With the recent changes and update of government rules and norms around the involvement of SMEs and Startups, it is evident that the Indian government is putting its best efforts in helping the SMEs grow further and faster.

As an SME, do you feel you are too small to bid for tenders?

With the government taking right actions for SME’s growth; you as an SME also need to buckle up and move in the right direction to be able to win the government tenders.

It’s a general feeling amongst the SME community and hence as an SME, you may imagine that you are not big enough to be able to bid for government tenders.

Not having a large annual turnover makes you think that your company won’t even be considered in the bidding process by the buyer/government tender. This clearly is a misconception at large, because the factual data says otherwise.

At BidAssist (an OfBusiness initiative), while we are putting together the framework to help SMEs win government tenders and contracts, it’s a must for each SME to understand the below misconstrued thoughts, and clear their heads around it:

I am too small a company to win a government tender!

This is one big misconception which is already changing across the globe. For example, the UK government is already on track to double up the proportions of fund it directly spends on SMEs by 2022. While this number was only 6.5% of total government expenditure that got directed to SMEs in 2009, its trending to go up to 13% by 2022.

Another example is of Ireland, where half of the tenders size is €25,000 or less; which means these are ideal set of opportunities ready to be grabbed by small setups and SMEs.

Back home in India, The central government has also mandated the PSU’s, under the public procurement policy, to procure at least 20% of their purchases from the SMEs.

I am not suitable enough to fulfill such high level requirements of government tenders.

Yes, we agree that a lot of government tenders won’t make sense to you, but also remember there are ample number of tender requirements that suit your capacity, and if you are falling short a bit on certain requirement aspect of the government tender, always remember – COLLABORATION is the solution. Collaborate with another SME, who will fill in for missing requirements and you are ready to bid for the government tender.

There aren’t any government tenders that need the goods & services, that my company has to offer.

Let’s accept the fact that you haven’t managed to actually find those relevant tenders which need your company’s goods & services. There are all kinds of tenders which get released, and you just need to ensure that tenders worth your need get your attention. Of course, it’s always good to take help from other sources (like various tender aggregation platforms), if you haven’t managed to nail down this particular step. Platforms like BidAssist offer a google like search to easily find tenders which require your offered services or product categories.

So, what are the winning SMEs doing different to be able to win those government tenders?

It’s quite simple yet very methodical. SMEs that win government tenders have actually cracked and set up a procedure that they follow completely.

Bidding for a tender is not just about submitting your bid proposal, it’s a lot more than that. We would run you through this process, for you to get a better understanding of the complete picture.

  1. These SMEs engage with tender aggregation platform of their choice to begin with. In India there are 7000+ government authorities – which publish tenders; for instance Indian railways, NHAI, PWD, MES and many more. While most of the new government tenders get published on few of the government websites, but it may not contain the tender from the authority that you might be looking for. You can’t be going through each of these websites to find the government tenders relevant to you.

A better alternative is to subscribe to one of these tender aggregation platform. BidAssist is one of the most comprehensive aggregators which curate tender information from all government authorities and makes it as easy as google search, to discover new tenders.

BidAssist lets you discover tenders across all regions and as many keywords you want, absolutely FREE of cost. BidAssist also helps you do an advanced search with filters like preferred regions, tender value, tender authority and specific keywords like metal, fabrication, steel etc.

  1. They always lookout for not just open tenders, but also the ones that have been awarded. These SMEs do this to find out those organizations, that have chosen SMEs to procure their services in past. This info helps them in a dual manner:
    1. These SMEs build relationships with such organizations, so that they stand a chance when such organizations tender again in future.
    2. These SMEs will be competing for those tenders which will be released in the same area of their goods and services.
  2. They always keep updating their tender library. A tender library typically consists of all important paper works pertaining to your company and business. Things like industry certifications, client testimonials, references, Teams CVs/professional bio data, purchases orders etc.. You must keep updating this library/folder online with latest information/updates. Your teams CVs/professional bio data must consist of the work that relates to your business’s core competencies and highlights their expertise and experience in doing that work.

Tender library is one of the most crucial things to have, as it saves on time and money both in long run for the SMEs. Since their paperwork is sorted and updated to a great extent, it helps them write their bid proposal with more detail, focus and efficiency.

  1. Never miss to take feedback, in case they don’t win the tender. This is a very important piece of the entire process, though not followed by many. Asking for feedback means, you are checking for the missing pieces.

This information is like gold for SMEs, as they can now work on those shortfalls which didn’t let them win this time. So, once they work on those shortfalls, it will heavily increase their chance of winning the next time they bidding for government tender in their domain.

How is Indian government contributing to help SMEs step up?

Indian government has recently declared that the start-ups will be exempted from certain regulations while bidding for tenders. For starters the Start-ups don’t need any prior experience to be able to compete for a tender.

Indian government has clearly defined the following criteria to be considered as an SME.

  • If you are in the manufacturing space, the investments in equipment must be more than 5 Cr, and less than 10 Cr. Whereas if you are in the services sector, the range is between 2 to 5 Cr.
  • The central government department and ministries and their PSU’s, under the public procurement policy, have to procure at least 20% of their purchases from the small & medium enterprises.
  • These relaxations and exemptions by the Indian government, for the budding SME’s are indeed a very positive boost and extending a helping hand to the SMEs in letting them grow their business.

In fact to share a factual information; SMEs are hesitant even in Europe and America. However every bid received by an SME stands 26% chance of winning the contract. To put it another way, SMBs win just 1 of every 4 proposals that they submit. But even for that someone has to submit a tender 🙂

If you align with the thoughts penned above, then we must talk. BidAssist team would be more than happy to connect with you and help you further in shortlisting and working towards a winning strategy for government tenders. Reach out to us on 1800 102 9586 or you may write to us @ contact@bidassist.com