Government Contracts are very lucrative business opportunity in India to grow big & quickly especially for the startups or small-scale business. However, most of the startup owners think bidding or investing their time in Government process is exhausting and full of risk. Yes, at times government system seems cumbersome to bid or win tenders and it is pretty challenging to even register as a contractor for bidding in a government contract if you are new in this field or does not have the appropriate knowledge to navigate with the bureaucracy. Even, according to industry experts, the tendering process itself is a difficult nut to crack.
However, ignoring the government as a client can be a big mistake.
Government can be an ideal client and best friend for your business
The Government can be an ideal client for your business to grow along with your profits. Since government has to assign and finish its project inside meaningful budget, they need innovative ideas and services from its partners/contractors to fulfill the same.
On March 2016, PM Modi launched the Start-up India initiative to support startups and issued an order to all ministries and central public sector to exempt startups and small enterprises from needing prior experience and turnover in all public procurement.
To follow Startup program, many government bodies support startups to win bids and this support can make government true friend for startups or small businesses.
How to apply for Government Contracts for Startups?
To apply for Government Contracts and to participate in bidding, startups need to first get itself registered first as a contractor as per the service they want to provide with all the required certificates as per the eligibility criteria.
Tenders vary from department to department as per their needs and budget and are found on all major government websites, and also publish in all major Indian newspapers & magazines as well.
Government made some rules, criteria & instructions that every vendor has to follow while applying for the tenders, and might even require Digital Certificate to bid as maximum tenders are now submitted online.
Interested suppliers will then outline their tender proposal; it includes all the information such as your company profile & capability statement, your key products & services and estimate cost of the project as well as proper schedules for completing the project and how your offer provide the best value over other competitors.
There is a misconception amongst the companies especially who are new and just entered in the tendering process that lowering your bid price can increase the chance to win the tender. However, this is not the right approach. Yes, government seeks for lower bids but along with that they first cross verify all post bid documents and technical criteria’s like, company profile, resources, USP, product etc.
It does not matter how lower your bid is you have to be more focused on the communication with government, adopt an effective strategy, aware of all the legal terms and maintain professionalism.
Now you might be thinking how you will do so many things within limited time of each tender.
Keeping the above points and doing things fast and correctly you can also hire services of government project consultants which can help, guide and support you. There are such organizations that always ready to support you to win government tenders or contracts.
Tips to win Government Tenders for Startups
Do Your Homework
The very first thing to do before applying for the tender is to complete all the research about the targeted market, know your competitors & their strength, brand development, plan writing, aware all the legal policies, build networks, get advice for navigating the bureaucracy, get all the certificates and more. This will help you while creating your action plan.
Register Under Ministries
The government settled some rules & regulations under which you have to register your business as a contractor under the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, Central Public Works Department. Also you have to present some documents & certificates of business registration, Income Tax clearance certificate, passport photographs of business owners, list of machinery owned by the company, etc.
Know Your Business
It is vital that you know your business objectives and nature and understands that not every tender is made for you. You don’t need to put your efforts and time on every tender to grab. Take a look at the procurement process and research on the market and analyze which tender is right for your business.
Have you checked sub-contracting opportunities? Big organizations that got the tender usually sub-contract their workload to the smaller companies. It is a great way to get the needed exposure and start your journey before work on the project itself. It will also help you to build a relationship with the existing companies that will help you in the future.
Find A Mentor
It is quite hard to be a part of tendering when you do not know someone who has been in contracting. Therefore, it is necessary to build your networks, attend networking events especially for contractors and you can take guidance from existing consulting firms that will guide you and fulfilling every need.
It is quite tough to get a contract for startups initially. So, do not lose hope if you didn’t get a contract from the government. You just have to be focus on building your outreach and having a pro-active