Government-promoted Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) is framing a mechanism to ensure compliance with its rules by entities involved in online retail trading, a senior official said on Thursday.
The ONDC aims to promote an open platform for all aspects of e-commerce retail. It would help small retailers expand their business through e-commerce medium and reduce dominance of giants in the sector. “If we see that any player is not following our rules, we would take action. We are in the process of finalising things. Law of land should be followed. We are in the process of making that mechanism,” Joint Secretary in the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) Sanjiv told reporters here.
A set of rules on protection of personal information and setting up of grievance resolution mechanisms would be part of the comprehensive ONDC network policy. According to a consultation paper released by ONDC last year, one of the chapters of the policy on grievance management would frame mechanisms for the participants to manage and resolve grievances filed against them by buyers and sellers. ONDC, a non-profit company, formulates a set of standards for voluntary adoption by sellers or logistics providers or payments gateway operators. The ONDC will require an undertaking from each participant at the time of onboarding that it will comply with the policy in its entirety.
Sanjiv also said that ONDC has achieved major milestones in the past few months, including 37 network participants ranging from market leaders to emerging Indian startups, over 26,000 merchants, and over 27 lakh products offered on the network. “Our dream is to cover all the pin codes of the country by the participants of the ONDC and hopefully we will be achieving that. Earlier we were requesting people to onboard the network and now the companies are approaching us to onboard,” he said. Most major product categories, including grocery, food and beauty products are live on the network, with expansion to more product categories underway. Mobility services has been enabled in two cities — Kochi (taxi services app Namma Yatri) and Bengaluru (auto services).
ONDC’s geographic coverage has expanded to over 210 cities across India, and its logistics partners can deliver products to about 90 per cent of the pin codes across India. ONDC CEO T Koshy said that more and more sellers, consumer apps, logistics firms, payment gateways are joining the network and “we hope to maintain this momentum”. Its participants are taking steps to support and handhold sellers to onboard the network and help consumers understand how to use ONDC. At present, about 600 transactions per day are happening through this network from the earlier 30-40 transactions.
Koshy added that big players who have onboarded the network include HUL, P&G, Paytm, PhonePe and ITC and the network is getting “good traction”. “We are inviting all big and small players,” Sanjiv said, adding that the number of merchants on the network has increased by 200 to about 50,000 now. In about 15 cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Bhopal and Kolkata, over 100 merchants have on-boarded the network. ONDC has on-boarded its handloom weavers from Kancheepuram, to sell their products through ONDC across India with support from the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI). Similarly, NABARD is helping farmers producers’ organisations (FPOs) about the usage of this network. Logistics firms that have onboarded include Dunzo, Shiprocket, Delhivery, and Shipyaari.