As and when we see there are enough sellers in a pin code area, we will open it up to the public: Koshy
By August-September, we will start having a seed presence in at least about 75-100 towns….At that point, we will open up for the public at large in select cities: Koshy
ONDC has so far raised 85% of the capital requirement for its first phase of operation
The Centre’s ambitious Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) will be opened for public use in 75-100 towns by August, its chief executive officer (CEO) T Koshy said.
“We will allow a larger set of people to come and experience it (ONDC) in pin codes where we have a certain threshold. As and when we see there are enough sellers in a pin code area, we will open it up to the public. Opening up in a gradual fashion will start in August,” Koshy was quoted as saying by Business Today.
This is in consonance with Union Minister Piyush Goyal’s statement last month. He had said that seven companies – one buyer, five seller and one logistics company – had built ONDC-compatible apps and many others were in advanced stages of integration on the platform.
“By August-September, we will start having a seed presence in at least about 75-100 towns and that will form the foundation on which the network will grow in an organic fashion. At that point, we will open up for the public at large in select cities,” said Koshy.
ONDC expects to see a “hockey stick-like growth” taking shape by next year, he added.
“If CSC SPV (common service centre – special purpose vehicle) comes live, by the end of the year, we will see some sort of a presence in at least half of the villages in India,” Koshy said.
CSC SPV aims to deliver government’s e-services to rural areas and remote locations. It is expected to go live both on buyer and seller side in two weeks.
ONDC has also raised 85% of the capital requirement for its first phase of operation.
“We created a budget of INR 150-200 Cr for the first couple of years…ONDC selected 20 institutions and asked them to put Rs 10 crore each. 17 of them have completed their committed contribution by March 31, 2022, remaining three will complete it by next month,” Koshy was quoted as saying.
Koshy also specified that no investor would be allowed to have more than 50% ownership of ONDC. “Next year, we will make an estimation on the kind of new innovation we want to build on top of it. If we need more money, we will go back and may allow some more market participants, but none of them individually or collectively will have more than 50% ownership.”
An open protocol-based digital commerce platform, ONDC will enable buyers and sellers across multiple segments to list on the platform and transact with customers. The platform is currently on a trial run in six cities including Bengaluru, Lucknow, Shillong and Coimbatore.
The government aims to end the dominance of deep-pocketed players like Flipkart and Amazon in the ecommerce market through ONDC.
Reacting to the GST Council’s recent announcement to waive mandatory registration requirements for small businesses, Koshy said that the move would benefit smaller players and would aid ONDC.
Close to 24 startups, including names such as Dunzo, Paytm, Meesho as well as subsidiaries of Flipkart, have been onboarded on ONDC. The National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) also held internal talks with ONDC officials last month to enable its member restaurants to join ONDC for a pilot run.
According to Inc42, the country’s total addressable ecommerce market opportunity is projected to reach $200 Bn by 2026.