Democratisation Of E-Commerce: With Pilots On In Five Major Indian Cities, Seven Companies Adopt ONDC Protocols

by Swarajya Staff - Jun 24, 2022 09:52 AM +05:30 IST
Democratisation Of E-Commerce: With Pilots On In Five Major Indian Cities, Seven Companies Adopt ONDC ProtocolsOpen Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) (Representative image)

As many as seven companies have adopted the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) protocols, and have built their own compatible apps amid the ongoing pilots of the platform in five major cities of India.

The ONDC is an initiative aiming at promoting open networks for all aspects of exchange of goods and services over digital or electronic networks.

"A total of seven companies- one buyer side app, five seller side apps and one logistics service provider app – have adopted ONDC protocols and built their own ONDC compatible apps. These apps have been able to successfully complete cascaded transactions across the ONDC network during the pilot phase in five designated cities- Bengaluru, New Delhi, Bhopal, Shillong and Coimbatore - in grocery and food and beverages segments," the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said in a release on Thursday (23 June).

The ONDC pilot was launched on 29 April and has been successfully running in five major cities.

In a meeting of the ONDC Advisory Council on Thursday, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said that while the pilot phase of ONDC has given promising results with traders who were already digitally present, ONDC must prioritise strategies towards inclusion of non-digital traders, handicraftsmen and artisans so that the benefits of e-commerce may be availed by these sections.

The minister asked the department to launch a pilot with focus on non-digital traders from one single market.

He said the local trader associations should be involved in the exercise and necessary measures for awareness generation and capacity building of various stakeholders be taken.

During the meeting it was informed that the ONDC and NABARD are working on a programme to bring the agriculture sector to ONDC and as a first step, a hackathon is being organized on 1-3 July to build innovative solutions for FPOs (Farmer Producer Organizations).

The minister said that ONDC may prove to be an invaluable tool to assist farmers find the right prices for their produce.

Goyal also asked the department to leverage the strength of Startup India to build ONDC based applications.

As the ONDC architecture removes many entry barriers to e-commerce, it is much more feasible for entrepreneurs to create sustainable businesses on ONDC architecture.

The network of Startup India Seed Funded incubators may be leveraged for this purpose. Creation of apps in regional languages should be promoted for catering to the diverse needs of citizens living in various towns and villages across country, the minister said.

Goyal said that ONDC must closely work with various industry associations to bring faster adoption to ONDC.

He also directed that ONDC network needs to make robust policy framework for building trust in the network.

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