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ONDC: Transforming the Indian E-commerce Landscape and Empowering D2C Businesses for Success

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India’s e-commerce industry has experienced tremendous growth over the past decade, and its potential for further expansion is evident as it is projected to reach US$200 billion by 2026. However, despite this impressive growth, e-commerce still represents a small fraction of India’s overall retail industry, which is estimated to reach a staggering US$1,407 billion by 2026. In a bid to propel the e-commerce sector forward, the Indian government has introduced the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) initiative. The ONDC initiative is designed to create a transparent, inclusive, and efficient ecosystem that holds immense significance for brand owners, manufacturers, sellers, and distributors. By streamlining operations, enhancing market access, and driving economic growth, ONDC is set to revolutionize the Indian e-commerce landscape.

Streamlining Operations
One of the key benefits of ONDC is its ability to streamline operations for businesses. ONDC now provides a centralized platform that enables businesses to connect with consumers across the country, eliminating the need for multiple registrations.

Enhanced Market Access
To illustrate the impact of ONDC, consider a TWS and headphones brand that currently operates in Southern India. Through the initiative, this brand gains access to buyers across the entire country without having to register with multiple online e-commerce platforms and logistics partners. ONDC ensures equal market access for all participants by removing entry barriers and facilitating seamless market entry for new players, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

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Empowering D2C Brands
By providing an expanded market reach and streamlined operations, ONDC empowers D2C brands to effectively promote their products and expand their customer base. With reduced marketing costs and increased transparency, D2C brands can allocate resources more efficiently and build stronger connections with their target audience. This, in turn, drives business growth and positions D2C brands for long-term success in the competitive digital commerce landscape.

Interoperability among Platforms
ONDC emphasizes interoperability and standardization among various digital commerce platforms. By promoting seamless integration of systems, enhancing data sharing, and fostering collaboration among stakeholders, ONDC streamlines operations and improves overall efficiency.

Driving Economic Growth
ONDC plays a vital role in driving economic growth by fostering a conducive environment for businesses to thrive. The initiative promotes equal market access for all participants, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). By removing entry barriers and facilitating seamless market entry, ONDC creates opportunities for new players to enter the digital commerce landscape. This healthy competition leads to innovation, increased productivity, and job creation, contributing to overall economic growth.

The Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) initiative represents a significant step forward for the Indian e-commerce landscape. By creating a transparent, inclusive, and efficient digital commerce ecosystem. In conclusion, embracing and participating in ONDC presents a tremendous opportunity for stakeholders to leverage the power of digital commerce, drive economic growth, and shape the future of the Indian e-commerce industry.

Let’s hear from key stakeholders, industry experts, brand owners, and manufacturers as they share their perspectives on the ONDC initiative.

T Koshy, MD and CEO at ONDC
ONDC-T Koshy“With ONDC, we’re looking to empower device manufacturers and consumers alike by promoting transparency, choice, and fair competition. With an open network, device manufacturers can reach a wider audience and gain visibility without being limited to a single platform’s rules and constraints. Furthermore, the open network can pave the way for seamless collaboration and partnerships among manufacturers, thus fostering synergies and unlocking new opportunities.”


Aman Gupta, Co-founder and CMO of D2C brand boAt

 

“boAt is aligned to ONDC’s core purpose of improving adoption and democratizing e-commerce in India. Being onboarded on ONDC increases availability and access of boAt’s world-class products on all digital platforms adopting the network.”


Midhula Devabhaktuni, Co-founder, Mivi

“We feel that ONDC is the next big thing that India wants for its growth, it will transform the retail and the e-commerce industry. Mivi, being a pure Indian brand, is very happy at this initiative taken by the Government and how it will not only democratize the digital commerce space but also help a lot of Indian D2C businesses.”


Vijay Venkateswaran, Co-founder, Wings Lifestyle

Wings-Vijay Venkateswaran

 

“ONDC will democratize the e-commerce landscape in India, allowing for D2C brands like ours to have greater discoverability pan-India. Being able to access a ready pool of logistics partners would also be a big plus when it comes to order fulfillment.”

 


Chetna Katyall Sundaram, Marketing Head, Elista
Elista-Chetna“There are concerns regarding ONDC, such as, the lack of a roadmap and strategy to address key issues, the potential impact on local businesses, the absence of a liability framework, and uncertainty regarding the applicability of existing laws need to be resolved for the successful implementation of ONDC. By addressing these concerns and ensuring effective execution, ONDC has the potential to transform the e-commerce landscape in India.”


Madhu Joshi, Director Business Development, Techtonic
Techtonic-Madhu Joshi“ONDC aims to democratize e-commerce with inclusion of all stakeholders, i.e. Customers, Retailers, Brands and Service providers, viz. logistics, payment companies, etc. under one umbrella using an open protocol with seamless operation. ONDC aims to provide customers a wider choice to buy products. This in effect will open them to get customers to have a wider choice, at faster deliveries and reduced price with near buy quotient.”


Da Sachin Sharma, Chief Brand & Creative Officer, Mobilla and AI Evangelist
“I believe that ONDC has the potential to have a major impact on e-commerce giants, such as, Amazon, Flipkart, Swiggy, and Zomato, who have been used to operating in a market where they have a significant amount of control. However, ONDC could change all of that, as it could lead to increased competition in the e-commerce market forcing these companies to lower prices and improve customer service.”


Ujjwal Sarin, Founder & CEO, Nu Republic
“ONDC revolutionizes the way we transact, streamlining processes, enhancing security, and expanding access to digital services. With its unwavering commitment to transparency and interoperability, ONDC becomes the catalyst for economic empowerment, driving financial inclusion and unlocking the potential of millions. Through collaboration and seamless integration, ONDC weaves together the threads of technology, trust, and convenience, creating a tapestry of limitless possibilities.”


Gaurav Khetterpal, Co-founder of Tempt India
TEMPT-Gaurav“By enabling local businesses to leverage the e-commerce ecosystem, ONDC can potentially reduce the dominance of larger players and foster healthy competition. This increased competition could lead to benefits such as lower prices, improved service quality, and a wider range of products for consumers. It aims to enable consumers to access and manage their digital commerce data securely, giving them more control over their online shopping experiences.”


Varun Gupta, Co-Founder, Boult Audio

Boult Audio-Varun GuptaI am thrilled to participate in the ONDC (Open Network for Digital Commerce) initiative, an extraordinary platform that revolutionises the way brands connect with consumers across the country. ONDC, often referred to as the ‘UPI of e-commerce,’ is a game-changer that democratizes market access for brands, empowering them to reach new horizons and expand their consumer base. At Boult, we wholeheartedly support this government-run initiative, and our participation exemplifies our commitment to promoting and embracing such initiatives.


Lalit Arora, Co-Founder & COO, VingaJoy

“ONDC will require sellers to assume responsibility for dispute resolution, consumer safety, data privacy, service quality, and ensure accurate deliveries. Furthermore, the platform must establish a robust regulatory framework to safeguard consumers from bad factors. It is crucial for stakeholders to collaborate and develop comprehensive solutions that empower sellers to embrace this new era of digital commerce while ensuring consumer trust and satisfaction.”


Mandeep Arora, MD & Co-Founder, UBON

“With the support of third-party logistics providers like Shadowfax and Dunzo, ONDC is poised to disrupt not only the e-commerce space but also the food delivery industry. We anticipate that the platform will empower digital transacting consumers to soar from 190 million to a staggering 500 million users, driving digital consumption to reach $340 billion by the end of the decade. This is a game-changer for the entire industry.”


Sanjay Kalirona, CEO & Co-Founder, Gizmore

ONDC is an ambitious initiative that has the capability to revolutionize India’s digital landscape. However, we must acknowledge that in a country where a ‘parallel cash economy’ is prevalent, it will take some time for ONDC to demonstrate its substantial impact. Its success depends on the collaborative efforts of all stakeholders involved in its implementation.”


Amit K Ghosh, Brand Strategist, D2C & E-commerce Evangelist

“I am looking at ONDC as a regulatory platform for e-commerce that will break the entry barrier for a lot of hyperlocal businesses and hence will certainly benefit e-commerce penetration. It will put control on the monopolistic approach of the big tech giants and will bring about a price parity for customers. We need to wait and see how the wider implementation will transform the e-commerce ecosystem.”


Aashish Kumbhat, CoFounder, URBAN Lifestyle

“ONDC is going to change the way e-commerce functions drastically and will bring a lot of new players into the market. As the entry barrier gets lowered & cost of operations is low, we will see new brands getting created especially in our segment. It will increase accessibility and I am really excited to see the direction it takes in times to come.”


Kashish Lalit, Founder, Toreto
Toreto-Kashish“The full-fledged implementation of ONDC will mark a paradigm shift in how e-commerce businesses operate, offering a transformative platform that breaks down barriers, fosters collaboration, and unleashes unprecedented growth potential. It would empower businesses to embrace the digital landscape, connect with partners and customers on a global scale, streamline transactions, and innovate together, paving the way for a new era of seamless, secure, and prosperous commerce.”


Akhilesh Chopra, Director, Bluei
Bluei-Akhilesh“ONDC initiative will aid small enterprises, SMEs, and micro and small traders by opening up prospects for them, particularly in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. It will broaden the market for any retailer’s items by connecting customer demand with the closest source of supply. It has the potential to disrupt the current business since it enables customers to discover any seller through a suitable platform.”


Rishi Agrawal, CEO, TeamLease RegTech
“The low rate of commission on ONDC is a great boost for both sellers and buyers on the platform. This allows sellers to offer better rates, and also remove the digital divide that exists between the small retail traders and the larger stores and retail chains. The empanelment of network participants will further help grow the network ecosystem and create a level playing field for retailers across the country.”


Gopal Jeyaraj Head of India and SAARC, Promate Technologies

ONDC is definitely a great initiative which actually helps to move the entire operations from a platform-centric approach to a network-centric approach. ONDC is not only going to provide a massive support to buyers & sellers as a single open network but also going to promote the discoverability of local digital stores across industries. Open Ecommerce Network aiming at focusing on small business and retail shops in India and enriching them to the digital commerce and also by effectively reducing their cost of doing business online.


Dinanshu Bhasin, Marketing Manager 
“The ONDC platform is still in its early stages, and its success will depend on a variety of factors, including its ability to attract and retain users, and its ability to compete with other established e-commerce platforms. However, the government’s backing of the platform and its commitment to promoting digital commerce in India could make it a promising platform for e-commerce players in the country.”


Faisal Kawoosa, Chief Analyst and Founder Techarc

ONDC fits into what we know as asset light strategy of business implementation where a company remains very light on assets, does not invest much into assets and leverages whatever is available and makes most of its capex or capital expenditure.

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