Our Brand Story

We were incorporated in 2005 as an initiative of Ministry of Finance (GOI) and Reserve Bank of India (RBI), to facilitate credit rating of bank borrowers. Since a majority of bank borrowers are SMEs, we chose to call ourselves SME Rating Agency which we later rechristened to SMERA Ratings Limited as our products & services portfolio expanded organically over the period and included Bond Ratings, CP Ratings, Bank Loan Ratings, SME Ratings and various grading services.

SEBI, at the Board Meeting held on December 28, 2017, decided that rating agencies will have to segregate activities other than the rating of financial instruments and economic/ financial research to a separate legal entity. Meanwhile, the Company's Bond & Bank Loan Ratings business grew rapidly making it a significant player in the rating industry. These developments prompted the Company to demonstrate the transformation in its business by reinventing its brand identity and positioning. Acuité Ratings & Research will focus on providing Bond & Bank Loan Ratings, Economic Analysis and Financial Research services.

Acuité (pronounced as 'a.kui.te'), a french derivation from the word 'acuity', implies a sharp vision in terms of expertise, opinion and purpose. We believe our incisive knowledge and opinions presented through Ratings & Research act as the strong foundation for empowering the entire financial ecosystem.

Description of Accent Cluster

The most primary element of the logo are Accent Cluster in a myriad of colours. The cluster represents our pursuit to bolster India's financial ecosystem and act as a frame of reference for customers, investors, bankers, exchanges and regulators. The sharp accents of varying lengths symbolize the incisive insights and opinions we present based on multiple perspectives that we consider while covering companies across industries, scale and size. Literal to its name, the accent cluster showcases the enhanced and accentuated experience,we bring consistently to our stakeholders through top notch ratings & research that really gives them the leading edge insights.

A closer look at the colour palette will talk to you about the transformation from amber tones to a distinctive green - the different degrees of tangerine imply gradual but steady evolution of companies on our rating scale (AA+ to B) while the green is apt for the AAA standard which is awarded only to the best and hence a class apart. The 6 accents depict the insightful take on the 6 categories of credit rating (AAA to B).

Lastly, the refreshing and distinct dash of green is a symbolization of the healthy and fair environment we create to nurture and empowerour stakeholders. Our observations not only provide a competitive edge to our customers, but also serve as foresight to investors and bankers. They give courage to our employees and an independent stance to regulators.

All these powered by simple objectives of dissolving information asymmetry, and facilitating smarter decision making,  create a robust financial ecosystem.

We've transformed for a smarter tomorrow.

 

We informed through a Press Release, that was made on 30th May 2018 to all the media houses and stakeholders. To read the Press Release click here.

The decision to effect a change in the name of the Company was taken after receiving extensive formal and informal feedback from bankers, investors, market intermediaries and media. Our various stakeholders felt that change of name was necessary in order to do away with an impression that the Company only rates SMEs. Therefore, SMERA changed its name to Acuité to re-position the Company as a full-service Credit Rating Agency with capabilities far beyond SME ratings. Now, Acuité not only has the necessary SEBI registration and RBI accreditation to rate Bonds, NCDs, Bank Loans, FDs and CPs, but its portfolio also includes a significant number of large and mid-size borrowers. The ‘SMERA’ brand shall continue to be used by the Company for its SME Ratings division (which contributes less than 50% of the Company's current turnover) which will operate as a sub division of Acuité Ratings & Research Limited.

Yes, all ratings live / outstanding as on date (DD MM YYYY) or assigned from today will have the prefix ‘ACUITE’ instead of ‘SMERA’. Thus, a rating that would previously be denoted as ‘SMERA BBB+ (Outlook: Stable) / SMERA A1+’ would now be denoted as "ACUITE BBB+ (Outlook: Stable) / ACUITE A1+”. It may be noted that only the prefix of the rating will change. There would not be any change in the ratings or the rating definitions. ‘ACUITE BBB+’ will mean exactly the same degree of risk or safety as 'SMERA BBB+'.

In the normal course, we will not issue new rating letters to the existing clients. All banks will honour the existing rating letters, since this is only a change in the name of the credit rating agency. However, if requested we shall be happy to send a revised rating letter on the letterhead of Acuité Ratings & Research Limited carrying the rating with the prefix 'ACUITE'.

No, the Press Releases / Rating Rationales issued in the past will not be revised. They will continue to appear on our website with the old rating symbol. These documents are adobe acrobat (pdf) documents and no change can be made once uploaded on the website. However, all new Press Releases / Rating Rationales for ratings, freshly assigned or reviewed, will carry the new branding and symbol.

No, this change of name of the Company is not associated with any change in the shareholding pattern / ownership / promoter group. Acuité Ratings & Research Limited continues to be a closely held Public Limited company, wherein 56.8% of shareholding is held by public sector banks and balance by D&B India, Stan Chart and ICICI Bank. We have no plans to do an IPO in near future. The change in name does not affect the SEBI registration and RBI accreditation of the Company.

Yes, we will be happy to take note of your concerns, queries, suggestions and ideas 24x7 via WhatsApp / SMS on +91 99698 98000 or email: info@acuite.in

You may share the details of your bankers with our help desk in order to enable us to take up the issue with the bank and explain / create awareness. Since this is only a change of name, we expect no major hurdles in creating awareness amongst the bankers.

The legal name of the company as registered with MCA is Acuite Ratings & Research Limited. Also the website address, url is www.acuite.in. This is so because MCA and website domain registrations don't allow special characters.

However, in our communications and branding guidelines we use Acuité which has the 'acute é' character to stylise the depiction of the company name and also to convey the right pronunciation (similar to Nestlé).

Customers can write cheques or address us in letters as Acuité or Acuite. Both would be considered right and valid.

To view Acuité’s Incorporation Certificate, please click here.

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Our exciting journey started in 2005 with rating of bank borrowers most of whom were small and medium enterprises. At that time, credit rating was a concept known only to large issuers of capital market instruments. Since then, like a caterpillar transforms itself into a beautiful butterfly, we transformed to rate bonds, bank facilities of large corporates and issuers across industries. Along came many achievements - SEBI Registration in 2011, RBI accreditation in 2012, 50,000 ratings in 2018, 5,000 Bond and Bank Loan Ratings in 2017, launch of India's first Android and iPhone app to disseminate rating, tamper-proof QR-code-enabled rating rationales, and SMERA Terminal to name a few.

Now is the time to re-emphasize our increasing footprint across all segments of ratings through the launch of our new name - 'Acuité'.

The name has changed. The spirit of upholding highest standards of analytical rigour, continuous improvement, excellence in our processes and quest for innovation remains the same. We would like to re-emphasize that we will continue to work hard to provide independent, unbiased and timely opinion of highest standard.

Acuité means 'sharpness and clarity of thought and vision'. Let our research and ratings help you take decisions with confidence.


Sankar Chakraborti
CEO