Webinar on Navigating COVID19: Accessing Finance through CBILS for your Business

London: The High Commission of India in the UK, in partnership with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) and India Professional Forum (IPF), organised a webinar on ‘Navigating COVID19: Accessing Finance through CBILS for your business’ for the Indian Diaspora Small Businesses, Startups, Professionals in the UK as well as UK businesses in the UK India business corridor.

The session aimed to discuss the issues and challenges with regards to CBIL scheme for small businesses. The session also explored non-banking options for obtaining funding under the CBIL scheme. The webinar was attended by over 60 Indian business representatives across sectors like financial services, healthcare, IT & IT services, trading, and business services.

Ms Ruchi Ghanashyam, High Commissioner of India to the UK said, “The pandemic presents and undoubtedly very challenging period in our lives, though we must try and navigate these challenges safely.”

“We are finding new ways of working and organising efforts with businesses with new technologies and the Economic team of the High Commission stands ready to assist businesses from across the UK,” she added.

Lord Karan Bilimoria, said, “It’s not a fight between health and wealth. Impatience cannot be confused with recklessness and restarting the economy has to be done very carefully to avoid another lockdown.”

He further added, “We are starting to look ahead to see how to come out the crisis, and at the CBI we refer to the three phases of restart, revival and renewal. We need a sustainable restart based on clear scientific evidence.”

The webinar was followed by a panel discussion on Accessing Finance through CBILS for Small & Medium Businesses. While moderating the panel Dr Mohan Kaul, President, India Professional Forum said, “This webinar is a part of a number of joint initiatives to assist Indian diaspora businesses to continue to succeed and play an important role in strengthening the UK economy.’

The Panel Members included, Mr Sharad Chandak, Regional Director, SBI & CEO, SBI UK; Ms Katrin Herrling, CEO & Co-founder, Funding Exchange; Mr Ben Davey, CEO, Barclays Ventures; Mr Deepesh Thakrar, Senior Director, Debt Finance, OakNorth. The panel discussed about the CBILS in detail and responded to queries and questions of the participants at length.

Mr Ben Davey, CEO, Barclays Ventures said, “SMEs are the heart of our economy – the government has recognised that through the range of support schemes now available and the banking industry has an important role to play in supporting SMEs in accessing those funds”

Mr Rishi Khosla, Co-founder and Group CEO of OakNorth shared on message, “This crisis may be as bad or even worse than 2008. There will be many businesses that were strong, profitable, healthy businesses before the pandemic which will now be struggling to survive. We are trying to find ways to support these businesses and help them through this extremely difficult time. We want to look back on this and know that as a society, we came together to support one another, to help the vulnerable, and to protect SMEs. If we get that right, it will be a great learning for generations to come.”