Fueling Dreams: Esquire Financing, Inc.

Presented by: Rajan Ashok Uttamchandani
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Esquire Financing, Inc.

Esquire Financing, Inc., the Philippines’ most trusted non-bank SME financing firm, has been fueling business owners’ dreams with non-collateral business loans, flexible loan terms with minimal documentary requirements, and a 7-day turnaround time. Esquire tailors its business loans to each business owner’s cash flow analysis and needs.

Their advocacy goal is to help MSMEs grow by giving them access to financing and sound advisory services, allowing them to realize their full potential. Because it is focused on key priority sectors such as necessities and construction, the EFI portfolio remains strong. Geographic diversification is another important aspect of portfolio management.

The MSME accounts for 99.5% of all registered businesses in the Philippines, contributes 35% of the country’s GDP, and employs 60% of the workforce. However, there is a significant financing gap between large corporations and MSMEs, with the Philippines having the lowest corporate debt to GDP in the region at 16% and SME total launch is less than 1% of GDP. Because most SMEs have a 27-day cash buffer, commercial banks cannot meet their working capital and asset financing needs, which is why DFIs must step in and finance this sector.

Esquire Financing, Inc., the largest in the SME space, has released $2.4 billion to 100,000 businesses over the last ten years. Their ROE is 25%, and their ROA is 15%, indicating that they are running a profitable business. When the pandemic hit, Esquire developed an entirely online credit application and revised its standards from a 5-C to a 6-C: Character, Capital, Capacity, Condition, Collateral, and COVID. This aided them in ensuring that the processes of these businesses were digitalized to accommodate the digital age. They also used OCR to implement work-from-home credit processing, online banking statements, and cash flow analysis.

Esquire’s portfolio mimics all registered businesses and is diverse enough to accommodate businesses in and outside Manila. Most of their client acquisition and processing is now online, and their branch count has been reduced from 100 to three. Despite reducing its physical footprint, Esquire is doing far more than ten years ago as its digital footprint grows.

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