Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial Studies (EIBFS), a regional leader in banking and finance education and training, hosted the ‘Rethinking SME Lending in the Digital World’ panel, which explored the impact on SME financing due to the advancement of digital technologies.
The insightful session featured Suresh Lalwani, Managing Director & Head of Covearge, Commercial Banking, First Abu Dhabi Bank; Saad Ansari, Co-founder & CEO, Xpence; Umesh Kothari, General Manager VP Consultancy Services and DBA (Researcher), S P Jain School of Global Management, Christopher Kidson, Credit Operations Manager, Spartan (SA) and was moderated Vijit Malik, SME Subject Matter Expert, Director at Nimai Management Consultants and Former EVP & Head Corporate & Institutional Banking at UAB.
During the discussion, the speakers agreed that there is an urgent need to support SMEs and highlighted the various banking and government backed financial schemes available to SMEs in the UAE. The participants also emphasized the increasing role of digital assets in assessing risks, achieving cost optimization and delivering better customer experiences.
Another key point raised was the importance of smoothening the account opening process and increasing the role of incubators to help SMEs and startups become more financially viable and increasing their creditworthiness.
Commenting on the webinar, Jamal Al Jassmi, General Manager of EIBFS said: ” Our webinar today has shed light on the challenges our dynamic SME community faces and ways in which we can mitigate the issues. Today, the UAE government has brought out several initiatives to ensure that SMEs can reel from the impact of the pandemic and contribute to the economic growth of the nation.”
He added: “We are proud to host a session on this important topic and hope that our patrons benefit grateful from the insights.”