Kerala Govt to ‘port’ SMEs to cyberdom

It may be a while before a Kerala firm matches up to online majors like Amazon and Flipkart. But the state government is taking a page out of their ‘e-book’.

Published: 17th October 2017 01:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th October 2017 01:01 PM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

KOZHIKODE:It may be a while before a Kerala firm matches up to online majors like Amazon and Flipkart. But the state government is taking a page out of their ‘e-book’. It will soon be launching an e-commerce portal exclusively for over three lakh Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) operating in the state.

The Department of Industries and Commerce has already initiated the proceedings to launch the portal - claimed to be the first venture of its kind by a state government - in the next financial year. The Kerala Bureau of Industrial Promotion (K-BIP) has been assigned with the task of finalising a company, through tender process, to develop and maintain the portal.

“The K-BIP has come out with a tender inviting bids from companies for designing, developing and maintaining the portal. The tender will close on October 25,” a senior officer told Express.
As per the project, the portal will be fully managed by the Department of Industries and Commerce. The government is expecting participation of at least ten percent of SMEs in the initial stage to make the venture a success. “The portal will enable registered SMEs in the state to showcase their products,” said K-BIP manager Sooraj S.

“The government aims to connect genuine sellers and buyers through the portal.”The registered SMEs will be given a login ID and password for accessing the portal in which they can create a catalogue of their products. Similarly, buyers will also be given a login ID and password after verification. Both the seller and the buyer have to meet certain criteria to do business through the portal. “By launching such a portal, the government wanted to ensure that it develops into a platform for genuine buyers and sellers. Initially, the portal won’t have a payment gateway. It will be up to the sellers to make alternate arrangement for financial transactions,” the officer said.

As per the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC), the state has identified about 75 SME clusters and the consultancy firm KPMG has suggested the state can become an economic growth driver of the country by tapping into its SME and IT sectors.

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