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Participating in a government tender is beneficial for every business, especially micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME), for multiple reasons. It not only helps an MSME generate more revenue but enhances experience and builds reputation.
In recent times, the government announces all eProcurement requirements via its public portals, namely the Government e Marketplace (GeM portal) and the Central Public Procurement Portal (eProcurement system). As a business, if you want to win government tenders, then you will have to start by applying to online tenders as announced on GeM and eProcurement systems.
The government e-tendering process, usually follows the following steps:
- Announcing the tender (i.e., tender notice) that clearly states the requirement of products to be procured or services to be availed
- Including all details in the tender request such as quantities to be procured, technical aspects of the product, timelines, etc.
- Inviting any company which meets the criteria to bid
- Undergoing two phases (in most cases) – technical feasibility and financial quotes (Bidders that pass technical criteria, are requested to submit financial quotes)
- Negotiating and awarding the contract
If you are trying to search for the latest government tender contracts, Government e-Marketplace (GeM) is one of the platforms you should not miss out on.
As per P. K. Singh, CEO, GeM Portal, GeM has achieved ₹ 1 lakh crore of Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) in the financial year 2022-23 alone. Such huge quantum makes GeM an attractive platform for sellers and suppliers. However, you need to be registered on GeM portal to be able to sell or bid on the platform.
GeM portal registration
In order to get government tender in India, you need to register your business on GeM portal. You will need to login to the portal and fill the registration form. Once you fill the form, you need to verify the information and support it with the required documents.
Once you complete the registration process on GeM portal, you can start looking for active government tenders that are relevant to your business and start bidding. There are different types of government tenders in India, and it’s advisable to spend some time to find the right ones for you, to increase your chances at winning the contract.
Meaning of common terms used in government tender
- Request for proposal (RFP): This means the announcement of tender that includes all the information with regards to the tender.
- Consortium: When two or more companies come together to bid tender, the alliance is called as consortium. It happens when none of the company in the consortium is meet the qualification criteria. To fil the gaps that each company has, consortium is formed.
- L1, L2 and L3: This means the lowest bidders. L1 is the lowest bidder followed by L2 and L3.
- Earnest Money Deposit (EMD): It refers to a sum of money that you need to deposit while submitting the tender response. It is a fixed amount hat is usually refunded in case you don’t win the contract.
- Mobilisation advance: Advance funds that you can request before you start the production in case of winning the contract.
How to respond to relevant tenders?
Here are some factors that can help you to win a government tender.
- Decide if participating in the tender is strategically right for your business: Once you spot a relevant tender on GeM, it is obvious that you would want to bid the same. However, before filling the tender response form, you need to understand if it would be strategically appropriate for your business to participate in the particular tender bidding process.
- Read the tender proposal carefully: Once you decide to share a proposal against government tender invite, read the tender carefully. Check if you fit in the criteria mentioned in the tender invitation. Also, understand the requirements, technicalities, expected quality and delivery timelines.
- Ascertain your capabilities of your business: Ensure that your company is capable of carrying out the prescribed job within given timelines. Also, determine the capability of your vendors. Analyse how you will complete the current orders if you win this contact. Additionally, make sure you can arrange for the necessary finances.
- Make a checklist of the required documents: Once you decide to bid the tender, ensure that you have all the required tender documents in place. Make a list of the tender documents and other details that are required while filling the tender request form.
At the time of filling the tender document, you need to be careful in information that you are sharing.
- Ensure that you enter all required details: While filling the response document, ensure that you are giving all the information that is asked in the tender request. Do not miss out on anything.
- Be specific: While you need to include all the information that is required, you need to be specific in giving details. You can do so by focussing on the needs of the buyer. Additionally, there could be unstated or indirect needs that you might have discovered. Ensure that you are addressing those needs too.
- Highlight your Unique Selling Point (USP): While preparing the response, determine what is your USP, it could be competitive pricing or highest quality or customer service, etc. Whatever it is, ensure that you are underlining your USP so that the buyer considers the same while evaluation.
- Review the filled document: Once you have filled the required details in your document, ensure that you proofread it before submitting. This will help you avoid errors. It would be a good idea to run it through your partner or any other authorised personnel, so that it is double checked.
Closing thoughts: Tips to win government tender
- Do your research: It is better to do research on your buyer, their requirements and the way they function. It can help you to fill in details accordingly and increase your chances of winning the contract.
- Compare your capabilities with competitors: Do a quick check on who are the likely competitors. You can compare your capabilities and analyse where you stand. This will help you gauge likelihood of you winning the tender.
- Giving value for money is important: Remember that the cheapest bidder may not win the contract. Your quotation should be value for money for the buyer. Evaluate your response on this parameter before submitting.
- Choose references carefully: Be careful in selecting references. Ensure that they know your business well.