SME Times News Bureau | 04 Dec, 2022
In an exclusive interview with SME Times, Mr.
Nitin Sharma, MD, CPO, at CredAble (UpScale) said that India's small and medium-sized
businesses (SMEs) are able to compete with their counterparts around the world
because they are digitalizing all of their financial operations, not just
Excerpts of the interview…
- Please tell our readers about yours & UpScale’s entrepreneurial
My entrepreneurial journey started in 2014, when I
joined Snapdeal’s technology team. This was the first time I joined a
startup after working with large MNCs. I realized right away how important
it is to get big plans done as soon as possible. The pace, and the thrill
were infectious, of course, but more importantly, it also helped me
realize the sense of purpose through entrepreneurship when I saw Snapdeal
scale 10x during my tenure there.
I pursued my MBA soon after. Post-MBA, I started my own venture (in the
hyperlocal discovery space) and acquired several of my current
entrepreneurial skills in the next 2 years.
Early in 2017, I met Nirav and Ram, who wanted to build a disruptive
platform for India Inc. to access working capital financing. Thus, since
day 0 of CredAble, I’ve been building the product and technology teams
alongside having other responsibilities, and five years down the road,
we're now India’s largest working capital technology platform.
I’ve been a part of the CredAble
journey, where from our very first customer we grew to a 3,00,000+
customer base that also includes 150+ of India’s largest enterprises and 30+
banking partnerships. We are now a Series B-funded startup with over 200
If the last 5.5 years have taught me
anything, it is that entrepreneurship requires perseverance and a group of
smart, passionate people with a problem solving mindset to build a business
that creates a lasting impact.
This is also exactly how UpScale was launched a year ago. Our exposure and
expertise in the business ecosystem helped us understand the challenges our
SMEs face. It pushed us to build this unique application that not only connects
credit and cashflow management together but also helps in the digital
transformation movement that is now defining the next decade for SMEs in India.
- What services do you provide and what is your competitive
UpScale by CredAble is a unique business application that
combines the three pillars of business growth - credit, payments, and trade
The app is available to any business owner with a smartphone and an internet
connection. That’s all a business requires to access UpScale and use its
powerful features, like GST and E-Invoice creation, B2B payment solutions like
automated payment reminders, online collections and reconciliation, vendor verification
and management, etc.
We’re also the only application that has over 30 banking partnerships to help
SME owners access working capital in various forms - secured and unsecured
business loans, invoice discounting, Buy Now Pay Later programs, etc.
However, our uniqueness lies not only in the powerful features but also in the
fact that these features were conceptualized, designed, and built keeping in
mind SMEs first, which has given us a competitive advantage and earned us the
trust of our customers.
- How UpScale
is a growth partner for SMEs and Financial Growth?
Unlike other applications that try to solve a
specific problem, UpScale by CredAble looks at the key indicators of holistic
growth, i.e., timely access to working capital, a seamless flow of financial
information and operations, and a growing platform to encourage and support B2B
Our experience at CredAble has taught us that only
when a business has the right solution to the above, can it see unprecedented
That’s exactly what UpScale brings to the table. It is far from just another
business application with a list of features. Rather, it is the right solution
for businesses to scale.
As of today, only 16% of Indian MSMEs have formal
access to credit. Our mission at UpScale is to bridge this massive credit gap
of USD 350 BN.
of payments in assisting India's SMEs growth ladder. Your views?
India's small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are
able to compete with their counterparts around the world because they are
digitalizing all of their financial operations, not just payments.
With the UPI revolution and its rapid growth, India has been the frontrunner of
In the lending space, it is going to pave the way
again with OCEN, a revolutionary technology that helps lenders connect and
disburse loans seamlessly to the last-mile borrower.
As a product from CredAble, UpScale is one of the
few platforms in India that uses OCEN technology to help lenders find
credit-worthy borrowers and help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) get
instant business credit.
fintechs are leveraging the technology and helping in digital lending?
According to a report by the FinTech
Association for Consumer Empowerment (FACE), there has been a 149% growth in loans disbursed from Rs. 65.56 lakhs during Q2 FY22 to Rs.
162.95 lakhs during Q2 FY23.
A credit expansion like this shows how
financial technology can be used to take advantage of opportunities that
weren't being used before through digital lending. As the demand for business
loans grew 1.6 times higher than the pre-pandemic levels, both the government
and lenders opted for the digital route to ease access to working capital.
FinTechs like UpScale and CredAble, at large,
are helping financial institutions with connecting with borrowers, structuring
their credit profiles, and facilitating seamless disbursements. Thanks to the
power of artificial intelligence and machine learning, giving credit has become
more efficient (manual mistakes are less likely) and open to more people.
are the challenges UpScale has faced and has overcome in the fintech
As a nascent product, the first year of UpScale has been
challenging but very, very interesting.
Our UpScale family is growing by the day, from our first users on
November 10, 2021 to more than 250,000 users on the platform today.
We’ve seen our fair share of challenges. Specifically, in terms of
understanding the users’ requirements and tweaking the product accordingly.
We’ve been fortunate enough to receive feedback from both our users and
partners, who have helped us make our product a holistic solution for business
- Please tell about your future plans.
The next year
will be a very crucial one for us at UpScale. We’re looking towards expanding
our B2B trade marketplace with the sole intention of helping businesses find
verified vendor/suppliers and a trusted platform to do B2B transactions.
Apart from that,
we’re closely monitoring the new regulations concerning SMEs announced by the
Government of India and RBI, and building features like E-Invoicing solutions
to help them be on par with the rules and regulations.