The quality of applications is improving according to NCGS
The National Credit Guarantee Scheme (NCGS) has thus far entertained a total of 8,762 clients inclusive of applicants, enquiries and others. The record spans between 5th of October 2020 until 12th March 2021.
As of friday, the total approved loans amounts to Nu 128.1 mn off which 42% of the approved project (share) were in Production and Manufacturing (P&M) amounting to Nu 74.27 mn with 16 approved applications, 34% in the Agricultural sector with Nu 13.78 mn with 13 applications and 24 % share in Service sector amounting to Nu 40.05 mn.
So far the project has approved 38 applications in total covering 11 Dzongkhags, with 16 applications from Thimphu, 7 from Paro, 3 from Punakha, 2 from Wangduephodrang, 3 from Dagana, 2 from Tsirang, 2 from Sarpang and 1 each from Bumthang, Zhemgang and Samdrupjongkhar.
Off this, approved applications by project partners Bhutan Development Bank (BDB) is 7, 23 at the Bank of Bhutan (BoB) and 8 at the National CSI Development Bank (NCSIDB).
Majority of the clients according to their logs were from the micro industry sector with a total of 3,489 prospects or enquiries, followed by cottage industry with 2,256 prospects, small industry with 1,539, medium industry with 340 and 16 from large scale firms. While 1,122 others did not have any tentative size to consider. The log record consists of Facebook, telephonic and walk-in queries altogether. The NCGS Director Sonam Penjor said that compared to the first phase of queries and applicants, the office has been receiving more serious and exciting prospects even though the rate of number of applicants are on the decline in recent times.
He added that on the economic front the NCGS has been one of the most exciting things that has happened during the COVID-19 time for the private sector.
“Another important thing is that the opportunity is there for everybody irrespective of sex, education or other things, if one is eligible and has a brilliant idea, this is the platform to contribute economically to our nation.” He added.
One of the beneficiary Jamyang Dorji, founder of Druk Brush said, “The NCGS collateral free loan for cottage industry has really inspired me to pursue my dreams one step further.”
Jamyang had recently completed National Certificate Level-2 (NC-2) in Building Painting and prior to that had a technical background in BTech Civil Engineering from India. He said that during his time in India, seeing their market culture and way of doing business rigorously sparked interest in entrepreneurship for him, but back then even though he had the desire, loan collaterals were an obstruction.
He said, “I think, almost everyone is looking towards the Indian workforce for most construction related purposes and I wish to bridge the gap in my small way if possible to realize that vision within the Bhutanese community as well.”
He added, “This is no rocket science, therefore our people have to trust that we Bhutanese can also harness skills equally or more with time, experience and effort towards the desired work.”
Another beneficiary Kinley Pelden, founder of Yiga chocolate said that for her the business venture is a kind of a one-way ticket as she had resigned from her job in the Agriculture ministry back in 2017 when she decided to start up. Initially she had started up more like a do-it-yourself project as she had just conceived her child back then.
She said that the reason she had started the venture was, on having seen countries like Switzerland and Belgium thriving in chocolate recognition even though they do not grow cocoa and when she realized that Bhutan did not have any domestic producers.
She said that around 2015, when they were trained at Phuentsholing in the senior executive leadership program, she was exposed to a lot of things like the import-export imbalance in the country, the economic issues such as unemployment among others and had the spark to put down her vision to come up with something that could enable rural-social enterprise model based on the rich natural biodiversity of Bhutan.
The firm currently purchases chocolate from abroad but obtains other ingredients like gooseberry, ground apple, etc. from local farmers.
She added, “During the year 2020 our business only incurred overhead costs and even now despite the enquiries from past affiliated buyers, we are unable to see a feasible route to export due to logistic costs being higher if we were to export in small quantities.”
She hopes that the initiative will have a positive ripple effect towards employment creation, value-addition towards various sectors and even in the long run it will economically stay down within the nation as well as have a positive impact on the global market overflow.
“NCGS, has provided a capacity building platform and as we are speaking I am undergoing training in certification for product development.” She added.
Nyema Zam, founder of Samuh Mediatech, is the first Mediatech startup in the country, which operates like Netflix or Prime video in the global context said that the inspiration for their project came in the form of rising popularity among OTT platforms.
Samuh is a digital platform where subscribers can watch original and exclusive Bhutanese films, series, animation, music video and other curated content through any devise that is connected to the internet from any part of the world.
She stated that through Samuh and the local content creation contracts they have already engaged over 100 people in the creative sector in filmmaking, music creation, animation production and screenplay writing.