Interview

Improving profitability through efficient e-Procurement : RAMANATH IRAM, GENERAL MANAGER – CONSULTING, WIPRO INFOTECH

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“Our e-Procurement solutions provide the facility from requisition to pay, with integration with payment gateways  and net banking. The solution is PKI (public key infrastructure) enabled…” tells Ramanath IRam, GeneRal manaGeR – ConsultInG, WIpRo InfoteCh, in conversation with Prachi ShIrur of egov magazine.”

Q What is the e-Government vision of Wipro.

A To be a leading end-to-end service provider in the domain of e-Governance to consult and assist government departments in providing transparent effi cient, and reliable services to citizens

What are the advantages of deploying e-Procurement solutions, especially in the public sector?

The modular diagram as shown in figure 1 encapsulates advantages of deployment of e-Procurement solution.

How vast is the Indian e-Procurement market and who are the major players?

e-Procurement solution is being adopted by all the Public Sector Units, Government Organisations and other agencies undertaking procurement of goods, works and services subject to tendering process and are accountable to public scrutiny of processes and optimum utilisation of public/government funds. The major private sector players in this sector are: SAP;Ariba; PWC; Oracle; and Hewlett Packard.


FIGURE 1: ADVANTAGES OF E-PROCUREMENT

Tell us about Wipro’s e-Procurement solutions. In what ways do your solutions have an edge over the other market players in this sector?

Our e-Procurement solutions provide the facility from requisition to pay, with integration with payment gateways and net banking. The solution is PKI (public key infrastructure) enabled which compliance to the IT Act and relevant Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) guidelines. Our patented Secure Bid Process and Key Manager features which ensures confi dentiality of bids in an electronic scenario and encryption management gives us an edge over the other solutions available in the market. The service is offered by the Consulting arm of the organisation, consultants with domain expertise and with the synergy of technical capabilities enhances the implementation of solution leading to e-Governance.

FIGURE 2: FEATURES OF E-PROCUREMENT SOLUTION

How do you get a buy-in among all the stakeholdersenterprises, public sector, employees- in implementing e-Procurement in their organisations?

Champions driving e-Governance and procurement officers looking for transparency, time and cost advantages drive the change management internally in the organisation and facilitates in implementation of e-Procurement.CVC guidelines and other communiqués from the Central Government have provided the guidelines for e-Procurement initiative amongst various organisations. Our philosophy of e-Procurement enablers is represented in figure 3.

What are some of the technical and cultural blocks to be crossed to be able to implement a successful e-Procurement solution?

Low penetration of computers, internet connectivity, and nonacceptance to change were the major technical and cultural bottlenecks in effective implementation of e-Procurement projects. Repeated workshops & trainings and visible benefits (time and cost) have been the  key parameters to build confidence for acceptance and endurance of e-Procurement implementation
and continuance.

Which are the States in India where you have implemented e-Procurement?

A partial list of our implementation:

Government Sector:

  • Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) – Completed more than 32,000 transactions (tenders online)
  • Government of Assam – Department of Public Works
  • Government of Chhattisgarh (5 departments –State Wide Implementation on Process)
  • Government of Madhya Pradesh (Initial Stages of State Wide Implementation)

Public Sector Undertaking;

  • National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC Ltd.)
    Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)
    Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL)
    Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Limited (KIOCL)
    Rashtrya Chemical Fertilizers (RCF)
    National Fertilizers Limited (NFL)

Nationalised Bank;

  • A leading nationalised bank in India
  • Other State Government Corporation
  • Karnataka State Polic Housing Corporation Limited
  • Karnataka Rural Road Development Agency

How has your e-Procurement solutions helped these state governments in bringing about savings, benefits and return on investment in the quickest possible time.

On-line availability of the tender has increased the participations, resulting into increased    competition resulting in cost advantage thereby increasing the savings. e- Procurement has resulted into a transparent system and also has facilitated computer awareness amongst the   organisation and community as a whole.

What are some of the challenges you faced in implementing e-Procurement, especially in the public sector? How have these been overcome?

Initial adoption to the system was the major challenge other than low penetration of  computers and computer literacy in the organisations. Awareness programs and knowledge  transfer propositions facilitated to overcome the challenges for successful implementation of  e-Procurement project.

Tell us about your future plans in e-Procurement sector in terms of expanding your market and innovating newer solutions.

We are targeting to continue our focus to use our competence in total IT delivery packed with  our strength in implementation of e-Procurement solution resulting in competitive and effective services which has an edge over the market services available.

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