Open Network for Digital Commerce enabled millions of small traders: DPIIT Secretary A Jain

Secretary Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Shri Anurag Jain said that Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) will democratize e-Commerce and enable millions of small traders take advantage of opportunities thrown up by e-commerce. He added that ONDC will also empower consumers by offering more choice. He said this after inaugurating the office of ONDC in New Delhi.

On the occasion, Shri Anurag Jain said that India has taken the path of building public digital infrastructure for serving her citizens and UPI, Jan Dhan, Aadhar, CoWin and ULIP are examples of this approach. He emphasized that ONDC is a similar initiative with tremendous potential. We are doing something which has not been done anywhere else in the world, he added.

Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), is an initiative of the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce, Government of India, to create a facilitative model to revolutionize digital commerce, giving greater thrust to penetration of retail e-commerce in India.

As a true startup, ONDC began operations by working in a co-working space. Today, inauguration of ONDC’s official workplace is a milestone in the journey of the organization.

With the vision to create an organization with a startup mindset supported by government, ‘Open Network for Digital Commerce’ was incorporated as a non-profit, Section-8 company on 31st December 2021. The company was incubated at the Quality Council of India, an autonomous organization with DPIIT, where the founding work for the project was initiated in a mission mode. QCI was joined by Protean as the co-founder for incorporation of ONDC. Many public and private banks and financial institutions have contributed equity to ONDC till now. With an authorized capital of 500 crore, ONDC already has commitments of Rs 230 crore with a paid-up capital of Rs 180 crore.

An Advisory Council has been in place since June 2021 with participation from the government and industry. With the growth of the company, 12 board members have joined the company including three government nominees from the Ministries of Commerce and Industry (DPIIT), MSME and Consumer Affairs.

Major ONDC objectives are as follows:

  1. Democratisation and decentralization of eCommerce
  2. Inclusivity and access for sellers, especially small and medium enterprises as well as local businesses
  3. Increased choices and independency for consumers

ONDC’s Beta testing phase in the city of Bengaluru was the first step in operationalising a network approach to e-commerce as an alternative to a platform-centric approach. This will make the e-Commerce landscape more inclusive, accessible and experience-driven for all consumers and sellers.

As part of the Beta testing phase, the network went live to public users in Bengaluru in Grocery and F&B categories on 30th September 2022.