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ONDC protocol set to move to next stage

ONDC protocol set to move to next stage
The government’s open network for digital commerce (ONDC) protocol for e-commerce is set to move onto the next stage.


ONDC protocol set to move to next stage

The government’s open network for digital commerce (ONDC) protocol for e-commerce is set to move on to the next stage. The ONDC is envisaged as a neutral platform that will set protocols for cataloging, vendor match and price discovery in open source in lines of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI).

A dozen shareholders have been roped in by the department for the promotion of industry and internal trade (DPIIT) for section 8 under the Companies Act. The shareholders have committed initial equity of Rs 185 crore. Sources said two to three shareholders are expected to join before the company is registered.

They revealed that the technology team has simulated a transaction for the ONDC protocol. This will be used as a tool where e-commerce players, kirana and other brick-to-mortar retailers and logistics players come and sell their products. “We can go live in a few months. We have already done a hackathon and more are planned next month to help us develop and fine-tune it,” the sources said.

Moreover, the government is looking at getting more sellers on the ONDC. This is part of its plan to take on Amazon and Flipkart that are becoming entrenched in the market. With the big players embedding themselves, brick-and-mortar stores are complaining of losing out.

Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal said the ONDC will create new opportunities and remove monopolistic environments. ONDC aims at fostering open networks developed on open-sourced methodology, using open specifications and network protocols, and independent of any specific platform.

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Experts say that once the platform gets implemented and mandated, all e-commerce companies in India will have to operate using the same processes, akin to Android-based mobile devices, irrespective of the brand. It would boost 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.

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