Govern­ment: The Lost Op­por­tu­nity

PCQuest - - TECH MUSINGS - Ra­jneesh De, Group Edi­tor ra­jneeshd@cy­ber­me­dia.co.in

Many part­ners feel that even if by any chance they get into a govern­ment con­tract, it will be dif­fi­cult for them to sus­tain.

One com­mon ob­ser­va­tion es­pe­cially amongst the ven­dors or prin­ci­pals has been their in­creas­ing de­pen­dence on the po­ten­tial of the In­dian govern­ment ver­ti­cal. While most com­pa­nies, rang­ing from hardware to soft­ware to IT ser­vices, were plunged in prob­a­bly the worst cri­sis in their rel­a­tively short life dur­ing the slow­down, it was the in­creas­ing au­to­ma­tion ini­tia­tives of the govern­ment, plus its rel­a­tive in­su­la­tion from slow­down that made it such an at­trac­tive propo­si­tion for most IT com­pa­nies. That the In­dian govern­ment has fi­nally opened up on the tech­nol­ogy au­to­ma­tion front, both in terms of budget as well as com­plex­i­ties of the adop­tion, is great news in­deed for the In­dian IT in­dus­try and all its stake­hold­ers. But at the same time while it is mak­ing me happy and ex­cited, I am feel­ing equally sorry and ap­pre­hen­sive; and worse still, it is of­ten leav­ing me flab­ber­gasted when I con­tem­plate the op­por­tu­nity lost. Yes, I am talk­ing about the chan­nel part­ners who strangely seem to be a lit­tle aloof from the govern­ment op­por­tu­nity.

So what’s the rea­son for this anath­ema to­wards the govern­ment? The com­mon grouses seem to be that govern­ment ten­ders are de­signed more to­wards the ven­dors and prin­ci­pals and gives lit­tle op­por­tu­ni­ties to part­ners to par­tic­i­pate. More likely they will get elim­i­nated in L1 it­self. Also, many part­ners feel that even if by any chance they get into a govern­ment con­tract, it will be dif­fi­cult for them to sus­tain. While govern­ment con­tracts are now quite lu­cra­tive and they are safe too (pay­ments are al­ways made), the pay­ment cy­cle is too long and it of­ten takes a long time for the money to come. Part­ners mostly run their busi­nesses on a rolling work­ing cap­i­tal and a long pay­ment cy­cle makes it al­most im­pos­si­ble for them to off­set the losses to their busi­nesses. Ven­dors with deeper pock­ets and with work­ing cap­i­tals com­ing from their par­ents over­seas are in much bet­ter po­si­tion to ef­fec­tively ab­sorb the chal­lenges of a long pay­ment cy­cle.

Since most part­ners fall un­der the SME cat­e­gory, it is high time they start tak­ing ad­van­tage of var­i­ous govern­ment schemes for SMEs to man­age their work­ing cap­i­tals bet­ter. That will help them with run­ning funds so that they can go out more ag­gres­sively for govern­ment projects. Does it sound like fry­ing fish with fish fat only? It might be so, but that is the only way to create a level playing field for all as far as govern­ment projects are con­cerned.

We at PC Quest will try to bridge this gap be­tween chan­nel part­ners and the govern­ment. There­fore from this is­sue, we will high­light the govern­ment ac­tiv­i­ties in a par­tic­u­lar state, which can help part­ners in­ter­ested to get in­volved. Please write to us on what more in­for­ma­tion you want about govern­ment.

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