SMERA Aims to be the Most credible Voice for the MSME sector
SME World|July 2021
SMERA Gradings and Rating is a subsidiary of Acuité Ratings & Research Limited and is dedicated to providing SME ratings & grading services to MSMEs. The company launched in 2005 as SME Rating Agency of India Limited, a joint initiative of Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), Dun & Bradstreet Information Services India Private Limited (D&B) and leading public and private sector banks in India. SMERA is possibly world's first SME-focused rating agency. Intending to facilitate easy access to finance for SMEs, SMERA focuses on promoting transparency and reducing information asymmetry.
Nikunj Dube

Nikunj Dube, Head of Operations, SMERA Gradings and Ratings Private Limited, recently interacted with SME WORLD. As Head of Operations, Nikunj is responsible for ratings executions, analytical quality, new product development and thought leadership at SMERA Gradings & Ratings (SGA). With an aggregate experience of over a decade in the credit ratings, financial risk and research, he had previously worked in managerial and leadership role in Care Ratings, Gera Developments and Acuité Ratings (parent company of SGA) before joining SGA. Nikunj's past roles have given him well grounded exposure to real estate, corporate ratings and strategy implementation. He headed the financial sector strategic alliances in his stint at Acuité. Nikunj is an engineer with MBA degree with specialization in finance & strategy. He is currently undergoing executive general management program at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

Nikunj Answers:

What are the main criteria SMERA takes in consideration before an SME is given rating?

SMERA's rating methodology consists of identifying and evaluating credit quality drivers of the enterprise being rated, and covers both quantitative and qualitative aspects. Typically, we carry outa 360-degree assessment of an enterprise as the factors influencing credit quality can emerge from one or more sources within or outside the enterprise. For the purpose of credit assessment,we consider the data/ information provided by the entity and those available on public domain including data and information sources to which we subscribe.The credit risk of an enterprise is evaluated by five main parameters industry risk, management risk, business risk, financial risk and project risk (if and where applicable).

Industry evaluation brings out the effect of various factors on the business prospects and the general operating environment. Besides, we consider the niche strength and weakness of the entity arising out of the various factors such as linkages with the suppliers and the customers of the entity being rated.

The quality and capability of the management are crucial and have direct impact on the performance of an enterprise. We consider quality, competence, governance, risk appetite and resourcefulness as the key aspects of the management risk assessment

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