After being in the pilot mode for over a year, Government e-Marketplace (GeM) would be ready to officially enter the Indian ecommerce space in its full form by the first half of 2018. Work has begun on revamping the online portal as well as the mobile application and the plan is to get it ready in the next six months.
The portal was launched by the current Indian government in August 2016 to create a one-stop Government eMarketplace (GeM). The main objective was to facilitate online procurement of common use goods & services needed by various government departments, organizations and PSUs. It is the only ecommerce platform that caters to governments demands.
“GeM represents our government’s firm commitment to bring greater transparency and efficiency in public procurement,” stated Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
- It provides the tools of e-bidding, reverse e-auction and demand aggregation to facilitate the government users achieve the best value for their money
- It has partnered with 7,913 buyer organizations and 24,148 sellers
- With 101,674 products under 850 product categories, GeM has done transactions worth Rs. 1,000 crore so far
- MOU with 9 States for procurement including Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Puducherry
- Top product categories on the platform are computers, writing and printing paper, projectors and supplies, computer printers, office machines
“The estimated procurement that government does is around Rs. 2 lakh crore for general goods and services and GeM has projected a savings of about 25%. The cost savings is due to the transparency, competitive setup for sellers and the choice that buyers get,” revealed an official.
The revamped version
After the face-lift, an UPI-based payment solution would be integrated with the app and new services would be added to the online portal. The new features would work towards making the transactions as transparent and authentic as possible. Right from offering assistance to sellers during order fulfilment to allowing buyers to track their orders, GeM would have features like any modern ecommerce platform.
A government official shared,
“In the next six months, around 82 new services such as cloud services, unskilled and skilled manpower service, child care services, facility management, IT services and security related services will be added to the platform. As of now, only 4 services are listed on the platform which will scale up to 20 next month.”
While speaking about the mobile app which hasn’t been updated since October 2016, the official said,
“Along with the official launch of the platform after the completion of the pilot phase, we will introduce the revamped mobile version… Since we have already integrated with many banks and are in talks with a number of other banks, it will be easier for us to integrate with the UPI gateway.”
The ambitious plans for GeM include:
- Offering logistics service to sellers
- Introduce features such as catalogue management, product categorisation, contract management and refund/rejection policy
- Using analytics to predict trends and projections for products & services
- Better grading system of sellers and products
- Real-time tracking of products