This story has been amended to rectify an error in an earlier version
A consortium of firms, including Chennai-based Intellect Design Arena, a financial technology firm, along with e-commerce firm Infibeam and Tata Communications are expected to build a new online ecosystem for government
purchases in the country.
The consortium, which has won a contract worth around Rs 1,000 crore for next five years, is expected to sign the deal soon.
The estimated value of orders under the government e-marketplace
(GeM) is expected to be Rs 2,500 crore in the first year, Rs 7,500 crore in the second year, Rs 20,000 crore in the third year, Rs 50,000 crore in the fourth and Rs 1 lakh crore in the fifth year, says the tender document.
The managed service provider (MSP) shall be paid on the basis of the actual value of orders happening on GeM for that year. In case the actual value of orders in any year is more than the estimated value of orders in that year, the MSP shall be paid as per the slabs of order value, it added.
The task before the consortium is to establish a one-stop online shop for government
buyers with transparency, speed, efficiency, and ease of doing business.
Intellect Design Arena
officials were not available for a comment on winning the contract and future programmes.
Sources close to the development said that the consortium has the capabilities to execute the project. For instance, Intellect Design Arena
that was earlier part of Polaris Group has its expertise in the financial technology, developing products for the financial aspects of the online transaction platform.
While Infibeam has brought in the capabilities for an e-commerce ecosystem, Tata Communications would bring in its expertise in the online business.
According to the Directorate General of Supplies and Disposal
(DGS&D), under the Central Purchase Organisation of Government
of India, the managed services provider has to initially manage the existing online platform of the directorate and spearhead the design, development, implementation, operation and maintenance of GeM to ensure a smooth transition from the existing system.
At present, information technology (IT) is a small unit and given the planned enablement of the complete system on GeM, IT would be a separate and distinct business function.
The marketplace shall act as a public procurement platform between suppliers and buyers by providing them with a common, unified and transparent government-to-business portal for supply and procurement of goods and services registered with GeM.
It would also reduce manual process inefficiencies, human interventions in procurement and create a world-class electronic platform for government
procurement. GeM is expected to bring a paradigm shift in public procurement that will require technology and regulatory reforms.
Developing a centralised procurement system through GeM for government
buyers across the country aims to have a broader market outreach.
Functionalities like demand aggregation could be introduced that would help in maintaining an equilibrium between demand and supply throughout the government
buyer and supplier community
covering all the states.
The platform is expected to reduce human intervention, fasten the process and enforce accountability among the government
departments. The GeM system would simplify the processes of registration, procurement, contracting and payments.
The system is aimed to revamp the complex payment process currently prevailing in government
procurement that is time consuming.
The process would ensure that the supplier’s payment is secured and has minimal human intervention and guaranteed payments. It is expected that this is where the expertise of Intellect Design Arena
in the financial domain would help the consortium, said sources.
The key functionalities that the system requires include the buyer, vendor, product and service registration, product search and catalogue maintenance, automated price determination using e-tendering, reverse auction, forward auction, integration with external systems like banks, tax agencies
and state tax departments, Aadhaar
for authentication, data analytics and business intelligence.
The application will be developed at DGS&D’s premises and before the actual development work starts, the MSP has to design the integrated solution architecture.
It is proposed that the application development shall be done in two phases. The MSP’s scope of work shall include implementation of a platform that would include all customisations and configurations to handle end-to-end workflow of all product and service categories as listed in the request for proposal (RFP).
Addition of any new product/service category, that would require customisation, would be part of MSP’s scope under operations and maintenance (O&M) category.
The MSP has to ensure that all the functionalities of the existing GeM are incorporated in Phase-1 along with the aforementioned activities.
will be the owner of the application software developed for this project, including source code and all related documentation created for the project, says the government.