Under the Patronage of
Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
Mr. Shachindra Nath founded U GRO Capital in 2017 with the vision of solving the $600B SME credit problem in India – a major impediment to both SME growth and financial inclusion. He raised ~$135m USD from a diverse and marquee list of investors, led by four leading private equity firms. In the ensuing time, U GRO has grown to 150 employees across eight branches throughout India. January 2019 saw the commencement of lending operations, since when U GRO has disbursed over ₹ 5 billion across 1000+ customers and has already achieved industry leading turnaround times. U GRO will be launching its proprietary direct digital lending platform in Q3 FY20. Mr. Nath founded U GRO to tackle critical inefficiencies in the market and envisioned a solution incorporating a novel mix of granular knowledge and innovative technology. The core concept of U GRO was not to drastically alter the credit methodology, but rather to augment processes with new technologies, so that customers would have a faster and easier loan application. The granular knowledge aspect allows for better and more specific underwriting and thus lower default rates. Additionally, corporate governance is the bedrock of U GRO and is the primary reason for being a listed company from an early stage. Prior to embarking on his entrepreneurial journey at U GRO, Mr. Nath was a founding member of Religare, an Indian financial services conglomerate. He joined Religare in 2000 when it was a small firm of 10 people, becoming Group CEO in 2010; and grew the company into an integrated financial services organization with US$ 750mn in revenue and over 9,000 people. He is a qualified lawyer from the Banaras Hindu University (India).
14:00 - 15:30
SME Pillar Session 1 - Financing SMEs in the Digital Era
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) account for over 90% of firms worldwide. They are the most significant contributors to employment and generate the majority of jobs in developing economies. SMEs are also a substantial contributor to overall value-added in these economies.
However, SMEs face greater financing obstacles than larger firms—they enjoy less access to external finance and face higher transactions costs and higher risk premiums. Almost 70% of SMEs do not use external financing from financial institutions, and another 15% are underfinanced. The total credit required to finance these SMEs fully is over $2 trillion, equivalent to 14% of total developing economy GDP.
The session will discuss how to finance SMEs in this digital era and what challenges are.