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ONDC getting traction; 5 lakh sellers onboarded so far: DPIIT Secy

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The ONDC aims to promote an open platform for all aspects of e-commerce retail

New Delhi: The government-backed initiative ONDC (open network for digital commerce) has started getting traction in the e-commerce sector and so far five lakh sellers have been onboarded on the platform, a senior official said on Friday.

Secretary in the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) Rajesh Kumar Singh said the ONDC was set up primarily to democratise and make digital commerce accessible to smaller players.

“It has started getting traction in the last two years. Five lakh sellers have on-boarded of which 70% are small and medium sellers. In April, ONDC facilitated 7.22 million transactions,” Singh told reporters here.

The ONDC aims to promote an open platform for all aspects of e-commerce retail. It would help small retailers expand their business through e-commerce medium and reduce dominance of giants in the sector.

It is a non-profit company, which has formulated a set of standards for voluntary adoption by sellers or logistics providers or payments gateway operators.

He was addressing media after the ‘ONDC Startup Mahotsav’, which was organised by the department.

Singh said this collaboration is meant to ensure that startups are also able to access the network to get access to the market.

“The idea is to get the wider choice and value to the consumers and also access to all kind of sellers and not only the big ones,” he added.

Asked if big startups would overshadow smaller players, the secretary hoped that it will increasingly get traction for all types of players that comes to the e-commerce marketplace.

“The intent is noble, let us see how it works and to what extent we can actually crack some of the issues you raised in terms of market concentration,” he said.

Over 125 ecosystem stakeholders, including startups, unicorns and high growth businesses such as EaseMyTrip, OfBusiness, Winzo, Livspace, GlobalBees, Pristyn Care, Cars24, Physics Wallah, PolicyBazaar, and Zerodha, signed Letter of Intent (LoI) during the event.

These LoIs signify the potential of ONDC and the eagerness of leading startups of the country to collaborate with the platform.

DPIIT Joint Secretary Sanjiv said startups can play a pivotal role in the ONDC ecosystem by driving innovation, fostering competition and enhancing consumer choice.

“More than 125 startups have committed to onboard to ONDC network in today’s event reflects the excitement and momentum of the national initiative,” Sanjiv said.

The ONDC is fully operational across India, with the digital infrastructure completed and rolled out to businesses and the public at large. It lowers entry-barriers to digital commerce, and provides level playing field for all e-commerce players, especially the small-scale businesses and those who have been digitally excluded.

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