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Agri commodities have taken the No. 1 spot in respect of transaction volume: Surinder Kumar Gupta, chairman & MD, MSTC

Surinder K Gupta, chairman & MD, MSTC Surinder K Gupta, chairman & MD, MSTC

From a trading company MSTC, under the ministry of steel, has transformed itself into an e-commerce company over the years. The Centre expects it to play a major role in the government’s drive to monetise assets. While the company has already created a deep footprint in e-auctioning agri commodities, it is moving ahead to recycle end of life vehicles in an ecofriendly manner. Chairman and managing director, MSTC, Surinder Kumar Gupta speaks to Indronil Roychowdhury about the company’s current focus and its days ahead. Edited excerpts:

MSTC has a number of modules for e-auction. What are your current auctioning portfolios?
MSTC’s e-commerce platform has various bidding modules like Price Bid, Price-cum-Quantity bid, e-Tender, Multiple Stage Bidding, SMRA Auction, Swiss Challenge, Multi Currency Bidding, e-Reverse Auction, bidding platform for Export & Import and others.

We conduct auctions for majority of the PSUs, electricity companies, central & state government departments & many reputed private companies. Our diversification in modules for e- auction and e-procurement has come through 19 years of experience in e- commerce.

Auctioning of which commodity gives you the highest business at present?
Agricultural commodities have taken the number one place in respect of transaction volume in the last financial year. In case of auctions conducted for long-term lease, for example spectrum auction, coal mines auction, mineral block auction, commercial space and others, we do not consider the total value for the entire lease period for our business transaction volume. Rather, we take value equivalent to one year’s transaction value for reporting purpose, otherwise the same will be astronomically high.

What sort of support does MSTC provide to the farmers from its auction platform? What are the agri commodities that MSTC is auctioning? How much worth of agri commodities was auctioned last fiscal and in the first quarter of the current fiscal?
We have developed e-RaKAM (e-Rashtriya Kisan AgriMandi) portal to bring together the farmers, civil supplies and buyers on a single platform to ease the selling and buying process of agri and horticulture produces. This portal can connect the farmers from small village to the biggest market.

We have already developed a portal Jaivik Kheti on behalf of the ministry of agriculture & farmers welfare for organic farming and giving wider market access to the organic farmers. India Post has been integrated as logistics partner. The on boarding of few more logistics partner is under process.

Bidding portal for Cotton Corporation of India has been developed for auctioning of cotton & cotton seeds.

MSTC has been roped in to sell assets of sick PSUs. How much worth of asset selling is in MSTC’s radar?
We have developed a bidding portal through which various CPSEs are doing their internal due diligence. We hope to start getting properties in current quarter itself. The government’s push on monetisation of assets is bound to gain traction.

Will the new scrappage policy help the JV, Mahindra -MSTC Recycling Pvt Ltd? Please throw some light on the expansion trajectory of the JV?
With the ministry of road transport and highways implementing the scrappage policy, there is likely to be improvement in the mode of selling of end of life vehicles (ELVs). There will be incentives for selling ELVs to authorized recyclers and disincentives for carrying and running very old vehicles. ELVs offered to authorised recyclers are very less as local scrap dealers pay more. They hardly follow environmental standards and do not pay GST. Such players even recycle engines.

MSTC had made transactions worth Rs 1.25 lakh crore last fiscal? How do you foresee the current fiscal?
This fiscal our target for transaction is Rs 1.5 lakh crore but the first quarter performance is quite encouraging. The first quarter transaction this fiscal is worth around Rs 37,000 crore against Rs 5,730 crore achieved in the first quarter last fiscal.

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