Bids Invited for Annual Maintenance Contract of Indian Agri Trade Junction Portal of APEDA


APEDA invites submission of Technical and Financial bids for carrying out Annual Maintenance, user support, updation, upgradation and promotion of Indian Agri Trade Junction Portal of APEDA.

Introduction to APEDA

APEDA is the nodal agency for promotion of agricultural and processed food products exports from India, under the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India. The major product groups under the ambit of APEDA include Floriculture, Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, processed fruits and vegetables, animal products, other processed products and cereals.

APEDA is a pioneer in using information technology for its internal office automation and its interactions with its members and other stakeholders, towards its main objective of promotion of exports. APEDA has embraced Internet as early as 1996 and has a number of e-governance software applications to its credit. Dissemination of information about International markets is a major activity under taken by APEDA for the benefits of present and potential entrepreneurs in the Indian Agriculture and processed food products sector. The portal "Indian Agri Trade Junction" is an online initiative as a part of this endeavor.

Vision behind Indian Agri Trade Junction Portal

When we have to access information on the internet, we often get lost in an attempt to seek the required information. We then access multiple sites and try to collate the information and do the customization as per the requirement for the end use. In the process lot of time and energy is wasted and at time it looses the focus. This portal in fact has attempted to fulfill the trade requirement of the stakeholders in terms of market intelligence and trade opportunities, meticulously collated at one place.

This portal, an interactive platform, facilitates access to the hitherto difficult to obtain international market intelligence ranging from sourcing countries, partner countries, India's position, import procedures and regulations, custom tariffs, quality standards, even SPS issues, etc., up to prices of important commodities of the major markets. This is also emerging as platform where importers can submit their trade enquiries online and get serviced by genuine APEDA registered members.

Major Features of Indian Agri Trade Junction Portal

APEDA's Indian Agri Trade Junction portal is database driven, interactive and facilitates the user to generate his own query on the databases and carry out his own analysis based on the data provided by the portal. Hence the same software infrastructure can be used for updation of data for any future years and one can easily carry out comparison on his own over the number of years. The aim is to create an information infrastructure at the portal and get the information update carried out using software programming methods from other primary/secondary sources. it covers 400 plus APEDA scheduled products and 150 plus countries. The stakeholders for APEDA's portal are primarily Indian exporters and International importers,

One can search the portal by Product name or by country name. The portal has been organized using standard codes for products (called HScodes) and countries.

For example, Lets say you are interested in exploring opportunities for exporting grapes. The portal can lead to Grapes Product Profile, through a key feature Product Search and let you get
  o Major Importing Countries
o Their Suppliers and India's share vis-à-vis its competitors in their markets
o India's position in the Global Trade
o International Production
o Quality Standards from major markets like US, Europe, etc.,
o General Import Procedures and Regulations
o Custom Tariffs
o SPS Measures
o Prices in major terminal ports of the world
o Importers Directory and
o Trade Leads posted by importers.
o Production in India
o Market Prices in major markets of India
o Exports from India
This can be obtained by selecting all grapes related product names listed under Product Search.

Apart from these, the portal also covers information about the status in India, by providing information on Production Statistics in India and Market prices for horticultural products, Export statistics for a large number of agricultural and processed food products for a number of years and a latest Exporter-Member Directory of APEDA.

The data collected has been collated, codified and reconstructed after necessary value addition/modification to present a uniform HSCODE based (2 digits, 6 digits for international data and 8 digits with respect to Indian data) and unique Country Code based presentation. The data has been collected from published material from the websites of a number of international organizations like United Nations COMMTRADE, FAO, USDA, European Union, Customs Departments of individual countries, and other official sources. The Indian sources include DGCIS, NHB, DGFT, etc.

Deliverables under the proposed AMC contract

a) User management of registered users
To send regular e-mail communication to all registered users of the portal (both APEDA exporter-members and Importers) to apprise them about the recent developments of the portal
To de-activate accounts based on instructions received from APEDA
b) Customer support for user problem and queries
This shall be carried out as per needs of the registered members, both exporters and importers.
Log records of the problem and queries received from users shall be maintained along with the solution offered, the same shall be hosted on the Trade Junction portal as FAQ knowledge base.
c) Maintenance of the online Software application for Trade Junction
Preventive maintenance shall be carried out on the database and functioning of the program to handle large volume of traffic.
Requirements for customization of reports under each section, as desired by APEDA, shall be carried out on a first cum first basis and log shall be maintained on the modification desired and completed
d) Regular content updation
  Present Sections of Information

1. International Trade
2. International Production
3. Import Tariffs
4. International Prices
5. Importer Directory
6. Import Regulations
7. SPS Measures
8. Quality Standards
9. International Market Profiles
10. India's Production
11. India Prices
12. Indian Export Statistic Source
13. APEDA Product Gallery
14. Exporters Directory
15. Trade Leads
16. Trade Fairs

New Sections proposed

Updation of "Market intelligence study of selected crops having export potential" being prepared by Ministry of Agriculture for a selected set up products covering various countries in different region. This report already carries the following information for each product and the same shall be updated on a regular basis by the selected vendor:
  1. Good Agricultural Practices
2. Arrival Pattern in Markets and Clusters of production/markets,
3. Packaging and its details
4. Distribution of produce from primary to terminal market
5. Domestic Strenghts - analytical information based on field study
6. Measures of enhancing competitiveness of indian product
7. Storage required for Indian produce
8. Documents required for exports
9. Essential operations from raw material to shipment
10. Profit Calculation
11. Specific Trade Preferences of importing countries with regard to different commodities
e) Publicity, Promotion and Marketing of Trade Junction (online and offline)
The material required for offline promotion through seminars, media, and newsletter to be prepared for carrying out by APEDA.
Online promotion shall involve

a) Regular search engine optimization on each and page of Trade Junction Portal.
b) Creation of account with google site map to monitor performance of the portal.
c) Creation of some of the dynamic sections, specially the product gallery, to facilitate     crawlers of search engines and improvement in the search engine ranking.
d) Link exchange with at least 100 other websites during the calendar year.
e) E-mail to all member exporters of APEDA inviting them to use Trade Junction more     regularly.
f) E-mail to a minimum no. of 1000 importers in various countries, for inviting them to use    Trade Junction for reaching out to Indian exporters.

Execution Strategy

Based on its past experience, APEDA has estimated that this contract shall be executed with a dedicated team concept. The following are the team members required to be dedicated by the selected vendor towards this project:
  1. One Senior consultant (M.B.A with specialization in international business and 4-6 years of     experience)
2. One Business Analyst (Graduate in Agriculture or Agriculture Economics or equivalent         experience in analytics of international trade in agriculture and processed food products     with 2 years of experience)
3. One Database Administrator ( Graduate in Engineering or MCA with 3-4 years of     extensive experience in RDBMS Management , especially in MS-SQL Server)
4. One Programmer ( Graduate in Engineering or MCA with 2-3 years of extensive     experience in Web Programming, especially in .NET platform of Microsoft)
5. Four data entry operators (Graduate with at least one year of good data entry skills with     exposure to Word Processors, Spreadsheets and Presentation tools)
7. Proposal Submission
Towards this objective, APEDA invites organizations of repute with extensive experience in similar projects of magnitude and scope to submit the technical and financial bids to provide the services required through their own manpower.

APEDA reserves the right to accept/reject any or all proposals received in response to this advertisement without assigning any reasons, whatsoever, APEDA also reserves the right to fix as well as raise the eligibility criteria for short-listing the vendors.

The proposal shall include the following in separate sealed envelopes:

I. Technical Proposal

The Technical proposal shall cover the following details:
1. Name of the organization
2. Office contact details, including Name of the contact person, designation, address, telephone, fax, e-mail     & Website in Delhi NCR
3. Experience in Indian Agriculture and Food Processing sector in India (List names of minimum of two     customer references, services provided for them, year of service)
4. Details of inhouse technological expertise available within your organization for the platforms being used     by APEDA Portal?
  a. Microsoft Windows Servers
b. MS-SQL Server RDBMS
c. .NET development platform
5. Experience in managing portals as a turn key service provider including design, development, data collection/analysis, maintenance, user support and search engine optimization (Vendor should have carried out the entire project on their own)
a. Customer references of at least three such major portals developed and managed by the bidder
  i. Name of the customer
ii. Designated contact name in the Customer Organisation and his designation
iii. Customer contact details, including Address, Telephone, Fax & Email, Website
iv. Project Name
v. Technology employed
vi. Brief Project specifications, duration of project, and success impact
vii. URL reference of the customer website where it can be verified online and guest account username and password.
viii. Experience in the relevant field (No. of years)
6. Are you familiar with Internet security requirements including application/database security audit? If yes, provide reference of at least one customer name and contact details for whom your website was security audited and approved by accredited auditors.
7. Statutory Requirements to be fulfilled:
a. The organization must have been a minimum experience of 5 years in the field of     maintaining such kinds of website/trade portal
b. The organization should have a valid PAN from Income Tax department.
c. The organization should produce copy of Memorandum and Company deed Articles of     Association (in case of firm), copy of partnership and certificate for registration.
d. An undertaking (self certificate) is to be submitted that there has been no litigation with     any Government department/organization on account of similar services.
e. An undertaking (self certificate) is to be submitted that the Organization hasn't been     blacklisted by any Central/State Government department/organization.
8. Your technical proposal to fulfill the requirements of deliverables for this tender
9. Details of ernest money deposit amounting to Rs. 10000/- (Rupees Ten Thousand only)
II. Financial Proposal
The financial proposal shall include the following in a single envelope:
  1. Cost of Ready-made data to be procured by APEDA to satisfy the content requirements     highlighted (per annum)
2. AMC Charges per year for five years for the dedicated team required for this project
3. Annual turnover for last three years (Rs. in lakhs)
4. Permanent Account No. (PAN), Service Tax No. and VAT No. (copies to be enclosed)
5. Payment Terms for all the above.
Interested vendors may submit their Technical and Financial bids with supporting documents, along with ernest money to be deposited by demand draft favouring APEDA payable at New Delhi for Rs. 10,000/- (Rupees Ten Thousand only) in a separate sealed envelope to the address given below, within 21 days from the date of release of advertisement (03-8-2009 , 5.00 PM).
The main envelope shall also be sealed and superscripted “Bid for AMC Contract of Indian Agri Trade Junction Portal of APEDA” and should contain two separate sealed envelopes superscripting “Technical Bids” and “Financial Bids” separately. The two documents should be separately spiral bound with no loose sheets. Please note that all the pages of these documents should be ink-signed with date and seal of the organization should be put near the signature of the authorized signatory on all the pages.
Important terms and conditions of the tender are as below:
1) No tender will be considered unless all the required documents are furnished and properly attested wherever required.

2) Only those tenders would be opened, which have been received by the due date and time. APEDA shall not be responsible for postal or any other delay.

3) The offer of the applicant should be valid for a period of 180 days from the last date of submission of proposals as mentioned in this tender.

4) Any software developed shall be the property of APEDA. Software, Documents, Information and other elements of the project shall have the copyrights of APEDA unless some copy right material is used with due permission of any third party.

5) The vendor shall be selected based on both technical and financial bids as per norms of GFR norms of Government of India. APEDA is not bound to accept the lowest bid as the winning bid.

6) Arbitration Clause: In the eventuality of any dispute, the matter will be referred by APEDA to a committee constituted by
Chairman APEDA for arbitration and the committee's decision shall be binding on the parties. All disputes will be settled with in the jurisdiction of Delhi.
The proposals shall be addressed to:
Mr. A.S. Rawat
General Manager
Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA)
Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India
3rd Floor, NCUI Bhavan, August Kranti Marg,
New Delhi - 110016
Tel - 26513219, 26513204
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