Business booms, despite the pandemic

A bold new venture seeks to revolutionise Sri Lanka’s tender and procurement system by automating the buyer-seller experience and easing the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. www.greentape.lk is Sri Lanka’s online procuring platform that offers a certified and verified vendor base. The Platform which aims to create a level playing field for procurement in the Country was launched in November 2020. Within a short time span it is already serving a base of over 30 high profile buyer companies. They have successfully concluded more than 700 tenders amounting to some half a billion Rupees in business for over 3000 registered suppliers. The Suppliers comprise a good cross-section from very small to large businesses and also businesses from overseas.

Green Tape is a multi-tenant cloud platform conceptualised, designed, developed and brought to market by Affno Virtual Market (Pvt) Limited (AVM). Buyer companies can enhance process and spend efficiency as well as institute an organisational change whilst sellers get easy and cost-effective access to these buyer companies.

Nissanka Weerasekera, Chairman of AVM and a pioneer in the tech institutional investor community in Sri Lanka, explained that procurement is the Cinderella of automation and productivity improvement in business. “Its relative immaturity compared to other corporate functions results in companies standing to lose considerably. The loss is not just financial but also reputational. And what’s worse, the loss is for the most part out of the view of business owners.”

The Platform streamlines everything for buyers from tender creation, review and approval, to reaching the best suppliers, managing clarifications and submissions, and identifying the best bid. Among the buyers on-board are prominent groups such as Sunshine Holdings, Access Engineering and McLarens who have very large procurement functions and an elaborate process. “They need to get multiple approvals and control costs. With such tedious requirements, they now find business easier and smoother with Green Tape. Also, for suppliers, it dramatically simplifies the process, encouraging them to place greater value on the opportunity to serve the buyer companies’ needs. This ensures buyer companies get the best product at the best price”, explained AVM’s Managing Director and co-founder of the Affno Group, Suren Kannangara.

“By attracting large volumes of B2B buyers and sellers to one place to transact, network effects would multiply the value of any one buyer or seller being present on the Platform, giving each buyer and seller far greater reach”, added Kannangara. Effectively, buyer companies would be in a better position to get the best prices owing to their ability to attract and work with a larger number of suppliers; and suppliers would be able to grow their business faster and cost effectively by being able to easily access new buyer companies.

The initial registration to the platform is offered free of charge while for a nominal fee of Rs. 858 per month a supplier gets access to at least ten buyer companies. “We want to make the Platform affordable and accessible to all suppliers irrespective of their size. With a simple, transparent and customizable system, we can reduce the inefficiencies and help buyers find suppliers, and suppliers find clients. Our aim is to make business smoother and to create opportunity”, concluded Amal Karunaratne, Chief Operating Officer of AVM.

Adapting to the new normal amid the current pandemic, Green Tape helps businesses to grow with faster onboarding mechanisms and submissions. Unique features of the system allow users to navigate with ease and allows convenient access to new partnerships and opportunities with minimal effort. Green Tape has set its objectives to streamline the current process of procuring with a more simple and transparent system that helps suppliers and buyers to reach out with the aim of creating more business opportunities.

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