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The Bazaar Revolution: How ONDC is Democratizing India’s Online Shopping

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As the nation took its first steps into the new year, a news headline caught the eye.-ONDC crosses record 5.5 million transactions in December. Later, more news about ONDC started trickling in- the trickle then changed into a steady gush.

 

Some of them are 

Senco becomes the first Indian jewellery brand to join the ONDC Network

SaaS platform Kiko Live launches on ONDC, to activate 50,000 retailers in the next six months

Indian firms for ‘ONDC of App Store’ to break free from tech’s ‘walled garden’

Cloud Kitchen giant Rebel Foods joins ONDC for better customer reach.

And more….

 

With all of this, it is becoming evident that ONDC(Open Network for Digital Commerce), an initiative of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, GOI, is the rising star of 2024. 

 

In this issue of “The People Weekly”, we delve into the exciting world of ONDC, the revolutionary open network for digital commerce in India. We dissect its impressive growth, analyse its promising future, and offer insightful perspectives on what it means for consumers and businesses alike. Bringing insights and news about the latest technologies and trends to our valued readers has always been a priority of PeopleLogic. While operating in a competitive landscape where technology and thought processes are constantly evolving, it is important to stay tuned to the latest industry buzz so that informed decision-making can be easier. That’s why “The People Weekly is your trusted guide, navigating the ever-evolving landscape and equipping you with the knowledge to make smart choices.

A Glimpse into ONDC: Understanding Open Network for Digital Commerce

 

Aadhar was a revolutionary step by the GOI towards adopting digital infrastructure. When COVID struck the world, India introduced the UPI, introducing digital cash transactions. Today Aadhaar and UPI are a part of the everyday life of most Indians. ONDC is another groundbreaking technological initiative by the Government of India to increase e-commerce penetration in India, by bringing a maximum number of small businesses to its platform. 

 

There are over 12 million sellers in India and probably many more. Not to mention the small-scale sellers, artisans, and craftsmen. Yet only 15,000(0.125%) of these sellers are conducting their business on any ecommerce platform.

Image courtesy https://ondc.org/learn-about-ondc/

India is just behind China and the UK when it comes to E-Retail penetration and yet with only 4.3% of market penetration. As per Statista, India’s E-Commerce is projected to reach a market value of 350 billion USD by 2030.

Image courtesy https://www.statista.com/statistics/792047/india-e-commerce-market-size/

Fueled by the pandemic’s acceleration of digital adoption, the Indian government, in partnership with investors, launched ONDC in 2021 to capitalise on the surge in online marketplaces and transactions, aiming to dramatically expand e-commerce reach.

How does ONDC work? What sets it apart?

At one go, one may feel ONDC is just like any other digital marketplace, like Amazon or Flipkart. But that is far from the truth. ONDC is not a single platform like Amazon or Flipkart, but rather an open network protocol that allows any seller or buyer to participate through their preferred app or platform. This network acts as a digital marketplace connecting buyers and sellers directly without any intermediary control.

 

Some of its features are 

  • Open platform: Unlike traditional closed platforms, ONDC is an open network where any buyer app can interact with any seller app. This eliminates platform dependence and allows for greater choice and flexibility for both buyers and sellers.

  • Open Protocols: ONDC operates on open-sourced protocols and specifications, ensuring transparency and interoperability. This allows any developer to build apps and services that seamlessly integrate with the network.

  • Standardised protocols: ONDC operates on standardised protocols for product listing, order management, and payments. This ensures transparency, efficiency, and a smooth user experience.

  • Decentralised: Unlike traditional e-commerce platforms, ONDC empowers sellers to own their customer relationships and data. They can list their products and manage orders independently, while buyers can access a wider range of options and choose their preferred sellers.

  • Interoperable: ONDC promotes interoperability, meaning buyers can compare and purchase products from different sellers seamlessly within the same app. This eliminates the need to switch between multiple platforms and breaks down monopoly power.

ONDC Process

The buyers can browse through various categories or directly search for specific items via an ONDC-enabled app( like Paytm, Tata Neu, and Opencart). ONDC allows you to see offerings from different sellers on the same platform, facilitating price comparisons and selection based on preference. The buyer then can choose the seller they want to buy from and add items to their cart, proceed to checkout, where they can choose their preferred payment method and complete the purchase. The seller handles delivery and returns, with the ONDC network facilitating communication and transparency throughout the process.

The sellers can upload their product catalogue, pricing, and other relevant information onto the ONDC network, receive orders placed through ONDC-enabled apps, fulfil them through their own logistics and delivery channels and handle customer queries and address any issues that may arise during the order process.

This new model shatters those boundaries, opening the possibility for a seller on one platform to reach a buyer on another. Earlier Amazon sellers couldn’t connect with Flipkart buyers and so on. Thus the ecommerce giants wielded a monopoly over ecommerce and were dominant players. But with ONDC, buyers of one platform can interact with sellers of another platform thus enabling a more diverse, competitive landscape for both businesses and consumers in India.

Thus ONDC brings in 

a. Empowerment for Sellers: Small businesses gain access to a wider customer base beyond the limitations of dominant platforms.

b. Choice and Freedom for Buyers: No more hopping between apps! ONDC empowers you to compare prices, discover hidden gems, and choose the shopping experience that best suits your needs.

c. Fairness and Transparency: Price discovery becomes more transparent, and platform control over search results and promotion diminishes, paving the way for a fairer market.

All these and more set ONDC apart from other Ecommerce platforms. 

 

ONDC: Future Prospects

ONDC is all set to venture into financial services as per a report published by ET.  Inc42 in its ecommerce predictions in 2024, mentioned penetration and growth of ONDC as one of the trends that will rule the ecommerce space in the coming days.  Recently ONDC conducted its first international transaction with a Singapore-based business-to-business network, Proxtera. Shri T Koshy, the CEO of ONDC expects international transactions on ONDC to grow thus enabling sellers to go global with their products. 

ONDC and Job Creation

The ONDC ecosystem will require a range of new professionals, including

 

  • Network administrators, 

  • API Developers, 

  • Platform Builders

  • Data analysts,

  • Digital Marketing Experts

  • Marketing specialists, 

  • Customer support personnel. 

These jobs will be spread across various sectors, including technology, logistics, and retail. Furthermore, ONDC’s growth will boost existing sectors like logistics, delivery, and manufacturing, leading to the creation of indirect jobs. Additionally, the increased digitization of small businesses will require training and support services, creating further employment opportunities. The growth of these segments will create jobs for local shopkeepers, delivery personnel, and service providers, contributing to the revitalization of local economies.

PeopleLogic Opinion 

ONDC is still in its nascent stages, but its potential is undeniable. Imagine a vibrant e-commerce landscape where local mom-and-pop stores flourish alongside established brands, all competing on an equal footing. Where buyers are not beholden to the whims of algorithms, but empowered to make informed choices based on quality, price, and service. Challenges, of course, exist. Building a robust technical infrastructure, achieving nationwide adoption, and educating both sellers and buyers require consistent effort. Concerns regarding data privacy and security need to be addressed transparently. But with the Indian government’s backing and the growing support of industry players, ONDC is poised to rewrite the e-commerce script. One thing is clear: ONDC is not just an e-commerce network; it’s a movement for democratisation, transparency, and economic opportunity. 

With Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) opening doors to a diverse marketplace, finding the right talent can be tricky. Sure, resumes and algorithms provide data, but nailing cultural fit and potential in this nascent ecosystem requires a human touch. That’s where Peoplelogic comes in. Their expertise in behavioural assessments and deep understanding of people dynamics can be your secret weapon in the ONDC hiring game. Peoplelogic’s team of experienced recruiters can help businesses identify the specific skills and experience they need in an ONDC space candidate. With our data-driven approach powered by AI, we can be your valuable partner in all your hiring needs

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