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Is This the Future of Export Finance?

Atal Solutions leverages unique entrepreneurial expertise and an extensive international network to streamline and execute export finance projects, accelerating global trade of capital goods and services

Can you introduce Atal Solutions and share a bit about the team behind it?

At Atal, we leverage unique entrepreneurial expertise and an extensive international network to develop and execute projects financed by export credit. Our deep understanding of the intricate business needs of all parties, coupled with an integrated, collaborative approach, allows us to make a significant impact, resulting in the accelerated international trade of capital goods and services. Our team consists of creative dealmakers who excel in every aspect of export finance, from arranging export credit to providing compliance advice. 

As for me, with over 25 years of experience in international finance law and global banking, I founded Atal to bridge exporters and importers of capital goods on a unified global platform. By applying our expertise in export finance, corporate structuring, and compliance, Atal delivers substantial added value for exporters, importers, and related economies. Our ultimate goal is to create win-win scenarios for all involved parties.

What inspired you to start Atal Solutions, and how did you identify the need for your services in the market?

In the world of exporters, importers, and project developers, complexities often slow progress. We understand how businesses struggle to obtain export finance and secure contracts for the international trade of capital goods and services. The impact is significant, hindering business growth and overwhelming companies with the complexities of international trade.

Consequently, our goal is to streamline the process and provide solutions for navigating the complexities of cross-border trade. 

What is the core vision of Atal Solutions, and how do you plan to achieve it?

With Atal, we aim to inspire clients with export finance solutions that transform complexity into possibility, fostering new business opportunities and investment plans. We are committed to ethically and actively protecting the ecosystem while promoting sustainable cross-border economic development. Additionally, we aspire to be the global leader in revolutionising export finance structures for sustainable international projects.

We achieve this by offering a comprehensive approach to creating and facilitating export finance projects. Our customized export finance solutions, combined with extensive industry expertise, empower businesses to secure crucial funding and effectively manage the intricacies of international transactions.

Who is your primary target audience, and how do you ensure that their needs are met?

We focus on seven main industries: education, agriculture, infrastructure, water and waste management, shipping, healthcare, and green energy. For each of these sectors, Atal has accrued great knowledge and expertise in offering export finance. Consequently, we facilitate export credits, establish and manage corporate project structures, and ensure compliance with stringent standards set by governments, banks, and export credit agencies. This comprehensive approach enables us to support clients effectively in navigating complex international trade landscapes and achieving their business objectives seamlessly.

That being said, beyond overcoming challenges, our focus extends to seizing opportunities. Through our extensive global network, we forge connections that unlock new business ventures and partnerships, significantly expanding our clients’ reach and enhancing their growth potential, regardless of their industry.

What are the main challenges Atal Solutions is currently facing, and how are you addressing them?

Atal’s primary challenge lies in navigating the various policies, varying risk appetites, and lengthy credit application processes of the banks involved in export finance. To address these obstacles, we have developed our own funding solutions to support projects when obtaining bank financing proves difficult. We also focus on understanding the internal limitations of various banks and how we can collaborate with them to create funding opportunities.

With the increasing emphasis on green projects, governments supporting export finance are more willing to guarantee credit risk for such initiatives. This is reflected, for instance, by lower insurance premiums and longer credit terms for corporate export finance loans. Despite this, banks remain hesitant to extend longer credit terms within corporate finance structures.

In a competitive market, what sets Atal Solutions apart from other companies in the same field?

Unlike traditional consultancies with limited service capabilities, we leverage a global network and sustainable practices to provide comprehensive support for our clients’ projects from inception through successful implementation. As the key contact, we guide our clients through each required step, ensuring compliant and sustainable results. 

For instance, we are involved in every part of the deal, from structuring and drafting contracts to filing export finance applications and arranging the right financial solutions. Our expertise encompasses everything needed to close the deal, all under local and global export finance rules and legislation. Additionally, our global connections allow us to tap into a vast international network to find the right exporters or suppliers, ensuring the success of every transaction.

How do you see the future of export finance, and what role do you envision Atal Solutions playing in that future?

Established in 1930, export finance has long been an important tool for governments to support the export of capital goods and services from their respective countries. We believe there is substantial potential for growth in the export finance market. Our aspiration is to become the global leader in revolutionizing export finance structures for sustainable international projects.

Can you share any upcoming developments or projects that Atal Solutions is excited about?

Atal is preparing a press release for the successful closure of an affordable yet innovative hospital project in India. In addition, we will announce a project for a food processing facility in China, which is set to close in Q3 2024. Besides these projects, Atal has many more that will be closed this year. 

What has been the most rewarding moment for you since starting Atal Solutions?

Building Atal Solutions has been filled with many rewarding moments. Witnessing the company evolve with its distinct corporate culture, seeing individuals become a team, and receiving support from governments and financial institutions are daily rewards. Equally fulfilling is the impact we achieve through the projects we initiate or contribute to.

The recent closure of the BAM Shipping project stands out, as we anticipate it will have the largest positive environmental impact among all our current and past projects—a source of immense satisfaction. However, it wouldn’t be fair to overlook the other projects we have closed or are currently working on, as each of them represents impactful initiatives that we are proud of.

How do you maintain transparency in the export finance industry, and why is this important to you?

The export finance industry strives for transparency, yet the inherent complexity, alongside varying policies and risk appetites among banks and export credit agencies, often obscures clarity. Our goal is to streamline the process and offer solutions to navigate these complexities, enhancing transparency and boosting the utilization of export finance solutions for cross-border trade.  

What are three key pieces of advice you would give to other entrepreneurs looking to start their own business?

  • Focus on a business strategy that ignites your passion, persistently adapting and refining it until you achieve success. Just as a baby perseveres in learning to walk, despite stumbling along the way, maintain determination and never give up.
  • Recognize the importance of time for yourself and all stakeholders you collaborate with. Time goes by fast, so making a meaningful impact requires efficient use of every moment.
  • Strive to improve the lives of others and appreciate all the positive things that come your way. Enjoy and celebrate not only major successes but also the small moments that contribute to the growth and success of your business.

How do you stay motivated and inspired to continue innovating in your field?

It’s my inner drive to create impact through the projects we initiate or enable. Additionally, I enjoy building connections and relationships, which contribute to the growth of the business.

More information you will find here

Thank you Edwin Sieswerda for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

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