The biggest roadblock faced by the B2B space in India is the late payments. In an economy where SMEs attribute more than 45% in value terms and 99% in numbers, a business getting timely payment from another has become a challenge. Late payments acts as an interest free funding to other businesses and is an early warning indicator for the non-payments (BAD DEBTS) or partial settlements.
If a business can get paid 30 days sooner, that’s almost 10 percent more money in your pocket per annum, which could be used to reduce debt or to reinvest in the business.
Bad debts not only wipes away the revenues but also a part of your business profits earned from others. Most business owners spent their valuable time following up on a payment rather than on growth strategies.
Deepanjan says, “Lawyers suggest you to write off bad debts because it’s too costly and time consuming affair to pursue. Debtors know this fact, and continue not paying, knowing most creditors won’t initiate legal battle against them.”
With no recourse to recover debts and no way to get credit information on companies, Deepanjan found a product-market fit for Debtors Watch, a platform he created not only for SME’s but for businesses of any size.
Debtors Watch is India’s first web based interactive portal that helps businesses to report trade defaults, perform credit checks and monitor their customer’s credit worthiness on an ongoing basis. It is helping hundreds of businesses across the country to check the past defaults made by their customers (on case to case basis).
“Like CIBIL, where financial institutions report the defaults of their borrowers; the data for which is used by other lending institutions for doing credit checks; DW, allows businesses to report trade defaults against any business,” says Deepanjan. This data is then used by other users to do the credit checks on their customers. Apart from the user generated content, DW also gives access to its subscribers of the data aggregated by it from Ministry of Company Affairs (MCA) and courts and tribunal judgments. A subscriber can add a list of their customers to their watch-list to monitor credit worthiness of the customer on an ongoing basis.
Reporting of bad debts on DW is free, fast and simple. Businesses can report bad debts with a couple of clicks by uploading documents supporting their claim. DW’s database is available to its registered members, hence reporting of a bad debt will encourage companies to pay the amount owed by them in order to resolve the defaults reported against them. Deepanjan says, “When a customer rings to say their customer has agreed to pay after reporting a default on DW, it’s immensely satisfying”. Considering this fact DW also allows, customers to ‘put a response’ or ‘Agree to Pay’ for the defaults reported against them. Eventually it allows reporter to close the default, if he chooses to do so.
The platform has got an overwhelming response since its launch. The vision of helping businesses prevent bad debts and improve their cash flows have even attracted some of the banks and NBFC’s. These financial institutions check DW database before granting any loans and also as an early warning indicator for potential bank defaults.
With access to credit information about their customers online, anytime, anywhere, businesses now can take more informed decisions before giving any credit.
To find out more, visit www.debtorswatch.com on how it works.