GeM: Micro, small sellers on Amazon of govt buying hit this key milestone; seller count nears 7 lakh

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Updated: March 31, 2021 5:38 PM

Technology for MSMEs: The order value for MSE sellers on GeM has increased from 52.65 per cent in February 2020 to 57.67 per cent so far.

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Technology for MSMEs: Days after public procurement via the government’s business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce portal Government eMarketplace (GeM) crossed Rs 1 lakh crore in transaction value, the micro and small enterprise (MSE) sellers’ count has now hit 50-per cent-mark of the overall seller base. As of Wednesday, there were 6,84,556 MSE sellers and service providers on the GeM portal while the total seller base stood at 13,68,967, according to the GeM data. The marketplace achieved the latest milestone in a little over the four-and-a-half-year period since its launch in August 2016 to increase the transparency and efficiency in the public procurement process.

GeM CEO Talleen Kumar wasn’t immediately available for comments for this story.

“GeM has been a huge game-changer for MSEs. As we speak, there are 25 lakh MSME units registered with Udyam Registration. This means that they are now eligible to list on GeM as well. So, the market will largely be captured by MSEs ahead. The government’s initial vision was to reserve a 20-25 per cent share for MSEs but as the portal grows further, the share is set to expand. MSEs have been able to sell goods competitively in terms of pricing, quality, etc., vis-a-vis other enterprises,” Rajiv Chawla, Chairman at the MSME association IamSMEofIndia told Financial Express Online.

Importantly, the share of MSE sellers has more than doubled in the past 12-month period. From 71,941 MSE sellers having a 22 per cent share of the 3.29 lakh seller base on GeM in February last year, the count had increased to 5,45,145 MSE sellers with a 49.5 per cent share of 10,99,116 total sellers as of February 25, 2021, before hitting the halfway mark, according to the data sourced from GeM. The jump in MSE seller count was over 7X during the said period. Moreover, the order value for MSE sellers has also increased from 52.65 per cent to 57.67 per cent so far.

Also read: GST e-invoicing welcome step for midsize firms but might be a challenge for micro, small units: FISME

“In last year, online transactions have seen a sharp jump. The MSEs growth is only the tip of the iceberg as many units are still to register and take advantage. MSE base is going to be far wider and become extremely competitive in time to come,” added Chawla.

Even as the MSE seller base has been growing on the GeM, the government is currently not aware of large companies setting up wholly-owned MSE subsidiaries to acquire public procurement tenders in the country, MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari had said in reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha recently. “There are certainly around 5-5.5 lakh MSEs that are basically subsidiaries of some of the very well-known Indian corporates and have a stronghold in the public procurement process…There should be some mechanism by the government to ensure that other MSEs are not impacted due to this even as it is already happening,” Chandrakant Salunkhe, Founder and President, SME Chamber of India had told Financial Express Online.

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