassle and with utmost care. Due to capital constraints, an ad-hoc limit was requested by us and the same had been provided promptly.”

DBS assists MSMEs, not just with business loans, but also with payments & collections, remittances, forex solutions including FX Booking & FX Forwards, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) integration, APIs, Trade Solutions including DBS Network Letter of Credit. The bank is also offering the ''Guaranteed Emergency Credit Line' scheme in line with the government's COVID-19 relief efforts.

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“Recognising that availability of formal credit in a timely manner continues to remain a challenge and small and medium-sized enterprises are underserved by mainstream financial institutions, DBS has always worked towards easing access to business credit for this entire spectrum. We have also harnessed the power of technology to design solutions that make banking simpler and intuitive for time-strapped business owners, so that they can focus more on their business, and less on banking. These end-to-end digitised solutions are aimed at seamlessly interweaving banking into customers' everyday lives by making it a part of their ecosystem”, added Sudarshan Chari, Head- Business Banking, DBS Bank India.

Some of the recent work DBS has done to help pandemic-stricken businesses bounce back can be viewed via their original web series DBS Sparks, based on true stories of real solutions for clients and partners. The latest episode looks at how a small business in the food industry adopts a ‘Zero Food Waste’ approach to recover more sustainably, with the aid of the bank.

As the MSME sector in India looks to return to vigour and strength, timely, relevant, and customised solutions can accelerate the recovery process and nurture the industry back to strength. After all, this sector employs around 11 crore people and its upliftment is crucial for the overall health of the economy.

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Disclaimer: This is a sponsored article in partnership with DBS Bank India

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