ONDC to power better ecommerce penetration, standardisation

At YourStory’s Brand Residency 2022 event in New Delhi, Additional Secretary of DPIIT, Anil Agrawal, and CEO of ONDC, T Koshy, said the open network will drive the penetration of ecommerce beyond Tier 1 cities in India.

Government-backed open protocol network for ecommerce, Open Network For Digital Commerce (ONDC), wants to ensure that it is robust enough to be deployed ahead of its beta launch, said Anil Agrawal, Additional Secretary of Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).

Delivering the keynote address at YourStory’s Brand Residency 2022 in New Delhi, he encouraged Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) brands present at the event to build their buyer platforms to onboard the growing number of users from non-metros. 

“Please make the interface in your mother tongue to reach out to people beyond Tier I cities, where most of the people are. I would like to tell the brands present here to use ONDC in your own language to make these apps, in order to empower your people and communities across the spectrum,” said Anil Agrawal at the Brand Residency 2022 event. 

He added that using local languages will help the country take advantage of its young demographic, which is more likely to be internet savvy, driving ecommerce penetration.

In a separate chat with YourStory’s Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma at the event, CEO of ONDC, T Koshy, said that ONDC’s open network was designed to bring the buyers and sellers together on their own terms, unlike private marketplaces. 

“As a new seller, acquiring customers is a pain…you also need an advertising budget to be shown on top of the relevant listings. Our (buyer’s) tastes get influenced by advertising,” he said, adding that the open network will offer parity to sellers across the board. 

Apart from an open network for buyer, seller and service provider apps, ONDC will also provide a digital footprint of the sales managed by a particular retailer, who can then avail credit from NBFCs and other institutional lenders rather than relying solely on the wholesaler or stockist. 

“When all data is available on digital platforms, products and credit will be segregated–and the experts in each of these verticals will be able to offer the best service,” he added. 

With the standardisation of ecommerce through the open network protocol, ONDC aims to change the phase of digital transactions. 

“ONDC will be a global startup,” said Anil Agrawal, adding that the initiative was likely to gain critical mass in a year or so. 


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