OneNDF Helps SMEs Understand Their Financial Health and Offers Tailor-Made Loan Solutions

Onendf Helps Smes Understand Their Financial Health

In a Nutshell: Great ideas often emanate from experience. In his stint in retail lending at India’s Standard Chartered Bank, Nitin Khandelwal noticed entrepreneurs were typically passive in dealing with financial institutions, accepting burdensome loan terms with little question. In 2013, Khandelwal created New Delhi Financial, a consultancy to coach and introduce businesses to more advantageous financing. New Delhi Financial became OneNDF in 2021. The OneNDF platform helps thousands of Indian entrepreneurs understand the importance of financial health and the role it plays in getting access to timely credit on good terms. OneNDF fuels innovation and growth in India.

About a decade ago, India was the world’s 10th-largest economy. But things are changing fast.

As of January 2024, India’s GDP was $3.7 trillion, the fifth-largest in the world. By 2027, the Indian Ministry of Finance projects GDP to rise to $5 trillion, the third highest worldwide. By 2030, the ministry anticipates GDP to be $7 trillion. The government’s goal is to achieve developed-nation status by 2047.

Economic integration is at the heart of these transformations. GDP rises as India knocks down barriers to achieve greater global economic integration. What’s happening inside the country is just as crucial as local micro-economies, unorganized sectors, and financial systems coalesce and formalize to create ever-larger synergies.

OneNDF logo

A liberalizing financial sector helps India shed the habits of the colonial past. The small-business lending marketplace OneNDF has put itself at the forefront of Indian economic liberalization by proactively reaching out to the country’s massive informal sector and connecting it to 90+ leading banks and fintechs ready to fuel entrepreneurship and drive change. OneNDF brings borrowers and lenders together on a common platform, creating a comprehensive ecosystem that streamlines the loan acquisition process.

It’s an essential mission in light of the enormous credit gap in the Indian economy. Despite the last decade’s progress, most businesses lack a credit score or other metrics to qualify for traditional bank loans. Nitin Khandelwal, OneNDF’s founder, said it’s a measure of how far India has to go to reach its 2047 goal.

“India has 60-62 million registered SMEs, but only 14% have access to formal credit — the rest borrow from high-cost regional rural banks or unorganized sources,” Khandelwal said. “We help these new-to-credit borrowers become eligible for access.”

Empowering borrowers is the aim. OneNDF includes many resources aimed at enhancing financial literacy among business owners. The platform has dispensed more than $350 million to help more than 2,000 businesses succeed.

“Empowerment gives you the capacity to make informed decisions,” Khandelwal said.

Matching Businesses with 90+ Leading Lenders

OneNDF products can play an important role in helping India achieve its GDP goals. Tailored business loans with competitive interest rates allow founders and entrepreneurs to maintain cash flow, manage financial requirements, and scale by covering salaries, inventory, and expansion.

The OneNDF Marketplace focuses on working capital loans fund day-to-day operations, including procurement, overhead expenses, and supplier advances. Loans against property employ corporate capital as collateral and carry a tax benefit.

All users undergo the same seamless, transparent application process. The first step is registration and profile creation, which involves filling out basic information about the business, including the nature of the operation and the tax number. The profile helps OneNDF understand unique business needs and tailor lending options accordingly.

OneNDF loan matches
OneNDF matches applications with 90+ lenders.

Users then specify the amount and purpose of the loan. The platform is capable of assessing and meeting OpEx and CapEx needs. OneNDF pulls documentation via API from public digital infrastructure and major credit bureaus, including TransUnion CIBIL, Experian, Equifax, and CRIF High Mark. The platform authenticates credit reports, income tax payments, GST (goods and services tax), and bank financials.

The matching process then begins. OneNDF’s proprietary matching technology evaluates borrowers’ financial profiles and requirements and connects them to lenders best suited to meet their needs. Banks, fintechs, and other financial institutions offer competitive terms based on business requirements and cash flow.

Finally, users receive multiple offers and pick the loan best suited to their operational goals. Each offer includes critical details such as the loan amount, interest rate, and additional fees. Borrowers compare offers on the OneNDF platform using tools to highlight the differences and help them make an informed decision.

“We assess your credit profile, data, and creditors, and our underwriting algorithm recommends a financial product,” Khandelwal said. “We understand where the gap is and offer you relevant solutions.”

Financial Health Card Assesses Creditworthiness

Khandelwal founded OneNDF with a singular mission: to empower borrowers. He observed that many small and medium enterprises lacked an understanding of the complexities involved in business loans.

Typically, when in need of funds, these businesses would simply approach a bank, a lender, or a loan agent and leave the details to these professionals.

Essentially, entrepreneurs allowed themselves to accept the lenders’ terms. In India, traditional lenders commonly place conditions on loans, including insurance requirements or pre-closing charges, that increase the cost without increasing the utility.

OneNDF Financial Health Card
Financial Health Card reports on creditworthiness according to several benchmarks.

To solve the problem, Khandelwal started New Delhi Financial as a brick-and-mortar financial consultancy in 2013. OneNDF evolved from New Delhi Financial to expand the consultancy’s reach and effectiveness.

Because they are unbanked or underbanked, most new-to-credit loan applicants in India lack a credit score. They must prove their creditworthiness by other means.

These entrepreneurs are also likely unfamiliar with some financial requirements for obtaining credit. Through its financial health card, OneNDF helps these non-fundable small businesses understand their place in the system.

The OneNDF financial health card is a comprehensive and personalized creditworthiness report with a risk outlook, recommendations, and actionable insights to help improve business viability and performance. It’s akin to a credit score but more extensive.

Delivered through the OneNDF platform, the easy-to-understand card assesses various aspects of the businesses’ financial health, such as cash flow, debt ratios, profitability, credit history, and payment behavior. The aim is to provide a snapshot that helps business owners understand where they stand financially and what actions they can take to improve their situation.

“The financial health card highlights critical financial metrics and provides benchmarks against industry standards, allowing business owners to see how they compare to peers and identify potential areas of risk or opportunity,” Khandelwal said.

Leveling the Playing Field for New-to-Credit Customers

That’s why OneNDF prioritizes financial education — it understands that spreading knowledge is the only way to extend penetration.

“We see no second option,” Khandelwal said. “We believe knowledgeable entrepreneurs are the foundation of a robust economy.”

OneNDF includes various resources aimed at enhancing financial literacy among business owners. These include webinar workshops, articles, guides, one-on-one financial counseling, and interactive financial calculators. OneNDF resources also include budgeting tools and scenario analysis software so business owners can plan and forecast more effectively and feel empowered to make good decisions.

Nitin Khandelwal
Nitin Khandelwal is OneNDF’s founder.

The financial health card aims to shift the negotiating power from the lender to the borrower. It’s like a school report card the borrower uses to negotiate, Khandelwal said.

OneNDF customers are delighted with the results. Much work remains for India to reach its 2047 GDP goal. But India’s economy is in sound hands with financial partners such as OneNDF, which aims to extend credit benefits to more new-to-credit customers.

Feedback is an essential component of OneNDF’s operational model. The firm believes continuous learning from its clients’ experiences helps refine its services. Its approach to collecting feedback is multifaceted and designed to capture a wide range of insights.

Post-transaction surveys roll out to clients after they complete their transactions. Regular check-ins from the founder’s desk ask whether there is anything OneNDF can improve about the experience. Five-star ratings on popular review platforms attest that dedication to customer service is paramount.

On the horizon is an AI-powered chatbot capable of translating between the eight most used Indian languages — no small feat in a nation with hundreds of languages and dialects. OneNDF also continuously works on its network to ensure a seamless experience.

“Money solves money problems,” Khandelwal said. “We’re a platform for efficient debt financing negotiation.”