Dynamic pricing, inventory management and optimisation of delivery cost are the three important things in open network for digital commerce (ONDC) that will help reduce the cost of doing business for everybody, including retailers, a top government official said on Friday.
ONDC is an initiative of the government to promote open networks for all aspects of the exchange of goods and services over digital or electronic networks.
Through this, consumers can potentially discover any seller, product or service by using any ONDC compatible application or platform, thus increasing freedom of choice for consumers, Anurag Jain, Secretary in the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), said.
This can actually be another disruptive change, but there is a need to reach out to retailers to explain to them about the benefits of this platform by reducing their concerns, he added.
“Three important things in ONDC (are) dynamic pricing, inventory management, and optimisation of delivery cost. All these facilities will actually reduce the cost for doing business for everybody,” he said at the launch of ONDC national rollout strategy: ‘Reimagining the Future of Digital Commerce with ONDC’ here.
He said so far only bigger players are able to take advantage of e-commerce and small people are still out of it. Speaking at the event, DPIIT Additional Secretary Anil Agrawal said protocols under ONDC would standardise all operations like cataloguing , inventory management, order management, and order fulfilment.
“So what happens, small businesses would be able to use any compatible ONDC app instead of being governed by specific platform centric policies and this opens up multiple options to small businesses to be discoverable over the network and conduct their businesses,” Agrawal said.
Presenting the contours of ONDC, he also said the initiative is to promote open networks for all aspects of exchange of goods and services over digital or electronic networks.
“It is to be based on open source methodology, using open specifications and open network protocols which are independent of any specific platform. This is for entire aspects of the entire value chain of activities in exchange of goods and services, similar to what we have ‘http’ for exchange of information through the internet,” he added.
It will also encourage easy adoption of digital means by those who are not on the digital e-commerce networks today, Agrawal said adding “ONDC has received its certificate of incorporation as a private sector led non-profit company on December 31, 2021”.
A number of established companies are integrated with ONDC. The government has already set up a nine-member advisory council, including Nandan Nilekani from Infosys and National Health Authority CEO R S Sharma, on steps required to design and accelerate adoption of ONDC.
Nilekani said ONDC will happen and it will expand the market dramatically.
“I would recommend that everybody get onboard now and participate in the most exciting business transformation happening in the world,” he said adding protocols that are being designed for ONDC are best in class and will allow a wide set of network participants to inter operate and contribute.
ONDC, he said, will also have a large number of public spirited shareholders. “I am told that there is an enormous interest in investing in ONDC. So ONDC will act as the non profit public spirited institution….” He said India will have a trillion dollar retail economy and even if 10-20 per cent of that goes online, “we are talking” about USD 100 to 200 billion doing online.