By Kritika Arora
With the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) expected to be open to public in a short time, T Koshy, CEO, ONDC tells Kritika Arora, 20 institutions have agreed to become shareholders. Excerpts:
When will the network go live?
After testing the network in pilot cities, we will be doing Beta testing or going live.Maybe by the month end, we will say in one town, people will be able to use multiple buyer applications. Earlier, it was a controlled set of people who were whitelisted, now anybody can buy through the network.
We will do it in a select set of pincodes initially, in a structured and streamlined fashion. The beauty is you can rise exponentially because you don’t have to customise it for any town or any merchant.
How are customers going to be aware of ONDC?
Today if Paytm is there, it shows that it offers ONDC network. Then probably Kotak Bank and IDFC First Bank will also inform their clients that they can now offer this. And when we start onboarding state enterprises, states will announce it; when telecom companies will come, they will start informing their clients.
E-commerce websites give discounts and delivery fee waiver, so what can we expect on ONDC?
Their current model is to find some way to get some captive clients and afterwards we can sell anything to them because the network effect of a closed platform will ensure that it becomes tightly controlled. But then on ONDC, the strategies will be have to be different, based on innovation, special value addition to product you can offer , not by throwing away shareholders’ money to somebody to become captive users.
Which are the institutions on board?
So far, 20 institutions have agreed and will contribute equally, an amount of Rs 10 crore each. As of now, 17 have completed the approval process. NPCI, NDSL, Bank of America will complete the process in some weeks or months.