All businesses had to face new challenges in addition to the pre-existing ones during the Covid-19 pandemic. Although there were many opportunities that slipped out of hand, the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, launched by our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, on 12 May 2020, created many opportunities for local businesses. The current tenders had also got a boost due to this scheme.
The situation of tenders during the beginning of the pandemic: –
- Tendering shares got very tough for the companies during Covid-19. They were not only facing trouble in selling securities to investors in this unstable market but also finding it difficult to get investors to tender them.
- Department of Expenditure modified the General Financial Rules (GFR). It said that the government would not float any global tenders below Rs.200 crore.
- The number of tenders nearly halved during the pandemic.
- Indian depository receipts (IDRs), a kind of security with shares listed abroad as its underlying, were terminated by Standard Chartered. These shares were to be sold at the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
- Indian Oil Corporation saw a drastic fall in the tenders from 30,000 crores to 2,382 crores.
- A lot of offline work could not be completed as a big team was required, which was not possible during the lockdown.
- Several clients did not use Internet banking facilities.
- The necessary documentation that was needed to complete the tender processes could not be completed due to lockdown.
Current tenders are in a better position as compared to the situation during the first lockdown. Government procurement is again gaining pace.
New opportunities that came in: –
- When the solar industry around the world was affected by this global pandemic, India announced the 14GW of solar tenders. 3.5GW solar projects were auctioned in the first quarter (Q1) in 2020 despite Covid-19. SECI announced the largest tender in the quarter.
- Current tenders are mainly focused on the medical field. A massive number of Covid-19 tenders for rapid test kits were invited by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
- Tender for masks- the demand for masks rose to a great extent after the medical communities announced that it was an essential preventive measure. The investments in these industries also increased.
- Surgical gowns- India has been making nearly 4.5 lakh PPE (personal protective equipment) kits every single day. Current tenders also include shoe covers, goggles, gloves, face shields, headcovers.
- Hand sanitizer- the order for hand sanitizers have increased to 100x since the coronavirus outbreak started. The local tenders saw a considerable rise in them.
- Touchless dispensers were usually found at high-end places before. Many entrepreneurs started exploring this business during the lockdown, and it started appearing mostly everywhere. Starting from sensor-based to automatic foot sanitizers, these have been on the list of current tenders.
- Online tutorials/ Edtech- the Edtech sector was of significant help during the pandemic. There was a substantial overnight rise in the number of users. This also helped to show a large portion of the illiterate population what future education looks like.
It is imperative that businesses keep a positive outlook. Shifting to online mode indeed changed a lot, exposing the people to a variety of opportunities. Current tenders have also had to adapt and grow with time. Many new changes did come up, which helped numerous people in these difficult moments. India’s local market got a huge boost due to the Abhiyan, opening new doors in the tender market. In view of the Abhiyan, Bidassist has a separate category that displays the current tenders available in the Covid-19 pandemic.