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Introduction to GEM: Government e marketplace


Introduction to GEM: Government e marketplace

Government e-Marketplace (GeM) is a portal to facilitate online procurement of common use Goods & Services required by various Government Departments / Organizations / and public sector undertaking in India. The Government E-Marketplace aims to enhance transparency in government purchases. GeM uses technology based platform to eliminate human interface in vendor registration, order placement and payment processing, to a great extent. Being an open platform, GeM offers no entry barriers to actual suppliers who wish to do business with the Government. At every step, SMS and e-Mail notifications are sent to both buyer, his/her head of organization, paying authorities as well as sellers and improve efficiency.

Direct purchase on GeM can be done in a matter of minutes and the entire process in online, end to end integrated and with online tools for assessing price reasonability. For procurements of higher value, the bidding/Reverse Auction (RA) facility on GeM is among the most transparent and efficient.

Reason behind GeM platform:

In order to improve transparency of decision-making in the public procurement process and to reduce malpractices, India's government, i.e. the Ministry of Commerce and Industries and the Department of Commerce, decided to set up an online marketplace for public procurement, a Government-to-Business platform (G2B). An online marketplace (or e-commerce marketplace) is a type of e-commerce site where products or services are offered by a number of sellers and all the buyers (i.e. the government agencies and departments) can select the products and services offered by any of the sellers, based on their own criteria. This enables a competitive pricing structure and implies the government procures more cost-efficiently. 

  • Need for reform to bring consistency in public procurement
  • Existing malpractices in the system due to buyer-supplier interaction.

Three core elements:

GeM is characterized by three core elements:

  • Openness-

GeM shall be an open marketplace wherein it promotes access to information and transparency. Relevant information on sellers, goods, and services shall be easy to find and readily available for users. GeM shall provide databased insights to help users in decision-making and ascertaining price reasonability.

  • Fairness-

One of the platform’s key objectives is to allow sellers, big and small, to gain direct access to Government buyers. In doing so, all sellers shall be treated fairly and GeM shall not offer promotional treatment to one seller over the other. GeM shall support the intentions behind the preferential market access policies and ensure that all sellers are provided with a level playing field. This will ensure the health and competitiveness of the marketplace.

  • Inclusiveness-

GeM shall promote inclusiveness, which means that all Government buyers and sellers shall be accepted on the platform. GeM shall aspire to create a robust seller base and all sellers interested in conducting business with the Government shall be welcomed on the platform. For buyers and sellers that do not have the know-how of using GeM, additional assistance in the form of focused training, onboarding sessions and continued feedback and support shall be provided.

Who operates GeM?

The Government e Marketplace Special Purpose Vehicle (GeM SPV), a Section 8 (Non-Profit) Private Limited Company under the Ministry of Commerce has been incorporated under the; Companies Act, 2013 to develop, manage and maintain the GeM platform.

GeM SPV builds, operates and maintains the GeM platform, which provides an end-to-end online Marketplace for Central and State Government Ministries / Departments, Central & State Public Undertakings (CPSUs & SPSUs), Autonomous institutions and Local bodies, for procurement of common use goods & services in transparent and efficient manner.

What are the benefits to Buyer at GeM?

The following are some of the additional benefits of being a seller on the Government E-Marketplace:

  • Provide transparency and ease of buying.
  • Offers rich listing of products for individual category of goods/services.
  • Proprietary Article Certificate Bid- Procurement of specific product as per requirement
  • Price Trends and Price Comparison From Multiple Suppliers
  • Direct notifications to sellers
  • Integrated Payment System
  • Easy to comprehend interface to search, compare, select and buy
  • User friendly dashboard for monitoring supplies and payments
  • Online grievance redressal mechanism for quick resolution
  • Float bid among population of 3 lakhs sellers
  • Buyers can now select bid duration between 10 & 21 days.
  • Delivery period upto 180 days

What are the benefits to Seller at GeM?

The following are some of the additional benefits of being a seller on the Government E-Marketplace:

  • Direct access to all Govt. departments.
  • One stop marketing place with minimal marketing efforts.
  • No need to watch for tenders of different govt. departments: Once you offer your product, Govt. Departments would themselves approach you.
  • Freedom from product registration: No need to run for product and model registration etc.
  • Products accepted against supplier’s guarantee / warrantee and generally free from regular consignment inspection testing and evaluation procedures.
  • Freedom from fixed specifications: No need to customize to given specifications. Market your product with all features defined by you. Update and upgrade products as soon and as many times as you find it necessary.
  • Dynamic pricing – price can be changed based on market conditions – no fixed price for whole year – no fear of fluctuation of raw material prices or exchange rate variations.
  • Dynamic product listing – no need to run for model up-gradation / changes. List your latest products and market them based on features and your competitive prices.
  • Get complete information of all Govt. requirements through Annual Procurement Plans.
  • Timely payment guaranteed.
  • Consistent and uniform purchase procedures and terms and conditions of contract.

Products & Services Sold on Government E-Marketplace

Many products are sold on the Government E-Marketplace including products like computer accessories, computer equipments, stationery items, FMCG items among others

In addition to the above products, services like transportation services are also being currently tested on the Government E-Marketplace.

How GEM Works?

Buyers and Sellers need to register themselves at the GeM Portal to participate in GeM transactions.

Seller Registration

Any sellers who manufacturers or markets genuine products or delivers services can become a seller on the Government E-Marketplace. Sellers on the Government E-Marketplace must have the following documents to be registered:

Procedure for Registration

To become a seller on the Government E-Marketplace, register your business through one of the following links:

  • Manufactures or traders can register here
  • Service providers can register here

The process for registration is simple and once registered, a GeM user id and password is provided to access the seller account. Through the seller account, the seller or service provider can list the products or services offered by them along with the pricing. The seller is free to set the price of the product as per his/her costing. But it is important to include in the final price, the cost for logistics, packing & taxes, duties etc. along with a suitable margin to arrive at the Selling Price on all inclusive basis, indicating percentage of Excise Duty, Service Tax & CST/VAT as applicable, with delivery at site basis.





About AuthorAbhishek Giri

Team Mera Profit