Established in the US, one of the world’s largest cab networks came into existence in 2010 and, since its inception, has expanded all over the globe with operations in 10,000 cities across 71 countries. It made a remarkable start in India in 2017 and, since then, has seen a rise in the customers and drivers for the company. India is among the largest markets for Uber, with 600,000 monthly drivers and 8.5 million monthly riders.
Government e-Marketplace (GeM) is a one-stop portal to facilitate online procurement of common-use Goods & Services required by various Government Departments / Organizations / PSUs. GeM aims to enhance transparency, efficiency and speed in public procurement. It provides the tools of e-bidding, reverses e-auction and demand aggregation to facilitate government users achieve the best value for their money. Government e-Marketplace owes its genesis to the recommendations of two Groups of Secretaries to the Prime Minister in January 2016. They recommended setting up a dedicated e-market for different goods & services procured or sold by Government/PSUs besides reforming DGS&D. Subsequently, the Finance Minister, in his Budget speech for FY 2016-17, announced setting up of a technology-driven platform to facilitate procurement of goods and services by various Ministries and agencies of the Government. The portal was launched on 9th August 2016 by the Commerce & Industry Minister.
The cab network giant has registered on the portal of the Government E-marketplace and has declared that it will offer its services to Government officials from Ministries and PSUs. The project is currently in its pilot phase and shall be executed systematically to cover all the ministries and PSUs in the nation. The officials can book cabs at a fixed price with no cancellation or surge fees on the rides. The authorised officials will be able to book a cab from the portal and select from the list of drivers available. It will be a cashless/cardless ride for the officials; additional vehicle categories for government riders have been added, namely, GeM Yatraa Hatch and GeM Yatraa Sedan, and there will be hourly rentals for multiple-stops, allowing the government officials to enjoy the flexible and easily accessible network of cabs in major cities.
Such collaboration between Government institutions and corporates will go a long way to secure a stable equilibrium in the market. Uber, a US-based company, enjoys a vast user base in India and has created new job avenues. The advantages of the collaboration between GeM and Uber are as follows-
- Easy accessibility
- This will undoubtedly provide ease in accessibility in terms of being in a new place, and language barriers will no longer exist with such options for Government officials.
- Increased jobs for drivers
- With more cabs being engaged with ministries and PSUs, it is pertinent that the requirement for drivers will grow, thus increasing the employability rate in India and allowing the user to have an uninterrupted experience.
- Ease of travel and commuting
- This move will provide flexibility, thus leading to more ease in travel in cases of emergencies or places inaccessible by trains or other modes of transport.
- Rise in travel and tourism
- Coupled with the other factors, the opportunities for the users to visit different places will be an added advantage which will help boost the tourism industry, thus creating a balance in the market.
- Sustainable Government corporate relationship
- Such collaborations between the government and corporates will be substantial, signifying the ease of doing business in India. They will also act as a beacon of example for compliance with opportunities for the other companies and stakeholders.
- Opportunities for collaboration with ingenious start-ups
- With such major corporate joining hands with the government, the indigenous start-ups will have various opportunities to engage with companies and recreate similar businesses rooted in India, thus transforming the economy.
Transportation and communication play a vital role in our lives, thus, such collaboration will go a long way in creating a better and more uniform user experience in the country. This also goes a long way to showcase that the Governmental platforms also offer services of a global standard. Such portals exist in South Korea, Singapore, the US and Europe. The network of cabs can only be sustained using the locals as drivers, hence these collaborations are win-win for all as the market dynamics are improving, employability will increase, and improved user experience will be seen.
Author : Mr. Abhishek Singh, Lead – Policy and Advocacy, CyberPeace