According to the Doing Business Report of 2019 released by the World Bank, India has raised its position to the 77th place in the Ease of Doing Business Index. This report clearly states that the business policies in India have improved and that there has been a steady growth in the number of people in the country inclining towards the business sector. The Government of India ensures to focus on amending and creating business policies in order to simplify the business process for everyone, which in turn, would boost the economy of the nation itself. One of its latest initiatives of the Government eMarketplace is the Start-ups, Women and Youth Advantage Through eTransactions (SWAYATT) on the Government eMarketplace (GeM). This article talks about how GeM SWAYATT is aimed to bring various essential stakeholders closer in the Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem.
SWAYATT: A startup runway
Suresh Prabhu, the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, launched the Start-ups, Women and Youth Advantage Through eTransactions/ SWAYATT to encourage various startups to be a part of the Government eMarketplace (GeM). The programme looks forward to creating an open and socially intrusive marketplace for every seller and service provider. This has been specifically dedicated to Women Entrepreneurs, Self-Help Groups [SHGs], Startups, Rural/ Urban artisans and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
It offers an opportunity for startups to reach out to government buyers. Startups would be able to do so by providing their products and services through the startup runway corner. However, it should be noted that only startups that are certified by the Department of Promotion for Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) will be eligible for this particular listing. This initiative was announced along with the news concerning angel tax exemptions taking into place for startups.
The following are the primary objectives of the SWAYATT.
- To promote the concept of inclusiveness by boosting various categories of sellers and service providers.
- To take various proactive steps in order to facilitate training and registration of a specific group of manufacturers and sellers.
- To promote and develop women entrepreneurship.
- To encourage the participation of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Sector and Startups in public procurement.
The following are the advantages of sellers by signing up for SWAYATT and to have their businesses prevalent on the Government eMarketplace.
- Provides various opportunities to all sellers through direct access to all the Government Departments.
- A one-stop shop for bids and reverse auctions on products/ services.
Offers marketing with minimal efforts.
- Provides a new product suggestion daily. This facility is accessible to every seller.
- Seller-friendly dashboard for conducting business and monitoring of various supplies and payments.
- Sellers may change the prices of products/ services according to different market conditions.
- Sellers get consistent and uniform purchase procedures.
To be a part of the initiative, startups, recognised by the DPIIT, may register themselves on the Government eMarketplace in order to sell their products or services to government buyers. These products/ services would be accessible to Government Departments for a time period of three months.
After that time period, startups would be promoted as a full-time seller on the Government eMarketplace under the condition that the products or services receive a minimum of three positive reviews. Startups from various categories such as artificial intelligence, fintech, big data and analytics, and blockchain may apply. The following is a summary of the procedure to sign up for the initiative.
Step 1: Startups are required to register themselves on the Government eMarketplace. Startups who have registered themseleves earlier on the portal may skip this step.
Step 2: After the registration, the startup or seller is required to log in and upload various information pertaining to their products or services.
Step 3: The unique product or service would be listed after being subjected to screening for 7 days as per standard operating procedures.
Step 4: The offerings for the product/ service would be made available for government authorised buyers as a trial version of the specific product/ service.
Step 5: Feedback is received from the relevant buyers for the product/ service. However, the time period to review would vary. For products, a trial period of 15 days is allotted whereas, for services, a trial period of 8-16 weeks is granted.
Step 6: The particular product/ service would require a minimum of three good reviews in order to continue the business. If that has been achieved, the product/ service would be made available on the Government eMarketplace permanently.