Collecting in India
Collecting in India is highly complex. Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) in India is 67 days and late payments are not regulated.
The court system in itself is complex while extensive delays and costs make legal action difficult. Accelerated proceedings are not available for undisputed debts and foreign debt judgements would be enforced with difficulty.
A new insolvency regulation provides a framework for debt restructuring, priority rules, time frames and clawback, but in practice, once the debtor is insolvent, chances of recovery are virtually impossible.
Availability of financial information
Accessing financial information in India is very difficult as most businesses are run through non-incorporated Sole Proprietorship and Partnership models which do not require communicating any financial information to the public. Information provided by incorporated entities is fairly reliable, otherwise it is necessary to rely on specialised providers who can offer insight into companies you wish to trade with.
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Swift bank transfers are becoming increasingly popular in India as they are fast, secured, and supported by an increasingly developed banking network internationally and domestically.
For export transactions, transfers should be guaranteed through an Export Credit Insurance, which helps minimise the risk of sudden or unexpected customer insolvency. Standby Letters of Credit (a bank guarantees the debtor’s credit quality and repayment abilities) constitute reliable guarantees.
Irrevocable and confirmed Documentary Letters of Credit (a debtor guarantees that a certain amount of money is made available to a beneficiary through a bank once certain terms specifically agreed by the parties have been met) may also be considered. Such bank guarantees however tend to be expensive, while obtaining them requires patience.
As a result, negotiating down payments is common and advisable. Post-dated cheques are also frequent as these constitute a method of payment as well as a debt recognition title, allowing the seller to initiate legal (and insolvency) procedures.
Read the full report to better understand the nature of collecting payments in India. Our export finance experts are happy to help make exporting easier, discuss your ideas and offer finance solutions tailored to your company needs.