Portfolio Partner Profile
Since 2011, IntelleGrow (Ashv Finance) has been providing critical and affordable loans to India's small and growing social enterprises to secure their growth and amplify their impact. India has the 2nd largest number of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the world, which play a key economic role in employing close to 40% of India’s workforce. However, the lack of financing prevents them from growing and is even cited as the main reason for going out of business. Most traditional lenders typically engage in traditional collateral-based lending to enterprises operating in established industries and require at least three years of profitable track record. IntelleGrow addresses these gaps by providing customized financing solutions using flexible repayment schedules linked to cash flows to fast growing early-stage enterprises. IntelleGrow's lending portfolio is approximately $20mm with loans that range from $100k to $1 million, an average loan size of around $300k, and an average loan term of about two years. The organization has grown quickly and has already made loans to over 60 companies in India. IntelleGrow's portfolio companies work in healthcare, agriculture, water and sanitation, and financial inclusion. IntelleGrow is a part of a new and growing field of SME lenders in India responding to the gap in the demand for debt financing for small and medium businesses shut out of mainstream bank financing because of a lack of traditional collateral.
Featured Impact Story
Shree Kamdhenu Electronics Pvt. Ltd.
Shree Kamdhenu Electronics Pvt. Ltd. (SKEPL) provides automated solutions for the dairy industry. The company was founded to improve the efficiency of milk collection from farmers. With increasing sales and demand from corporate customers, the company was looking at tripling its sales in the next three years. The company needed financial support, mainly to meet working capital requirements for the orders received from various milk unions. The company focused initial efforts at getting loans from private sector banks, but their stringent conditions did not allow the company to get the loans in a timely manner to cover the working capital requirements. This constraint was crucial for a small and growing company that had to service orders on time to gain customer traction. But an Intellegrow Finance (IGF) loan provided help. Besides a fast processing time and a flexible process, through its innovative viability-based approach to lending, IGF customized the structure of the loan to suit the cash flows of the company and give Kamdhenu the needed flexibility to service customer demand. “IGF structured our loan to suit our repayment capacity and indeed that helped us to bridge the gap,” says Ujval Parghi, co-founder and Director of Shree Kamdhenu Electronics.
Orb Energy is India’s largest direct solar sales and service company. Orb’s main activities involve the installation and servicing of solar photovoltaic systems for reliable power, solar thermal systems for hot water and lights and appliances for greater energy efficiency. Orb provides solar energy systems to both residential and commercial customers looking for an alternative to an unreliable electricity grid and who want to save money. Orb Energy needed cash to cover increased product demand and to bridge a working capital gap. Given its high-growth profile and the established nature of its business, Orb Energy attracted financing from other financial institutions, both in the form of debt and equity. But the strict conditions imposed by some of the financial institutions for the loans offered to Orb were not suitable for the company to support its cash flows and growth plans. On the other hand, IntelleGrow Finance (IGF) structured its loan in a way that suited Orb’s cash flows and supported the company’s growth trajectory and expansion plans. IGF’s flexibility to adapt the repayment of the loan to Orb’s capabilities proved to be a decisive differentiator from the other sources of finance that were available. “We have approached and received debt as well as equity from other finance providers. But the debt side in India was trickier – the banks here had very difficult security requirements…IGF structured our loan in a way that met our needs” said Damian Miller, CEO of Orb Energy.
Established in 2010, Ganpati Impex from Pune has made a name for itself in the list of top suppliers of Baby Wipes in India. The founder, Mr. Wanhere earlier worked for a wet wipes distributor who imported products from China and sold it in the Indian market. When Mr. Wanhere realised a possibility of manufacturing the substitutes on a small scale, he started his journey as an entrepreneur and started supplying to his former employers.
9 of the 11 employees at the company are females and handle the most critical operations while their male counterparts are only responsible for loading. The company has always managed to encourage its workforce to be self-sufficient through enabling tools to work from home whenever required. Due to the easy manufacturing process, any new employee can learn the job in less than a week.
With about 1-1.25 lakhs sheets of wet wipes manufactured per day, the customers of Ganpati Impex include distributors who rebrand and sell the products and reputed nursing homes. The initial capital was taken from a few banks and relatives. However, because of tedious processes and lengthy documentations, he approached Ashv Finance. The experience with Ashv was new for the company as compared to the traditional processes. Quick and hassle-free documentations with a relatively faster sanctions and disbursement enabled the company to purchase newer machinery in order to facilitate its growth plans.
With an Essential Services status, the company managed to run the operations with limited capacities but ensured salaries to each of the employees during the pandemic. With multi-national companies and imported products dominating the market for wet-wipes, the company is bearing the “Make in India” flag with growth forecasts of minimum 20% at the end of the financial year and expectations of a huge opportunity for similar manufacturers in India.