ONDC Will Democratise E-Commerce And Help Protect Small Businesses: Piyush Goyal

by Swarajya Staff - Mar 19, 2022 02:35 PM +05:30 IST
ONDC Will Democratise E-Commerce And Help Protect Small Businesses: Piyush GoyalOpen Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) (Representative image)

Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday (19 March) said that the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) would democratise e-commerce and will protect small businesses by granting them equal opportunity, according to an official release.

Goyal was virtually addressing the fifth edition of the annual 'Launchpad-The Entrepreneurship Summit' organized by BITS, Pilani on Saturday.

He applauded the flexible academic structure of BITS that aided innovation during the college years of the students and said that it resonated in large measure with the new education policy that the government has introduced after extensive consultations.

He asked other colleges to learn from the BITS model and mould job creators rather than job seekers.

Referring to Startups as the innovation engine for the country, Goyal said today India is the the third largest startup ecosystem in the world.

Reiterating that ‘an idea can change your life’, the minister spoke of the USB innovator Mr Ajay Bhatt from Vadodara who developed the technology with the goal of making data portable like never before.

Goyal underscored that entrepreneurship is all about disruption and change, a Commerce Ministry release said.

Outlining the many disruptions India has been witnessing across the board such as the way we buy goods online, access digital healthcare consultations, make payments though UPI etc, he said that things had changed fundamentally.

Speaking of the great leaps India was taking in areas like fintech, agritech and marketplaces, Goyal said that PM Modi had given the mantra of IT + IT = IT (Info Technology + Indian Talent = India Tomorrow) for India’s future.

He said that we must aspire to make IT and associated sector a trillion-dollar industry.

The minister said that India was leading in building Digital Public Infrastructure and added that the penetration of smartphones and low cost of data has laid the foundation for disruptive innovation at scale.With digital infrastructure like IndiaStack, Healthstack, Logistics Stack, CoWIN, the next trillion-dollar companies can be created in India, he said.

Goyal said that today developed countries around the world wanted to learn about building digital public infrastructure from us.

Scale and pace of digitisation in Indian is something unheard of and could be the topic of PhD thesis, he added.

Listing the several steps taken by government in its role as the as the facilitator to strengthen the startup ecosystem such as Fund of Funds for Startups, Income Tax exemption for 3 years, Seed Fund Scheme, cutting down of examination period for new trademark registrations etc, the minister said that that the government, instead of creating impediments like in the past, was actively handholding our youngsters to think big and dream big.

Pointing out that National Startup Award winners had emerged from
smaller cities such as Kochi, Lucknow, Sonipat, the Minister said that this was evidence that the Startup ecosystem was being democratised.

He asked upcoming entrepreneurs to scale up diversity in startups, explore new businesses, promote Agri-preneurs (Agri sector entrepreneurs), Tex-prenenurs (Textiles), Edu-preneurs (Education) and innovate in emerging tech such as Metaverse, Web 3, AI, 5G and areas such as cybersecurity.

He urged them to think of ways to use these technologies, individually or converged to create new opportunities.

Opining that sustainability and circular economy are the need of the hour, the minister said that the challenge of sustainability in a way would create the next set of big business ideas in finding solutions to climate change, sustainable mobility, water management etc.

He expressed confidence that the startups of today would be the leaders of tomorrow and asked young entrepreneurs to help this country attain higher levels of prosperity and meet the aspirations of a billion plus citizens who are still looking to be stakeholders in our progress and prosperity through deep innovation.

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