First and last mile logistics startup Grab is in the process of initiating the pilot project with the ONDC
Quick commerce startup Dunzo had previously joined the network in May 2022
Beyond a beta test phase, ONDC will kick off in August 2022
Reliance Retail-owned logistics provider Grab has integrated its platform with the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) network. The move marks another Reliance Retail-owned startup joining the open network after Dunzo. Quick commerce startup Dunzo had previously joined the network in May 2022 and even initiated a pilot test in six Indian cities.
With this, Grab will support intracity hyperlocal deliveries, an ET report quoted one of Grab’s founders. “Currently, we are in the process of initiating the pilot project with the ONDC and it is at a nascent stage. We look forward to growing our partnership with the ONDC and our focus will be to provide a smooth and efficient delivery experience for our clients across sectors,” Pratish Sanghvi said.
Reliance Industries’ investment arm acquired Grab A Grub Services (‘Grab’) in a cash deal worth $14.9 Mn (INR 106 Cr) in March 2019. Currently, Grab is a subsidiary of Reliance Retail which holds around an 80% stake in the company.
The nine-year-old startup provides services ranging from on-demand, reverse deliveries and first- and last-mile logistics to clients including FedEx, Grofers, Paytm, BigBasket, Myntra, Amazon and Swiggy.
Reliance Retail, alongside Flipkart and Amazon, is also likely to join the ambitious UPI-like ONDC initiative. It is noteworthy that Flipkart’s logistics vertical Ekart has already integrated with ONDC for its logistics services.
What Is Happening Within The ONDC Universe?
The ONDC network essentially aims to democratise small retailers by bringing them on ecommerce and ecommerce enablers providing onboarding, cataloguing, consumer-facing and logistics needs via third-party integrations.
The private and public banks-backed network will connect buyers and sellers on any consumer-facing platform across any industry vertical, be it B2C products under beauty, healthcare, stationary or B2C services such as food delivery, repairing and maintenance, insurance and hotel bookings, among others.
Most recently, Inc42 confirmed that the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), a representative body of 70 Mn+ small retailers, is likely to join the government-backed ONDC by the end of 2022. Last month, SoftBank and Sequoia India also advised their portfolio startups in India to join ONDC.
In conversation with Inc42, ONDC CBO Shireesh Joshi also confirmed that OYO, Zomato and Swiggy are likely to join the network and are in various stages of integration.
Currently, nine platforms including Paytm, Digit, PhonePe, eSamudaay, Go Frugal, Dunzo and Loadshare are a part of the open network. As ONDC prepares to launch in August 2022 and reach 100 cities by the end of the year, it is reportedly in talks with 15+ platforms including Snapdeal and Shiprocket, to join the network.
Media reports from June 2022 also suggest that the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) plans to onboard its restaurants to the network.
Since there are several operational challenges for merchant onboarding on ONDC, a parliamentary standing committee has requested DPIIT to build tools compatible with ONDC’s protocols to easily onboard small homegrown businesses.