"Our monthly disbursal run-rate is Rs 100 crore-plus now and we hope to maintain this growth rate going forward. By March we are sure to have a loan book north of Rs 1,000 crore," Shachindra Nath, chairman&managing director said.
Cashing in on the credit crisis, SME-focused non-banking lender Ugro Capital, which sits over nearly Rs 1,000 crore of growth capital with zero debt, plans to close the fiscal with a Rs 1,000-crore loan book, up from around Rs 280 crore in the June quarter. For the quarter to June, the city-based NBFC had a loan book of Rs 276 crore, up from Rs 64 crore in the March quarter–its first quarter of operations, but since then it has been on a faster clip, selling Rs 400 crore loans by July.
“Our monthly disbursal run-rate is Rs 100 crore-plus now and we hope to maintain this growth rate going forward. By March we are sure to have a loan book north of Rs 1,000 crore,” Shachindra Nath, chairman&managing director told PTI. His optimism comes from the liquidity crunch in the system where large players are unable to lend as they are dogged by liquidity crisis as banks keep away from them following the collapse of IL&FS and its ripple effect.
Ugro, which focuses on SMEs across eight high potential sectors like auto components, chemicals, electrical equipment, light engineering, food processing & FMCG, hospitality, healthcare and education, began commercial operations this January after buying out the publicly-traded NBFC Chokhani Securities in July 2018. Since then Nath, the ex-group chief executive of Religare, has raised over Rs 950 crore in equity capital from a diversified set of institutional investors including large private equity funds like PAG, Sameena Capital, NewQuest, ADV, public market funds like IndGrowth and Abakkus Capital, insurance firms like PNB MetLife and HNIs/family offices. He said Ugro does not need any capital at the least for the next 12 months as it is well capitalised.
“As and when we raise debt, we will tap the NCD route as the A-rating from Acuite Rating we will be able to tap the debt market sometime down the line,” he said. On a loan book of Rs 276 crore in the June quarter, it reported a marginal loss of over Rs 1 crore, which Nath said not because of bad assets and sounded confident of clocking profit from the ongoing quarter.
The company has customer base of over 560 and had no overdues/NPAs in June as most of its loans are secured. The stock of Ugro, which last week appointed Navin Puri, ex-country head of branch banking at HDFC Bank, as an independent director, closed 4.4 percent down on BSE Friday at Rs 181.60.