The Role of Credit Rating Agencies in Addressing Gaps in Micro and Small Enterprise Financing: The Case of India
A credit risk database containing data on micro, small, and medium-sized enterprise lending and credit ratings is essential to help lenders make informed credit decisions.
We describe the common financing challenges faced by micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in India and some important measures taken to address them, with a focus on the credit rating scheme implemented in 2000. We examine the usefulness as well as the limitations of the scheme, drawing on interviews with rating agencies and MSMEs. With credit rating being an expensive exercise, the availability of government subsidies under the scheme has been an important factor in encouraging MSMEs to get themselves rated, thereby reducing information asymmetry with banks and enabling access to credit. Given the large number of unbanked MSMEs in the country, leveraging the data generated by MSME lending and credit rating in the country through the creation of a credit risk database is necessary. Lenders will then be able to tap into the collective data generated to make more informed credit decisions with regard to MSMEs without relying on subsidies.
Over 63 million micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises in India generate lending and credit rating data. How can lenders leverage these to make informed credit decisions?