The Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), after 4 months of being in Pilot Phase, has finally gone live for Beta Testing in Bengaluru, starting today. Consumers in Bengaluru can now shop from multiple categories of products and services from a single buyer application of their choice.
To begin with, consumers can place their orders in two domains – groceries and restaurants – through any buyer apps participating on the ONDC network. Currently, Mystore, PayTM, and Spicemoney are available as buyer apps on ONDC.
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry had launched the pilot phase of ONDC back in April, in five cities – Delhi NCR, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Shillong and Coimbatore. As many as 20 organisations of national repute have confirmed investments of INR 255 crore into the platform. ONDC is a set of standards for voluntary adoption by sellers or logistics providers or payment gateways.
Back in August 2022, both Ecom Express and Dunzo for Business made their debut on ONDC. Ecom Express was among the first logistics service providers to be available on the ONDC network, potentially enabling millions of SMEs and retailers across India to be able to accept orders from their customers across the country and deliver through the company’s network.
A lot of people believe that ONDC is going to be a competitor to existing e-commerce giants like Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart. However, experts don’t agree. Yatish Rajawat, CEO & Founder, Centre for Innovation in Public Policy says, “ONDC is not a competitor to Amazon, Flipkart or any other e-commerce platform. It is more of a standard which these platforms will integrate with. They are not exactly true marketplaces because they aren’t interoperable or transparent. ONDC will create a bridge connecting all the stakeholders of the marketplace.”
Open Network for DigitalCommerce (ONDC) was set up in order to provide an open network for all aspects of the exchange of goods and services digitally. It is based on open-sourced methodology, using open specifications and open network protocols independent of any specific platform.