NIIT Technologies Limited has won a Rs 35-crore project from the Tobacco Board to implement an end-to-end e-auction solution for tobacco leave auctions at 20 locations in Andhra Pradesh and 11 in Karnataka.
The project has been given on a build, operate, own (BOO) basis to NIIT and is slated to be implemented in three months. E-auctions are expected to start from the first week of November in Karnataka, according to board chairman G Kamalavardhana Rao. By switching over to e-auction, Rao said here on Wednesday, farmers would benefit as it would bring transparency in price determination and eliminate the scope for malpractices present in the conventional system. The Tea Board and other public sector organisations have already adopted the e-auction system.
Arvind Mehrotra, president - Asia Pacific of NIIT Technologies, said the project would add to the company’s credibility as it was a strong player in implementation of procurement, supply chain, sales and marketing solutions. Under this project, the IT solutions company would provide mobility platforms in the form of handheld devices, and software platform that handles the actual material management and reporting besides back-end technology infrastructure with technical support for a period of six years, Mehrotra said. The company would generate revenues from the project on a transaction-based pricing, which has been arrived at on the basis of average volumes of tobacco auctions of the recent years.
The e-auction will be done on a real time basis where the traders will quote their prices through the handheld devices supplied to them at the time of auctioning while the farmers can watch the auction price being quoted by prospective buyers on a large LCD screen. Each lot on the platform will be given a barcode, which gives the details of quality and other parameters when the buyer scans it with the handheld device, Mehrotra said. About 125 companies have registered with the Tobacco Board for participating in auctions. At any given point, 20-30 buyers and about 300 million kg tobacco leaves are auctioned each year.