DBS Bank India has joined hands with social enterprise Haqdarshak to enable recovery of Indian businesses through Haqdarshak’s newly launched platform, which offers access to MSME-focused government-assisted schemes across the country.
Due to the slowdown triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, business owners needed support to tide through the uncertainty and build resilience. This was particularly true for small and medium scale enterprises, which were the worst affected. Recognising this, Haqdarshak developed a new platform for MSME-focused government welfare schemes, covering registrations, documentation and applications for financing.
In 2018, Haqdarshak received DBS Foundation’s annual Social Enterprise (SE) Grant for their citizen-focused platform. In 2020, just like other businesses, social ventures were struggling to meet their impact and financial goals during the pandemic. In an effort to stand by their supported enterprises in this difficult time, DBS Foundation constituted a Business Transformation and Improvement (BTI) Grant to provide additional funding to the past grant awardees, so that these enterprises could protect jobs, as well as pivot in search of new income streams. Haqdarshak received funding under the DBS Foundation BTI Grant, earlier this year, ultimately empowering them to continue serving their beneficiaries and the wider MSME community.
Haqdarshak’s first platform was designed to ensure that citizens can access and apply for government and private welfare schemes. With COVID-19 and the introduction of various MSME-focused government relief measures, Haqdarshak identified this as an opportunity to provide application support services to business owners for availing the right schemes. DBS Foundation’s BTI grant of INR 2.7 million enabled Haqdarshak to expand into this segment. The new platform provides information around government schemes such as SIDBI Loan Scheme for MSMEs, Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme, Prime Minister Street vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi Yojana, etc. With this initiative, Haqdarshak aims to reach 100,000 MSMEs and support 1 million jobs annually.
Speaking about the partnership with Haqdarshak for the MSME offering, Sudarshan Chari, Head- Business Banking, DBS Bank India said, “At DBS, we are committed to empowering MSMEs to unlock new opportunities. We have introduced initiatives that complement the government’s relief measures and support businesses that have been impacted by disruptions arising due to COVID-19. Haqdarshak’s differentiated model addresses a critical gap in the delivery of welfare schemes, servicing as a one-stop solution for MSMEs to access the right government-assisted schemes. We believe that the proposition will benefit them tremendously in their road to recovery.”
Aniket Doegar, CEO and Co-founder, Haqdarshak Empowerment Solutions Private Limited said, “Over the last three years, Haqdarshak has reached over 4 lakh families and helped ease their access to government welfare programs. COVID-19 has hit small businesses the most with loss in revenue, and a cash flow crunch. With our MSME-focused service, we intend to help these business access financing and other welfare services which the government has designed. DBS has been our supporter through this journey, and with their expertise and leadership in the MSME segment, we hope to scale up faster and better with this partnership.”
With the pandemic adversely impacting MSMEs, DBS Bank India has also enhanced its support measures for this segment. The initiatives enable them to augment working capital, meet operational liabilities and navigate their businesses through the current crisis. In India, DBS Bank has prioritised boosting credit accesses to businesses, especially during the lockdown, by leveraging its online credit solutions platform- DBS Digital Business Loans. It has also been offering the ”Guaranteed Emergency Credit Line’ scheme in line with the government’s COVID-19 relief efforts.
Shoma Narayanan, Executive Director – Group Strategic Marketing & Communications, DBS Bank India added, “At DBS, being purpose-driven is at the core of all our operations and we are passionate about maximising the impact of social enterprises that positively influence lives and livelihoods. We are inspired by the work done by Haqdarshak for bolstering government efforts towards the MSME community. We hope that our partnership benefits these businesses, accelerating their recovery and growth in these challenging times.”
DBS has been committed to championing social entrepreneurship and has backed innovators that are addressing social and environmental issues through commercially viable business models. Through DBS Foundation, the bank has been supporting enterprises in fulfilling their social and business mission by providing funding, mentorship and access to its expertise in business and digital transformation.