Yes Bank has recently launched a privilege programme called Yes:Head-Startup for the startups. It is a full-service banking proposition for tech or tech-enabled startups. For the programme, the bank has forged the alliance with VC Circle, Indian Angel Network, Registrationwala.com, Awfis.com, ISDI, T-Hub and Entrepreneur Magazine to offer a wide range of benefits to startup entrepreneurs.
Also, while acknowledging that under the programme the bank is setting up 10 specialized startups branches across the country to cater the need of the entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneur India interacted with Dhavan Shah, Senior President & Country Head, CA Retail Trade and Forex, Yes Bank to know more about the programme and how it will benefit the startups and entrepreneurs.
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Please tell us about the Yes:Head-Startup privilege programme.
This is our first segmented privilege programme called Yes:Head-Startup is aimed at startups of the country. This is not only about current account offering for the startups but also offering privilege services like mentoring, supporting them in the journey from the day they have established.
Under the programme, in consultation with our partners, we will have office space for the startups, offer mentoring and the designated services like registration formalities, customized current account, innovative digital and cash management solutions, comprehensive trade-forex advisory services, dedicated ‘startup’ focused branches, personal banking products, credit cards, loan products (Business and Personal) and useful alliances, event partnerships, mentorship and guidance programmes for startups.
Also, we will offer our digital platform to these startups to integrate their own businesses as well as their business rates coupled with the facilities on the lending side on the personal as well as the business side and that probably is the programme in nut shell.
How many startups so far have joined the programme?
Currently, there are around 35 startups working with us out of those 10-11 have already gone live with their solutions. And another 12 will go live in couple of months and others are in discussion and ideating stage where we are trying to firm of entire offering.
What are the features of Yes:Head-Startup Current Account for startup entrepreneurs?
With Yes:Head-Startup Current Account for entrepreneurs there will be no balance commitment for 1st year of relationship, anywhere Banking any Yes Bank location with no additional charges, free anywhere payments and collections through cheque, free RTGS, NEFT, Intra-Bank FT collections and payments, best-in-class Yes First World Business Debit Card with higher transaction limits, free banking through net banking, mobile banking, PhoneBanking and free At-Par Cheque book and Demand Drafts.
What kind of financial assistance startups would get?
In terms of financial assistance, we will be able to help them by connecting them with our investor’s network and financial institutions like VC Circle and Indian Angel Network while ensuring that we are building the whole startup ecosystem and take forward what is right for the startups and our partners.
What about the startup branches that you will be setting up?
For offering these privileges we are setting up specialized 10 startup branches largely in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Banglore, Ahmedabad, Pune and Punjab. These will be by and large around the areas where most of startups are emerging and we can collaborate with them. But in terms of financial products offering it will be available in other locations all across as well.
At these branches, our relationship manager will be far more expert and through which we will be doing lot more collaborating activities with the startups. For startups requirement, there will be the separate processes, dedicated relationship managers at front end through which they can always interact with the bank.
Henceforth wherever we will feel that there is a startup opportunity and we can interact with them more often with the branch around then we will be increasing the branches. Therefore we will include more cities along with the branches.
Is there any particular criteria for the startups to approach these branches?
There will be no criteria as such. Whichever startup will bring innovation to the table, we will be looking out for it. Majorly we are looking for irrespective of single founder-led or partnered firm. The typical lifecycle should be less than or up to five years of operations. As long as startups qualify with us we will be more than happy to join hands with them.
What will be the cap on lending the loans to the startups?
There is no criterion as such from the banking and financial institutions side. It is the function of at what stage the startup is and whether it’s a pre or post commercial startup. Each startup will have case to case evaluation depending on what business that we see as potential and what is the kind of relationship we are looking at, what stage the startup is and what kind of collaterals and guarantees and other credit comfort it have.
Have you set aside the sizable corpus of the amount for lending to the startups?
We haven’t set aside any specific corpus as such. We will put whatever the investment is required to service these startups through our branches and the digital platforms available. We will invest on the startups needs like the transactional needs, support from our knowledge partner and mentorship, day to day relationship with our branch through relationship manager and the back-end support for digital interfacing with us in terms of the transaction journey.
According to you what is the major challenge that the startups are facing?
For startups, the primary concern is not the funding, for that there are a lot of avenues available like Angel and VC funding. The biggest challenge they are facing is need of mentorship because startup entrepreneurs are more of technocrats in terms their ideas and execution and I think the mentorship is the one which take these ideas to a commercial level. And what needs for building an industry and scaling up enterprise is what we are bringing through this platform.
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