The government’s intention is not to get into business but create standards through the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) that it expects will be adopted by the global e-commerce ecosystem, a senior DPIIT official said on Monday.
At the Start-up India Innovation week panel discussion, Anil Agrawal, additional secretary of Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), said the country is trying to become a pioneer in standard for e-commerce through ONDC.
“We are clear from the government’s point of view that we are only a facilitator. We are not here to get into business. We are only creating standards. If you look at standardisation, it is something that anyone who is a pioneer in developing standards ultimately gets lots of business,” Agrawal said while speaking about ONDC.
DPIIT has initiated the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) project, which aims to promote open networks developed on open sourced methodology, using open specifications and open network protocols independent of any specific platform. The task has been assigned to the Quality Council of India (QCI).
ONDC is expected to digitise the entire value chain, standardise operations, promote inclusion of suppliers, derive efficiencies in logistics and enhance value for consumers.
“Today, wherever you have international standards, you end up conforming to those standards and you end up paying a lot of royalties for adopting those standards.
“Imagine you develop standards and the world adopts it. This is the beginning of what we are seeing in India. It is not going to be limited to Indian e-commerce. It is going to go global,” Agrawal said.
During the panel discussion, Paytm President and Group Chief Financial Officer Madhur Deora said the challenge in e-commerce is to build trust and then create a differentiating factor when there are thousands of entities offering similar services.
PhonePe founder and CEO Sameer Nigam said companies need to lower the cost of technology solutions to the level that it resolves the problem of local grocery shops and conveniently connect it digitally with the e-commerce ecosystem.