The growth of our economy depends on several factors and the Small and MediumEnterprises (SMEs) surely play a great role in it. India is a vast nation; hence theimpact of small and medium enterprises has been immense on our economy. Actually a largepart of Indian population is composed of aspiring entrepreneurs and they form the base forthe Indian economy. However the Indian SME sector has suffered from differentlimitations. The biggest problem that the SMEs face is the availability of finance whichprevents them from growing at a much faster rate.
The sudden decrease in cash flow after the demonetisation last year affected the smalland medium enterprises considerably. And it was reflected clearly by the depression of GDPin the first quarter of 2017. At Intec we are dedicated to help the SMEs financially. Asa reputed Non-Banking Finance Corporation we have been helping the small and mediumcompanies for over 22 years to great a solid financial ground. Hence we are committed toprovide maximum financial assistance to these SME's so that can recover from the slowdownand get back on their growth journey.
Government data showed the gross domestic product grew 7.1% in the full financial year2016-17 slower than 8% recorded in the previous year. The first quarter of the financialyear started strong with
7.9% increase in GDP but this slowed down to 7.5% in Quarter 2 and 7 in Quarter 3. Thiswas largely due to the external factors such as devaluing of Chinese Yuan tightening ofthe United States interest rates and slowdown in global economies to name a few. Theeconomic growth in the last quarter of the year reduced to 6.1 percent; 1.5 percent lessin comparison to the statistics of last year. This was mainly due to the demonetizationeffect which affected the whole economic environment of India. The cash flow mismatch wasa big problem for the SME sector and some industries have still not been able to recover.
Large industries were badly affected due to demonetisation and slow growth in demand.Some of the big industries were unable to meet their financial commitments and resulted inbecoming Non Performing Assets in the balance sheets of the banks associated with them. Asa result this trouble was then passed on to the SME sector. Struggling SME's were one ofthe major reasons for additional increase in stressed financial assets and this can beseen in balance sheets of all major SME- focused banks and NBFC's
Additional turmoil was created in the SME sector due to an air of confusion developedwith the introduction of GST in order to reform the Indian Tax System. Hopefully in thelong term it will actually help the SMEs to grow. The economists across the world havewelcomed this step as an optimistic approach towards the development of the small andmedium enterprises which in turn will help in the growth of domestic GDP.
The economic growth of any country depends on the development of its SME sector. InIndia the small and medium scale industries are struggling. But they are now shedding ofthe baggage that they have been carrying the last year. We hope to see significant growthin the SME sector this year. Thus accelerating the growth of GDP! If the reports of theCentral Government are to be trusted then the SME sector will increase its contributionto the growth by 4% within the next 3 to 4 years. However there is still a lot to achieveand there are still so many reforms to come in this sector. With the implementation ofthose reforms the Indian economy will surely secure a top position in the world.
This year was tough year for Intec. We saw a multitude of changes in the company. Ourfocus shifted from Sales to Collections. We have made a significant effort to resolve theNPA problem that we have in our balance sheet. There was a major expansion in ourcollection team. Until this problem is resolved we cannot get on our path to growth again.
Strengthening our legal efforts was also a huge focus to help in the resolution of ourstressed assets. The legal team and systems were significantly enhanced to ensure fasterrecovery. We have seen the effect of the legal strengthening in the last quarter of thefiscal year.
Cost was a huge part of this year's initiative and we have achieved high success in ourendeavour. We have reduced a significant part of our cost to ensure there is build-up ofcapital in the company and ensure higher profitability.
We at Intec are totally in sync with the "Digital India" initiative. We havetaken many steps to make our contribution towards this initiative one of them being thelaunch of our online payment gateway. This has greatly benefitted both the customer andthe company. It has made payments more secure and convenient ensuring transparency in thewhole ecosystem. We have recorded an average collection of 80% from Jan- March quarter andreduced our physical collection to 20%.
As mentioned in the earlier report technology is the way forward and to ensure that wehave digitalized and automated many of our internal processes. This has resulted in a 29%increase in efficiency in the whole organization and has resulted in major cost benefits.Our credit underwriting has also been automated and have introduced many new processes andgot rid of all redundant and time consuming activities.
We are in a VUCA (volatile uncertain complex and ambiguous) world. There is a lot ofstiff competition in this world. The only way to be ahead is to be fast.
To ensure the success of any organization in this world is to continuously adaptyourself to the ever changing world we live in. We at Intec are trying to change theexisting products and innovate new ones to make sure we are able to come back as theleader in SME finance. We are committed to making as many finance option available tothese SME's.
This year as well there will a huge focus on cost without comprising the quality of ourmanpower or any of our services and there will also be continued focus on the resolutionof NPA in this year. We plan to get on the growth journey as soon as possible.
Technology has been and will be one of our main focus key areas for this year. The newfocus on adhaar card by the Indian government will really help in achieving higherefficiency. The introduction of E-kyc and E-sign is what we want to achieve this year. Ourfocus will be making sure our point of sales and all customer interactions are automatedfor maximum customer convenience.
On behalf of Intec and the Board of Directors I would hereby like to extend my respectand gratitude to our shareholders customers bankers and all business partners whocontinue to support us and place their trust in us.