London-based fintech platform Tide will sponsor two small business players from India and UK each in every quarter during 2023-24 (June-May) for their visit to each other's country to explore market opportunities there and learn how to improve their businesses.
A total of 16 small businesses who are using Tide platform, eight from each country, will benefit from the MSME Exchange Programme (MEP), the company said.
The initiative aims to unlock opportunities for millions of existing and budding entrepreneurs who might want to export to and from India and the UK, it said.
To a query as to why the company is restricting the programme to one year only, Tide India CEO Gurjodhpal Singh said the company will scale it further by looking at traction to the initiative.
He said problems of small enterprises are the same everywhere and the initiative will help the sponsored players learn the regulatory framework and ease of doing business in each other's countries in their respective areas.
The selected player will also hold interactions with similar enterprises and customers in each other country and help them build a network there.
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The company had announced in June, 2021 to invest Rs 1,000 crore over five years. To a query over this, Tide CEO Oliver Prill said Tide is on track to meet its announcement but did not disclose the investment figure till now.
The company had also announced in June, 2022 to employ 1,000 people over five years. Prill said it will meet this commitment ahead of schedule. The company has already employed over 500 people.
He said the company aims to get 200,000 small and medium players on its platform in 2023 and 50,000 enterprises are already using it. It plans to onboard one million such enterprises by the end 2024, he said.
When it does so, Tide will be among 5-10 biggest fintech players in the segment it caters to in India, Prill said.
Tide's focus is mainly on players who employ up to 10 employees each.
British high commissioner Alex Ellis said UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Indian prime minister Narendra Modi have reiterated the huge opportunities that closer trade and investment ties offer British and Indian businesses and consumers. "Our investment relationship already supports nearly half a million jobs in each other's economies," she said while lauding Tide for adding to the India-UK success story.