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Democratisation Of E-commerce: Govt Launches 'Open Network For Digital Commerce' In Five Cities

The government will launch the pilot phase of the Open Network for Digital Commerce, a UPI-type protocol to counter the influence of e-commerce majors like Amazon and Flipkart, in five cities from on 29 April.

The Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) is an initiative of the government to promote an open platform for all aspects of the exchange of goods and services through electronic networks. It has been initially launched in five cities Delhi NCR, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Shillong and Coimbatore.

ONDC has roped in eSamudaay, ERP player Gofrugal, digital business platform for enterprise business Digiit, digital marketing outfit Growth Falcon and automation and data insights outfit sellerapp to work with sellers, while Paytm will be on the buyers, reports Times of India.

The platform seeks to board 150 sellers in Delhi NCR, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Bhopal and Shillong during the test run.

Dynamic pricing, inventory management and optimisation of delivery cost are the three important things in ONDC which will help reduce the cost of doing business for everybody, including retailers.

ONDC has received its certificate of incorporation as a private sector led non-profit company on 31 December 2021.

A number of established companies are already integrated with ONDC.

The government has set up a nine-member advisory council, including Nandan Nilekani from Infosys and National Health Authority CEO R S Sharma, to ascertain steps required to design and accelerate adoption of ONDC.

Through this platform, consumers can potentially discover any seller, product or service by using any ONDC-compatible application or platform, thus increasing freedom of choice for consumers.

So far only bigger players are able to take advantage of e-commerce and small people are still out of it.

Anil Agrawal, additional secretary in the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, has earlier said that protocols under ONDC would standardise all operations like cataloguing, inventory management, order management and order fulfilment.


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