Home Interviews Ajay Thakur: Head-BSE SME & Start up

Ajay Thakur: Head-BSE SME & Start up

by Surendra Sharma - Jun 01, 2020

A professional with around 26 years of experience in Capital Market spanning India’s biggest Custodian to India’s biggest and largest Stock Exchange. He is one of the most important pillar in establishing the capital market for SME & Start up in India.

He is credited for launching the first ever SME Platform and Startup Platform in India on 13th March, 2012 and 22 December, 2018 respectively. BSE today is the largest SME Platform in India with 322 companies listed and 55 companies are in pipeline. These 322 companies listed represent 17 sectors which has raised an amount of Rs. 3318.08 crores with market capitalization of Rs. 18,528.71 crores. As of today there are 5 Startups listed at BSE Startup Platform which has raised 22.5 crores with market capitalization Rs. 72 crores. There are another 5 Startups which are in pipeline to get listed. The success of these platforms has been recognized and appreciated by national and international organizations.  

BSE has signed MOU with various State Government viz Government of Uttar Pradesh, Government of West Bengal and Government of Haryana to create awareness about BSE SME and Startup Platform. BSE has also signed MOU with HDFC Bank to create awareness about BSE Startup Platform.
 
Sir what are the benefits of SME listing on BSE SME / BSE Startup platform?

There are various benefits of BSE SME / BSE Startup listing in country. 
a. Fund raising by equity dilution for capex requirement or working capital requirement etc.
b. By equity infusion in the company the B/S becomes strong, it would help the company to  raise the debt at lower cost and get the benefits of growth.
c. The credibility of the promoters increases many folds, because the transparency comes into the company and also compliances are being done.
d. Increases the visibility of the company, as it is trades on the exchange. The company gets exposure in domestic as well as in the international market.
e. Equity can be considered as currency as it trades on the exchange. The promoters can go for further fund raising till the company is listed in BSE
f. Equity becomes collateral in the hands of promoters, may be after 3 to 4 years in case the promoter does not want to dilute, he can still use it as a collateral and raise debt funds.
g. The promoter can also reward his best employees with ESOP option. 
h. It also help in unlocking the value of the company, as it is listed and traded on the Exchange.

What are the major differences between new and old listing criteria?
As we all know today India is going through unprecedented crisis and because of lockdown there has been negative impact on balance sheets of MSMEs. In order to help MSMEs in raising funds through SME Platform of BSE, we have relaxed the eligibility criteria as follows:
1. The net tangible assets requirement has been reduced from Rs3 cr to  Rs1.5 cr. 
2. The net positive cash flow requirement has been reduced from 2 years to 1 year out of the last 3 financial years.
Change in definition of MSME will help companies to fund raising?
Yes, it going to help due as the investment in plant and machinery has been increased to Rs 20Crs. Also, as per new definition it has been kept the same for services sector. This will help in bringing more companies under the net of MSMEs which will help many MSME to connect with banks or capital market for fund raising.  

Is this the right time for the going for SME listing.

I think definitely this time is challenging, but if company have good fundamental and growth prospect with proper showcasing of the business to the investors then there is no challenge in any market. My view is if the business is good then market will part in the growth.

What will be benefits of the Rs. 50,000 crore equity infusion through MSME Fund of Funds?

This is one of the best steps taken by our current government, which was much awaited. Once the fine print will come, we will be in a position to give more details. It is quite evident that there is lot of focus of the government on MSME.

How a company who is going for the listing can avail this equity infusion benefits?

The policy document has said that the fund will be investing into the equity of the growth-oriented companies. So, there are fair chances that the investment will be also be done through the stock exchange root.

Can existing listed companies can avail this benefits?

Once we get the fine prints only then I will be in a position to give clarity on this.

Anything else you want to add.

The government has been extensively working for the upliftment of MSMEs being the backbone of the economy. As Exchange it's also our role to support government initiatives and help MSMEs in their growth. We have provided SME and Startup Patform and we desire that most of the MSMEs avail the benefits of listing. I am happy to inform that even during the lockdown period three SMEs and one Startup got listed on SME and Startup Platform respectively.