How ONDC is poised to be India’s UPI moment for e-commerce
By Nishant Arora
New Delhi, July 17 (IANS): India is attempting several major reforms in the tech sector to allow local businesses to thrive amid Big Tech’s anti-market practices and according to Shireesh Joshi, Chief Business Officer (CBO) and President, Network Expansion for the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), the goal is to create population-wide inclusion of e-commerce in the country.
With ONDC, a Unified Payments Interface (UPI)-like initiative of the Ministry of Trade and Industry to promote open networks, the government is trying to create the largest interoperable open platform with the aim of breaking trade monopolies. electronics and to build a more democratized society. digital marketplace by bringing micro, small and medium enterprises and small traders online.
Currently, only 5-6% of retail activity in India is digital.
There are several limitations and constraints of e-commerce based on the existing platform which will be solved by unbundling and creating interoperability which will further enable any type of product or service whether as B2B or B2C, d to be processed on ONDC,” Joshi told IANS in an interview.
One of the immediate results of this unbundling and interoperability is that every seller will have access to every buyer, and vice versa.
“The scale that was limited to a few players will now be accessible to everyone and will help democratization. The e-commerce majors are also in conversation with us for integration on ONDC. This is not an anti-person initiative” , explained Joshi.
The democratization and innovation that will result from the ONDC will allow all kinds of players to flourish and “we will need all of these multiple e-commerce models to help achieve the goal of inclusion at scale of the people,” he said.
Trade and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal announced that ONDC will be gradually expanded to other cities in the near future as it has the potential to connect the entire agricultural value chain.
The Center also envisions ONDC as a private sector-led not-for-profit enterprise to emphasize ethical and responsible behavior while ensuring trust, rigorous standards of governance, accountability and transparency.
According to Joshi, an alumnus of IIT Kanpur and IIM Bangalore, for farmers and agricultural producer organizations (APOs), the UPI-like protocol will enable access to a much wider market.
“Your neighborhood fruit vendor might claim the apples they sell are from Himachal or the lychees are from Muzaffarpur. But you may have no way of knowing for sure. But on ONDC, you you may be able to buy directly from a Himachal or UP orchard and be sure,” Joshi noted.
Farms and orchards can also become brands and fetch better prices than commodities through a multi-level trade and distribution system.
“Celebs will be able to access all buyers across the country through a single registration and will not have to register with multiple organizations,” he stressed.
This network-wide buyer access has other benefits as well.
For example, he can help determine the best market prices for his produce, e.g. current Himachal apple prices in Delhi and Jaipur mandis to help decide which price to offer and which order to accept.
“Such a scale will create providers of various types of services – packaging, warehousing, shipping that will reach a profitable market. Products do not need to be shipped to markets anticipating demand and risking expiry in In case they don’t materialize, they can be warehoused and shipped on demand instead,” Joshi told IANS.
On ONDC, farmers will not only be able to sell but also buy seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, growth regulators, equipment and tools.
The initiative counts among its shareholders an entity focused on agriculture within the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), which has helped it solve technical problems and engage with several agricultural sector organizations.
According to Joshi, this is not a one-time trip, given the complexity and diversity of the agricultural sector.
“We expect this to repeat every few months to continue building and adding to the stack of agricultural solutions. At some point, the ecosystem itself should kick off and the ONDC may not have not be easy after that,” Joshi explained.
In addition to this, they are also engaging with state governments to promote the adoption of ONDC for agricultural e-commerce.
“The governments of Haryana and Madhya Pradesh have started to mobilize support for this and we expect more to follow. Core initiatives such as the National Agriculture Market (eNAM), which is a pan-Indian e-commerce portal, are also in active discussion with us on developing the best way forward,” Joshi informed.
Overall, the ONDC will reduce costs and increase farmers’ incomes, thereby enabling more autonomy and benefits for a farmer, said Joshi, who has been credited with operations management/ large-scale business strategies in India and China, including Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Asia. territories.