“ONDC or the Open Network for Digital Commerce is the best thing to happen to the Indian e-commerce market. Once fully implemented later this year, it provides a uniform platform for users to push their products in the digital marketplace. ONDC is a private sector initiative, but backed and seeded by the government of India. Eminent members on the board include Nandan Nilekani and RS Sharma (IAS). Sharma was the person heading the departments that implemented Aadhar and Cowin applications. ONDC is envisaged as a neutral platform that will set protocols for cataloging, vendor match, and price discovery in open source on the lines of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI). What this implies is that buyers and sellers can transact irrespective of whether they are attached to any specific e-commerce portal. Once implemented, ONDC would provide a boost to smaller online retailers as well as new entrants by ushering in discoverability, interoperability, and inclusivity. It will empower suppliers and consumers by breaking the monopoly of giant platforms to drive innovation and transform businesses in sectors like retail, food, and mobility. Retailers, traders, start-ups – should watch this episode as, in the coming years, it is not going to be business.
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