Social Navigation

ONDC expands operations to 236 cities, adds more than 36,000 merchants: CEO


The Indian government’s open e-commerce network has expanded its operations to 236 cities in the country with the addition of more than 36,000 merchants, a senior company official said Thursday.

The government launched the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) last year to give small businesses and retailers access to the processes and technologies normally provided by large e-commerce platforms such as Amazon and Walmart.

The company’s nonprofit network currently displays products and services from all participating e-commerce platforms in search results across all apps on its network.

“ONDC funds small merchants while aiming to make e-commerce more inclusive and accessible to consumers,” Te Kochi, the company’s CEO, told reporters.

He said the network is slowly and steadily recording a rise in transactions.

The government said that the existing platforms are tightly controlled, which prevents many small players. ONDC expects to increase competition and foster innovation in startups.

T Koshy said the company is in talks with taxi operators to start operations in at least four cities, after successfully launching ride-hailing operations in two cities in South India.

He said more than 55,000 taxi owners had already joined the network, and consumers were using it for about 35,000 trips per day.

Sheikh Salahuddin, president of the Telengana Four Wheeler Drivers Association, and a taxi driver, said the platform helped taxi owners provide services while saving the huge commissions paid to other platforms and offering lower fares to passengers.

“ONDC’s move helped promote fair competition in e-commerce and help consumers and small players.”

ONDC aims to increase e-commerce penetration in the next two years to 25 percent of consumer purchases in India, from about 8 percent now, in a country of 1.4 billion people.

On Tuesday, the government said the state-run Indian Postal Service, which has a network of nearly 160,000 post offices, will also join the ONDC network to provide logistics services to small merchants across the country.

Realme may not want the Mini Capsule to be the realme C55’s defining feature, but will it end up being one of the most talked about hardware specs? We discuss this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcast.
Affiliate links may be generated automatically – see our Ethics Statement for details.

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.