The GeM Maker

UN­DER CHAUHAN’S LEAD­ER­SHIP, THE GOV­ERN­MENT’S E- MAR­KET­PLACE BUSI­NESS HAS GROWN MAN­I­FOLD.

Business Today - - THE MOST POWERFUL WOMEN IN BUSINESS - BY JOE C. MATHEW

AS THE CEO AND PRES­I­DENT of Na­tional e-gov­er­nance divi­sion, Radha Chauhan, a Ut­tar Pradesh-cadre IAS of­fi­cer, got a chal­leng­ing as­sign­ment in 2016. She was asked to find out whether an Ama­zon-like e-mar­ket­place could re­place the tra­di­tional gov­ern­ment pro­cure­ment sys­tems and op­er­a­tions of the cen­tury-old Direc­torate Gen­eral of Sup­plies and Dis­pos­als (DGS&D). By March 2016, Chauhan’s team de­liv­ered a model that re­tained all checks and bal­ances, in­clud­ing reg­u­la­tory com­pli­ances and low­est bid re­quire­ments. In Au­gust that year, it was launched by DGS&D as its e-pro­cure­ment ini­tia­tive. Later on, DGS&D was wound up and Chauhan was asked to head the Gov­ern­ment e-Mar­ket­place (GeM), a new spe­cial pur­pose ve­hi­cle that would carry out DGS&D’s op­er­a­tions.

GeM started by of­fer­ing e-pro­cure­ment of com­put­ers, tablets and smart­phones and also cab ser­vices, but Chauhan soon pushed its growth. “We hit ` 40 crore-plus in March 2018, and now, it is about ` 50 crore,” she says. From about 400 cat­e­gories a year ago, GeM now deals in 1,100 cat­e­gories and over four lakh prod­ucts.

DGS&D had, in its en­tire ex­is­tence, a max­i­mum num­ber of 3,500 ven­dors while GeM has al­ready brought in 1,00,000 and over 40 per cent of the trans­ac­tions in­volve mi­cro and small ven­dors. Un­like DGS&D, which was pri­mar­ily a Cen­tral gov­ern­ment agency fix­ing ten­der-based pric­ing for prod­ucts, GeM is a com­mon plat­form for all pub­lic sec­tor, state and cen­tral gov­ern­ment pur­chases. So far, 24 states and Union Territories have signed MoUs with GeM to align their pro­cure­ment sys­tems with the e-mar­ket­place.

WHY SHE MAT­TERS Chauhan has re­placed a cen­tury- old pro­cure­ment sys­tem with an ef­fi­cient and eq­ui­table e- mar­ket

“Ear­lier, ev­ery depart­ment had to float a ten­der and eval­u­ate of­fers, which would take five-six months. Now it hardly takes two hours. Also, sell­ers don’t have to recre­ate their bids when­ever de­part­ments post their re­quire­ments. A one-time reg­is­tra­tion is enough. While in­di­vid­ual iden­tity is ver­i­fied through Aad­haar, the sys­tem is in­te­grated with PAN for fi­nan­cial net­worth. The link­age ex­tends to cor­po­rate fil­ings in the MCA21 database and tax in­for­ma­tion avail­able with the GSTN net­work for ef­fi­ciency,” says Chauhan.

She also thinks ` 3-4 lakh crore out of the ` 24 lakh crore worth of gov­ern­ment’s an­nual pur­chase of goods and ser­vices can be routed through this plat­form. “On an av­er­age, there is a 25 per cent sav­ing in pro­cure­ment costs. When we hit a trans­ac­tion tar­get of ` 1,00,000 crore (in the next three years), the amount we will be able to save can fund a na­tional scheme.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.