This framework, which has been developed in consultation with ICTA, the banking industry and tech industry representatives as well as angel investors, will be adopted by lenders when lending to tech companies with the need for minimal collateral.
Sri Lanka’s Information Technology and Business Process Management sector has shown a strong performance over the past decade, having grown 108% compared to 2013 with a CAGR of 13% to reach US$ 1.5 Bn in revenue in 2019, thus making it the country’s 4th largest exporter. The industry’s workforce too grew by 51% during the same period reaching a total of 113,561 professionals.
Channa Manoharan, COO and Advisory Leader at PwC stated “PwC has a firsthand understanding of the challenges faced by technology entrepreneurs from the firm’s deep involvement in the technology start-up ecosystem. Having thoroughly understood the objectives set by ICTA, PwC developed the new credit evaluation framework that is both unique and practical in a local context.”
The new credit evaluation framework has been built around four pillars; Quality of leadership and management, Market landscape, Potential of the product or service offering and financial soundness of the borrower.
The framework that PwC developed focused on helping lenders understand the quality of the product or service offered by the business, capabilities of the promoters and future growth potential of the business to make a lending decision. Another primary difference is that most existing credit models used in the banking industry has a higher weightage given for past financial performance.
Kavinda Weerakoon, Director – Deals at PwC Sri Lanka, added, “Technology enterprises are generally underserved by banks which create a funding gap for these businesses. We are optimistic that this framework will act as a catalyst for lending institutions to provide flexible and innovative financing facilities to develop high-impact, technology-driven sectors of the economy.
He further said that the model encourages lending institutions to have a deeper understanding of the dynamics of the borrower’s business and its industry.
Malinda Boyagoda, Partner – Industry Leader for Financial Services at PwC Sri Lanka states, “Financiers are well aware of the potential the start-up tech companies possess in the current economic landscape of the country. However, the traditional credit risk assessments and thinking has kept this sector largely untapped.”
“This combined effort by ICTA and PwC will provide a fresh perspective in looking at these funding opportunities which I believe is a great opportunity to Banks as well as non-bank lending institutions.”