SIDBI set to launch India SME Services Platform

India : In order to ease credit access, Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) is set to launch India SME Services Platform. This will be an initiative for digitising inclusive access to enterprise ecosystem.As physical distancing shall continue along with business operations post COVID-19, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) need to gear up to deploy and imbibe digital payment tools, digital lending platforms and digital banking.

Shri Mohammad Mustafa, IAS, Chairman and Managing Director of SIDBI said, “SIDBI has shaped the design of India SME Services Platform which shall be a single digital platform to educate, improve access and monitor all COVID-19 related initiatives. It shall have allMSMEs, stakeholders of the MSME ecosystem, financiers, corporates, government, regulators, employees and associations converging on an interactive platform. This will be all at one place and one place for all kind of initiative.”

The features of this platform:
·         MSMEs can look for trusted information on getting started, getting finance eKYC, getting credit enhancement, getting growth, getting support services including advisory, network access, video calls/digital tools.
·         Financiers can look for marketplace, documentation support and loan management.
·         Corporates can have market access, market information, supply chain solutions, partnership and collaboration opportunities.
·         Government can take and monitor actions on policies/schemes/programmes, tax measures and meeting sourcing requirements through procurements.
·         Regulators can tap macro-economic trends, compliances, risk management and systemic aspects.
·         Employees can avail registration services, skilling/upskilling, relocation support, redressal and so on.
·         Industry associations can avail of window for insights and analytics, partnerships, directoryand so on.

Broad features of the tech platform:
·         A webpage encompassing a dashboard of all schemes being implemented by the central government, state governments, banks, Industry associations etc. would facilitate easier visualization for MSMEs. The digital repository could include a list of tools such as automated accounting, tax reconciliation, cloud services, cyber security, video conferencing, online meetings, etc. that could be made available for a limited period of time for free to MSMEs in partnership with fintechs, industry bodies and corporates. These shall help MSMEs to resume operations remotely. They can explore alternate revenue lines as well.
·         NBFCs and lending fintechs could leverage eKYC for a quick paperless onboarding. Financial institutions could consider a combination of eKYC and deferment of physical verification to scale up remote onboarding. Turnaround time on loan decisioning is expected to be significantly reduced.
·         Scale up adoption of e-signatures in regular contracting, credit processing etc.
·         Deploy relief measures through the cluster development programme - targeted attention at high risk, high priority, high demand sectors.
·         Artificial intelligence driven risk modelling and scenario planning for financial institutions
·         De-risk supply chain and manage inventory through blockchain based supply chain management programs. Businesses with available warehouses can list them for inventory management and provide logistic support for sectors like pharmaceutical and FMCG as they have seen an exponential rise in demand.
·         The Government of India has already appealed to MSMEs producing medical and other essential products to register and sell in the Government’s e-market place. This can be expanded to other sectors as well to restore operations and meet local supply and demand requirements.

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