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ONDC - Democracy at its finest

Updated: Jul 1, 2022

"Democracy holds an exceptional place in India".

Imagine I own a boutique shop. The fashionable dresses we make come in different colors, preferences, and different styles, and yes they're one of a kind too. Now, to increase the customer base and the revenue I am planning to take my business online and become a direct-to-consumer brand. Well, one option I have is to start an e-commerce website and begin selling my dresses online, but I need to make a quite big upfront investment to do that, or I can use an e-commerce technology like WooCommerce or a Shopify to minimize the time required to set up that but the investment will still be a fair amount. Though there are lots of things like order fulfillment, cataloging, and Dynamic pricing, Is it guaranteed that people will notice my brand straight away?

If I had a shop on the side of the road, there would be a quicker customer acquisition, as people could spot my shop and buy my hand-made fabrics, but online it's really hard for my business to get noticed but it's not impossible. I need to spend a fair amount of money hiring marketers and Influencers to run social media ads to make my brand stand out. So, this is why lots of small business owners in India choose to stay offline. The competition is minimal offline when compared to online as you would expect the benefits that come along with the online business. There are also the global giant big e-commerce companies like Amazon and Flipkart which came into India where marketplace sellers can list their products on an e-commerce platform. These middlemen take a good amount of money from the buyer and as well as the sellers for the services they provide and the businesses that have opted to go online are left with a very minimal option than to choose them.

Well, that is where the ONDC comes in. Today when you go on any brands you only see products of sellers that are registered on that platform. What if you want to shop for dresses and want some from sellers from amazon some from Ajio and some outside all these apps? Well, the Government of India has heard your prayers. They have taken the initiative of developing an Open Network Digital Commerce (ONDC) where you can shop across all the apps.

What is ONDC?

Open Network Digital Commerce is a non-profit organization that enables users to view products and services from all e-commerce platforms playing a part in the search results across all apps on the internet. For example: If both Nykaa and Ajio integrate their platforms with ONDC, a user searching for Lipstick on Nykaa would also see results from Ajio on Nykaa.

ONDC is in its pilot phase and has been rolled out in five cities, Delhi NCR, Bangalore, Bhopal, Shillong, and Coimbatore. At the moment, the focus remains mainly on Retail and restaurants to ease real-time transactions.


India is keen on leveling the E-commerce operators and opening up the digital markets for small and medium enterprises. Indian democracy since independence is permeated with the spirit of liberty, equality, and sovereignty. ONDC will not be following the Platform Centric Model because the Indian Government hopes it will democratize the country’s online market for all buyers and sellers irrespective of their size so that millions of small retailers and Kirana stores get an equal opportunity. The focus of ONDC would be on small merchants and rural consumers with apps in Indian languages.

ONDC is not a competing platform for giant merchants like Amazon or Flipkart. In Fact, not a platform it is a network in which sellers, vendors, and e-commerce platforms interact with a buyer. ONDC will provide equivalent opportunities to all marketplace players including consumers. It is an unbiased and impartial platform that will set protocols for order fulfillment, Cataloging, Order management, and price discovery on an open-source basis like the UPI ( Unified Payments Interface). Dynamic pricing, Inventory management, and betterment of delivery costs are the three most significant things in ONDC which will help lessen the price of doing business.

ONDC network’s primary focus is to banish the supremacy of the giant e-commerce players and provide equivalent possibilities and growth to all the sellers and dealers. This super aggregator application will be top-notch work in Indian technology.

“If you want to see the true measure of a man, watch how he treats his inferiors, not his equals. - J.K.Rowling “

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