May - 2013 - issue > Cover Story

Trepup.com- Creating a level Playing Field for SMEs

Vignesh Anantharaj
Monday, December 7, 2020
Vignesh Anantharaj
A second generation of expatriates is setting up base for their businesses in India. This is due to the opportunities available to innovate and expand which are unique to the Indian market. However, the favorable circumstances that India presents to immigrants are not only about an economy which is growing at a faster pace than their respective home country, it is also about the concentration of Indian engineering graduates and a culture that is wholly inclined towards startups.

John Verbic, founder and CEO of Trepup.com, moved to India in 2007 from New York City where he specialized in private equity and venture investing. After over 15 years investment experience in the U.S., Verbic decided there may be better opportunities in India so he left what was familiar in order to take a chance on an uncertain future. We highlight the journey of John Verbic and how he, Rahul Dhingra (CTO) and their team plan to level the playing field for businesses around the world with their business networking platform,Trepup.com. The social network with a difference promises to benefit SMEs by providing cutting-edge tools to help businesses grow faster and to succeed.

What was the key pain point for businesses that you wanted to address with Trepup's business tools and platform?
I wanted to find a solution for the resource gap for small and medium-sized businesses. Worldwide, SMEs account for over 90 percent of businesses and 50 percent of employment. They are the backbone of the global economy and are key drivers of job creation and economic growth. They constitute the largest portion of the employment base, hire the greatest number of new employees and provide the majority of every country's goods and services.

Yet, despite the importance of SMEs, they face difficulties in obtaining credit and equity financing. They do not have the security for conventional bank lending, nor the potential returns to attract risk investors. Their restricted resources limit access to new technologies, information and management talent, and prevent them from growing their businesses. In India, SMEs obtain only 10 percent of their funding from external sources.

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