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E-grid for small sellers

As UPI is to the digital payment domain, ONDC is to e-commerce in India

Our Special Correspondent New Delhi Published 20.03.22, 03:59 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. File photo

The Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) would democratise e-commerce and will protect small businesses by granting them equal opportunity, Union commerce minister Piyush Goyal said on Saturday.

The ONDC team “is working to democratise e-commerce so that millions of small mom-and-pop stores all over the country and small retailers do not get extinguished like we have seen in the West, but get an equal opportunity to engage using digital technologies to protect and grow their businesses and serve their customers through modern ways of delivery,” he said.


As UPI is to the digital payment domain, ONDC is to e-commerce in India. It will enable buyers and sellers to be digitally visible and transact through an open network, no matter what platform/application they use.

The government plans to launch a pilot next month and start its operations by August. The network will not be restricted to retail but give buyers a platform for food delivery, tourism and hospitality, travel, mobility, and wholesale trade.

Goyal was virtually addressing the fifth edition of the annual Launchpad-The Entrepreneurship Summit organised by BITS, Pilani.

India is leading the world in building digital public infrastructure, he said at an entrepreneurship summit.

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

A number of established companies have integrated with the platform and the government has already set up a nine-member advisory council, including Nandan Nilekani from Infosys and National Health Authority CEO R S Sharma, on steps required to design and accelerate the adoption of ONDC.

The minister suggested action agendas for entrepreneurs to promote innovation and boost the startup ecosystem in the country.

He called for scaling up diversity in startups as the country needs entrepreneurs in sectors such as agriculture and textiles.

Goyal said entrepreneurship is all about disruption and change. Outlining the many disruptions India has been witnessing across the board such as the way we buy goods online, access digital healthcare consultations, make payments though UPI etc, he said that things had changed fundamentally.

He asked entrepreneurs to not be afraid of failures. Failures are part of an entrepreneur’s journey, so take it ‘lite’, he said, referring to the BITS language for remaining calm. Don’t give up, persevere harder, become bolder, engage with newer ideas and thoughts, he added.

Stating that new India is filled with new energy, enthusiasm and confidence, the Minister said that it no longer seeks incremental change but thirsts for transformations. He asserted that an atmanirbhar India was now striving to engage with the world from a position of strength.

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