Public Procurement Summit 2022 “Bridging the Gap”
Public Procurement Summit 2022, the country’s largest Business to Government (B2G) summit was an initiative of Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) with the aim to reduce the disparity between State Government and startups. The event was aimed to encourage startups to connect with Government Departments as part of the “ Government as marketplace” scheme. The program is inaugurated by K N Balagopal, Hon’ble Minister for Finance, Government of Kerala, on Apr 26, 2022 at Hotel Mascot, Thiruvananthapuram. Addressing the participants Shri K N Balagopal talked about how globalization to regionalisation is the trend.and the importance to build our economy and become self-sufficient. Shri Balagopal also mentioned how the Government is considering a proposal to raise the ceiling on purchase of startup products.
Presiding over the function, Principal Secretary, General Administration Department and Transport, Shri K R Jyothilal, said Kerala is fast becoming the startup capital of the country and it can gain a prominent place in cleantech and health tech sectors. Speaking on “Startup Procurement: The Kerala Model,” Shri Jyothilal said a liberal approach is important in matters like registration and extending financial aid to them. “Scaling up and funding has to be addressed in a holistic manner. This summit, which is the first-of-its-kind in the country, can find technology solutions for the benefit of society,” he added.
KSUM CEO Shri John M Thomas, who welcomed the gathering pointed out how the summit is an initiative envisioned to communicate clearly about the value that Kerala startups add to the public ecosystem.
The Public Procurement Summit brought together all the departments and Startups who worked together under the programme Government as a Marketplace under one roof and also opened up the opportunity for further collaborative engagement. The summit was designed in such a way that the startup founders would gain key insights about the procurement process, inspiring stories about entrepreneurship and one-on-one interaction with the key officials from the Government department. The summit also provided Government Departments with a stark understanding of how easily they can involve a Startup and find a technology solution that can ease various processes functions within. More that 80 Government Departments participated in the event along with 100+ Startups who made the best use of the opportunity to connect with the various departments. Around 25 startups displayed their products and services at the expo on the sidelines of the summit, thereby showcasing various startup products which were useful for various government departments.
As part of the Demand Day program, lead speakers from various departments presented their requirements before start-ups in order to procure products and services from them. The main speakers of the program included : Principal Secretary, Sports and Youth Affairs, Shri M Sivasankar; MD of Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Ltd., Dr. Santhosh Babu; Tourism Director Shri V R Krishna Teja; E-Health Kerala Project Director Shri Mohammad Y Saffirulla; Smart City-Trivandrum CEO Dr. Vinay Goyal; Kerala State IT Mission Director Shri Snehil Kumar Singh; Digital University Vice Chancellor Dr Saji Gopinath; KSRTC IT Manager Nishanth S; and CEO of Vizhinjam International Seaport Limited, Dr. Jayakumar. A wide range of problems were presented by the speakers, ranging from surveillance applications for Dark Web to next level technology innovations in terms of 5G connectivity and the various opportunities associated with enabling innovation in State E-Governance with the support of startups.
Various startups under the KSUM ecosystem were handpicked based on their specialized sectors and were given the platform to display their products and interact with officials from Government Departments. This gave an opportunity for the departments to identify products which are suitable for their various needs as well as a space for startups to associate with the bureaucratic side of affairs. The summit aimed to pave the way for setting up Startup Innovation Zones in the government departments, which will be facilitated by KSUM. This in turn will bring the process or product innovation in the departments thereby boosting the modernization of government working apparatus.