ONDC’s beta testing is live across 16 pin codes in Bengaluru
The pilot project is currently live in 15 cities, including Delhi, Shillong, Coimbatore, Bhopal, Bengaluru and Lucknow
The network aims to reach around 100 cities, 30 Mn sellers and 10 Mn vendors by the end of 2022
The government has opened the Open Network For Digital Commerce (ONDC), its ambitious digital commerce project, for the public in Bengaluru. The move is a part of the network’s beta testing.
Union Minister of Commerce Piyush Goyal took to Twitter on Thursday (September 29) to make the announcement. “Beta testing of the Govt’s revolutionary Open Network For Digital Commerce to begin from tomorrow. It is democratic, cost-effective & empowers buyers and small businesses,” Goyal wrote in a tweet.
ONDC’s beta testing is live across 16 pin codes in Bengaluru and has onboarded over 200 merchants in the city. Media reports suggested that the beta launch would feature over 200 merchants working in grocery, food and beverage segments. The network wants to collect feedback from public users to improve the user experience via the beta launch.
ONDC aims to reach around 100 cities, 30 Mn sellers and 10 Mn vendors by the end of 2022.
Earlier this month, Goyal said that the network would be opened for public use in 1-2 cities by the end of September. He was quoted in media reports as stating that the government wants to ensure that the network has sufficient capacity to handle large volumes.
The ONDC pilot project is currently live in 15 cities, including Delhi, Shillong, Coimbatore, Bhopal, Bengaluru and Lucknow. By the end of August, the network had onboarded around 100 sellers.
Earlier this week, the Bank of India joined the growing list of public and private entities investing in the network. The public sector bank invested INR 10 Cr to buy a 5.56% stake in ONDC. In all, around 20 organisations have invested INR 255 in the government’s ambitious project.
Touted as the UPI of ecommerce, ONDC is an open network which has already onboarded big-name companies and startups such as PhonePe, Paytm and Dunzo.
Speaking at Inc42’s The D2C Summit 3.0, Shireesh Joshi, the chief business officer of ONDC, said that the network is a new way of doing ecommerce.
“For more than a decade, we were used to doing ecommerce a certain way. We have to unlearn a lot of behaviour and practices that we have taken for granted and have become second nature to ecommerce,” he said.
The ecommerce market is currently dominated by the likes of Flipkart and Amazon.
ONDC is also building a reputation ledger for sellers, according to Joshi. “We are working on creating a composite reputation ledger that people will be able to understand and trust. You should anticipate over time that a much greater trust will get built on ONDC than you’ll see on ecommerce platforms,” he said.
The government has also asked the network to build a grievance redressal system before its launch across the country. The government wants the ONDC grievance redressal system to be on par with major ecommerce players in the country.
According to an Inc42 report, India’s ecommerce market is expected to become a $400 Bn opportunity by 2030.