Procurement by Government

Bid for government tenders and become a seller to the Government through the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) and other channels

View GeM Marketplace
Grievance related to procurement by a public entity

Application form for startups for submitting public procurement related grievance

Disclaimer: Please note, the General Financial Rules 2017 apply only to the Central Government Ministries, Departments, and associated CPSEs. State Governments may have different procurement norms. For details on State procuring rules, kindly refer to the State-level Startup Policies.



1 What is Public Procurement?

Governments, just like private companies, have to buy goods and services for their operational needs.


Public procurement refers to the process by which governments and state-owned enterprises purchase goods and services from the private sector. As public procurement utilises a substantial portion of taxpayers' money, governments are expected to follow strict procedures to ensure that the process is fair, efficient, transparent and minimises wastage of public resources.

2 How Can Public Procurement Benefit My Startup?

In India, public procurement (government tenders) can also present useful pilot opportunities for startups that have not yet been able to gain traction in the private sector.


Conversely, opening government tenders up to startups improves the choices available to government bodies since startups are often more agile than corporate vendors and can provide cheaper, more innovative products and services.

3 What is GeM and what is GeM Startup Runway?

Government e Marketplace (GeM) is an online procurement platform for government ministries and departments, and the most widely used channel for public procurement in India.  MSMEs, DPIIT recognised startups and other private companies can register on GeM as sellers and sell their products and services directly to government entities.


GeM Startup Runway is a new initiative launched by GeM to allow startups to reach out to the universe of government buyers by offering innovative products that are unique in design, process and functionality.



Register On GeM


Startups can create a seller profile on GeM using:

  • DPIIT Recognition Number
  • Mobile number used for Recognition
  • PAN Number
  • Aadhaar Number



Total Number of DPIIT Recognized Startups registered on GeM


Total volume of orders served by Startups

INR 11,126.98 Cr

Total value of orders served by Startups


(Data as of 1st June 2023)

Benefits for DPIIT Recognised Startups on GeM

Requirement Exemptions

Startups are exempted from otherwise stringent selection criteria such as Prior Experience, Prior Turnover and Earnest Money Deposits



DPIIT recognised startups are distinguished from other sellers because they are provided the Startup India badge


Feedback Mechanism

Buyers can rate your product or service on GeM. Given the large scope of public procurement, this can help you to finetune and adapt your product for scale.



No more restrictive categories on GeM, meaning that new & innovative products to be published on the platform.


Buyer Outreach

DPIIT recognised startups have facetime opportunity with 50,000+ Government buyers


What is CPPP and its benefits ?




Central Public Procurement Portal (CPPP) is the Government of India’s portal that facilitates all the Central Governments Departments, Organizations, Autonomous Bodies, and CPSEs to publish their NIT, tender inquiries, contract award details and their corrigenda.


The primary objective of this portal is to provide single point access to the information on procurements made across various Ministries / Departments and all the organizations under them. Startups can now register on CPPP and become Preferred Bidders in Public Orders and get exemptions on prior experience, prior turnover and earnest money deposit requirements on A free and fair environment provides the startups with a level playing ground amongst other competitors.


In order to facilitate easier bidder registration for startups on CPPP, the detailed guidelines for the same are attached here.




Relaxations in Public Procurement
1 General Financial Rules 2017
  • Rule 170 (i) – Relaxation from payment of EMD for DPIIT recognised startups

    Link the existing document

  • Rule 173 (i) – Relaxation from Prior Experience and Turnover

    Link the existing document 1 and document 2

2 Manual for Procurement of Consultancy and Other Services 2017

Rule 1.9 (ix) clarifies conditions for relaxation of Prior Experience and Turnover for DPIIT recognised Startups in Consulting and other services procured by any department/organisation under the Government of India.

3 Manual for Procurement of Works 2019

Rule 4.5.2 clarifies conditions for relaxation of Prior Experience and Turnover for DPIIT recognised Startups in procurement of works by any department/organisation under the Government of India.

Best Procurement Practices in Central & State Government

Below we have outlined some of the best practices for public procurement, outside of the GeM marketplace, at the Central and State government levels

1 Ministry of Defence
  • Make II Procedure

    MoD has launched procurement procedure ‘Make-II’ with an objective of impetus for Startups and timely induction of equipment into the Indian Armed Forces. In this subcategory, no Government funding is envisaged for prototype development purposes but has assurance of orders on successful development and trials of the prototype. Number of industry friendly provisions such as relaxation of eligibility criteria, minimal documentation, provision for considering proposals suggested Suo-moto by industry etc., have been introduced in the Make-II Procedure. The financial capping of projects for explicit participation Startups have been reserved separately defined by each Defence-PSU. See More

  • Transfer Development Fund

    Technology Development Fund (TDF) has been established to promote self-reliance in Defence Technology as a part of the 'Make in India' initiative. It is a programme of MoD (Ministry of Defence) executed by DRDO meeting the requirements of Tri-Services, Defence Production and DRDO. The scheme will cover funding through provision of grants to industry that may work in collaboration with the academia or research institutions to carry out innovation, research and development. After development of the prototype, the product shall be commercialised by DRDO for procurement.


    MoD is identifying innovation in defence space through iDEX by investments made under the SPARK II. As per the guidelines, the applicant startup has at least an equivalent amount of financial or in-kind contribution for developing the product. The matching contribution can come from the founders of the company, venture investors, banks, or other funding partners who are acceptable to DIO-iDEX. The investments under the iDEX program are proposed in the following stages:


    • Seed stage support – up to INR 2.5 Cr per startup, to be provided as grant/convertible debt/simple debt/equity to startups with a working proof concept of their technology, and with potential of developing useful products and emerging as a supplier to Indian Tri-services.
    • Pre-Series A/ Series A investments – up to INR 10 Cr per startup, to be provided to startups as grant/convertible debt/simple debt/equity whose technology has already been validated by one of the Forces under the Ministry of Defence and needs the resources to scale up the solution.
    • Follow-on investments – iDEX-DIF should retain a provision for higher investments, without publicizing this extensively, to ensure that DIF can make specific, high requirement investments when required.


Link to the recent Defence Acquisition Procedure released by the Ministry of Defence.

2 Ministry of Home Affairs

The National Security Guard, Ministry of Home Affairs has established a swiss model of procurement to purchase innovative products and services. Startups can create a proposal and submit it in a standard format to the department via email for consideration. The proposal shall be examined by both HQ NSG and user units and the startup shall be invited for presentations/demonstrations during monthly presentation of proposals which will be scheduled once in a month. The same will be witnessed by various user/stakeholders of NSG, if deemed necessary.

For more information please visit here

3 Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs - City Innovation Exchange

Smart Cities Mission, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, envisions to bridge an interaction between the administrators across 4000+ cities in India and innovators to identify new solutions to improve the citizen services. The portal invites proposals and pilot implementation opportunity to some key problem statements issued by the city administration. Startups may register here.

4 Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas

Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has reserved a corpus of ₹320 Crores to collaborate with Startups in India through their CPSEs. The CPSEs have launched the initiative through their websites in the form of innovation challenges. See More

5 Ministry of Railways

The Ministry of Railways has drafted a Policy on Unsolicited Non-Fare Revenue Proposals. The policy enables the department to award Earnings Contract to a bidder when an unsolicited proposal is received by a proponent. A special incentive of a Right of First Refusal is granted to the proponent to match the highest bid. This policy has been drafted and published with an aim to generate revenues for the Government by considering unsolicited offers proposed by outside agencies.

For more information please visit here.


1 Kerala

The Government of Kerala has established various Procurement Models via the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM). KSUM facilitates procurement of innovative products and services from startups through the following ways:


  • Direct Procurement Model: The Government of Kerala has setup a process to procure products from startups from INR 5 Lakh to INR 20 Lakh through Direct Procurement Model where the startup can submit a proposal to the Government Department or KSUM that shall be considered for procurement if found suitable. The purchase of products beyond 100 Lakh shall be done through Limited Tendering process.
  • Requirement by Department: The KSUM hosts demand days for the Government Departments to float their procurement requirements. KSUM subsequently facilitates hosting limited tenders and RFPs inviting applications from startups to bid for the work order.
  • Innovation Zone Model: The Government of Kerala has setup innovation zones under various Government Departments to procure highly innovative products and for procurement requirements with latent demands. This model enables the Government to work closely with startups and customize their products for the perfect fit.

The detailed information and documents on these models can be accessed here.


2 Andhra Pradesh

The Government of Andhra Pradesh has created a Suo Moto model of procurement where they invite innovative startup applicants to create and submit a proposal to Government Departments. These proposals are evaluated by Andhra Pradesh Innovation Society and are then presented to various Government Departments for procurement.


The companies outside Andhra Pradesh can also apply under this scheme and are evaluated by the evaluation committee. If their product/solution is selected and they do not have a presence in A.P, they shall open a development centre in Andhra Pradesh. Assistance under this scheme will be provided only on opening of such development centre in A.P.


Products and solutions, valued upto INR 50 Cr collectively, will be selected annually, by the Competent Authority, for implementation within GoAP. The selected proposals get a work order from GoAP of upto INR 5 Cr. For more information please visit here.

3 Rajasthan

The Government of Rajasthan has created an online platform, Challenge for Change, to provide work orders to startups for upto INR 1 Cr. Various Government Departments of Rajasthan have provided problems statements in the domains of Safe Drinking Water, Wool Industry, Crop Cultivation, Detection of Quarry and Mine blasts etc. that can be solved by the innovative offerings of startups.


The startups can apply online to participate in the challenge and apply for the stated problem statements. For more information please visit here.


4 Odisha

Odisha State Government notified a Government order dated 13.3.2018 which has included following provisions for Startups in public procurement:


  • There would not be any minimum turnover requirement from Micro, Small Enterprises and Startups in public procurement process,
  • All State Departments and agencies will additionally relax condition of prior experience with respect to Startups in all public procurement subject to meeting of quality and technical specifications.


Further, State Government’s Finance Department has exempted all eligible Startups and local MSEs from submission of Earnest Money Deposit (EMD) while participating in tenders of Government Department and agencies. The performance security (if any) has been reduced to 25% of the prescribed amount for Startups. Related Government orders have also been uploaded on Startup Odisha Portal.

The above provisions are followed in-principle as State Government Departments have also included above clauses in their procurement tenders.


5 Gujarat

Government of Gujarat, vide Industries and Mines Department Resolution on 11.4.2018 removed the criteria of "prior experience", “turnover”, “tender fee” and “submission of EMD” for encouraging Startups to participate in public procurement. The instructions to all the State Department is as below:


  • Exemption is given for obtaining details of ‘turnover’ for things and products under Micro and Small units & Startups. Hence, the condition may not be kept by the purchase officer
  • Exemption is given for ‘prior experience’ in tender document for Micro and Small units & Startups. The tender will not include any such condition of prior experience

The State Government has further directed all the offices to scrupulously follow the above mentioned provisions. The State departments have also included above clauses in their respective tenders. Further details on notification is provide on Startup Portal of Gujarat.


6 Haryana

Government of Haryana has done away with key qualification criteria of ‘turnover’ and ‘experience’ for Startups participating in public procurement process. The notification ‘Concessions/ Benefits in Public Procurement to Startups/ First Generation Entrepreneurs in the State’ was released by the State Department of Industries & Commerce on 3rd January 2019. According to the notification, startups will be treated at par with the MSEs in public procurement process subject to meeting other technical specifications as part of qualifying requirements for the procurement.


Startups based in the state, having turnover of less than INR 25 crore, would be eligible to participate along with big companies. As per estimates, around 750 startups are likely to benefit with the relaxation in norms. As per estimates, around 750 startups are likely to benefit with the relaxation in norms.


Additionally, if their quoted prices are within band of L1 (lowest bidder) plus 15% or in plain terms if Startup quoted prices are higher by 15% as compared to the lowest bidder and Startup is ready to match with the lowest bidder, they will be eligible to bag the contract subject to fulfillment of other terms and conditions.


Besides this, the government has exempted the startups from payment of tendering fee and Earnest Money Deposit (EMD) subject to conditions as per eligibility.

7 Maharashtra

The Maharashtra State Innovation Society in collaboration (MSInS) with Government of Maharashtra, organises a Startup Week in every calendar year. Startups from selected sectors are invited through an EoI for a “proof of concept opportunity”, where they pitch to a panel comprising of Government officials, renowned industry players, and investors. Three startups from each sector are selected and awarded a work order of amount of ₹10-15 lakhs to prove their concept. It is expected that MSInS may provide proof of concept opportunity to about 15 to 20 startups every year.

1 Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited

HPCL has launched Udgam. Udgam is a program to enable innovators and entrepreneurs pursue a promising idea, establish and validate proof of concept (POC) and support commercialization/implementation. Learn More 

2 Engineers India Limited

EIL is offering ease of vendor enlistment process to enable and promote procurement from India Startups. Learn More 

3 Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited

MRPL is supporting the startups with funds and incubation support to create innovative solutions with a potential of commercialisation and implementation. Learn More

4 Hindustan Aeronautics Limited

Under the Make-II initiative, projects with estimated cost (Design & development phase and Procurement phase) not exceeding Rs 250 Lakhs, will be earmarked for Startups. No separate technical or financial criteria are defined for startups. Learn More 

5 NTPC Limited

NTPC has issued vendor assessment guidelines for startups along with a list of non-critical activities open for startups. Learn More

6 Bharat Electronics Limited

BEL has extended procurement relaxations in special categories earmarked for startups such as AI, ML, Cyber Security, etc. Also, Under the Make-II initiative, for projects with estimated cost of prototype development phase not exceeding INR 10 lakhs and Procurement cost not exceeding INR 5 Crore, no separate technical or financial criteria are defined for startups. Learn more 

7 Airport Authority of India

The Airport Authority of India has established a Startup Grand Challenge Model offering certain incentives to shortlisted ideas post a series of evaluations. The shortlisted ideas are then further invited to submit a proposal for procurement which is challenged and evaluated by a counterbidding mechanism.


A system of counter bidding may be deployed for procurement from startups for innovative products shortlisted through the challenge. The startups would need to submit an online proposal detailing out the uniqueness of their product, the value add for airport etc. Based on the RFP, AAI will call for bids from other parties for the procurement within a fixed timeline. Those bidders who will be able to match the technical part with lower financial bids will be called along with the startup (with original proposal) to go for second round of bidding. The bidder with the lowest bid, after the second round of bidding, will be selected. This process will be time bound and will be closed within a month of receiving the initial proposal.


For more details please click here



Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers here to common questions about the public procurement process.