The Indian government has decided to collaborate with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to upgrade the Government e-Marketplace (GeM), according to an announcement made by the company earlier this week.
The goal is to revamp the existing online procurement platform, turning it into a premier platform for public procurement that prioritizes efficiency, transparency, and inclusivity. The GeM serves as a comprehensive platform for the central government, state governments, and public sector units, providing them with an avenue to purchase general-use products and services in a clear and efficient way.
At the moment, the marketplace processes a Gross Merchandising Value (GMV) of Rs 2 lakh crore and boasts over 70,000 purchasing organizations and 65 lakh suppliers, among which over 8 lakh are small and medium-sized businesses. Although the current system has seen success, it struggles to meet the dynamic needs of its users and faces challenges in scaling.
TCS, in their collaboration with the government, plans to introduce innovative technology to the platform. The revamped platform will blend e-commerce and e-marketplace approaches, supporting multiple rules, user types, and languages. It will operate on an open-source and open-API foundation, enabling it to manage an anticipated six-fold rise in GMV in the foreseeable future.
This new system will be constructed to ensure compatibility and cloud independence, so it remains technology-neutral and not tied to any specific vendor. Its versatile design will simplify the integration of various purchasing organizations with distinct local regulations, allowing them to engage with the national platform while preserving their unique characteristics.
Moreover, TCS aims to elevate the user experience for everyone involved. GeM will adopt a flexible design that simplifies the process for new sellers to join, encouraging increased involvement from a broader range of suppliers, particularly SMEs/MSMEs. This approach fosters greater inclusivity and offers more equal opportunities in the public sector marketplace. The upgraded platform will leverage data analytics to make better forecasting decisions, enhance supply chain operations, and utilize cutting-edge AI/ML techniques to detect possible fraudulent activities, ensuring a more transparent transaction process.
“In its next avatar, GeM is envisioned to be an all-inclusive platform for government procurement, offering improved ease of doing business and transparency,” said P K Singh, CEO of GeM.