Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution and Textiles, Shri Piyush Goyal said that the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) of tomorrow will be a transformational engine across the world and not only in India during his address at “Enabling Bharat 2.0”, a one-day workshop conducted by ONDC today in New Delhi. The Minister said that he is optimistic about a significant growth of ONDC in the next few months. He invited all e-commerce companies, big and small, to join ONDC and be part of this new bazaar that reimagines digital commerce.
He mentioned that ONDC will promote local languages, products, and cultural heritage, and create opportunities for small businesses. He said that small artisans and workers can offer better quality through ONDC and also earn better without having to pay commission for their products. He emphasized that ONDC will foster healthy competition, benefit consumers and contribute to the overall growth of the digital commerce ecosystem in India.
He said that the Prime Minister believes that our ability to develop depends on our ability to leverage technology. He said that monolithic e-commerce platforms will never be able to provide the services of the kind that a network of platforms like ONDC can offer. The Minister highlighted the various sectors that may benefit from ONDC like farmers who can access bigger markets and demand better prices for their products, students who can compare prices of books and online courses, people who can avail health services at the best prices, etc.
He emphasized on the need to create systems that benefit everyone and create opportunities for all. He said that the efforts are being undertaken to ensure that e-commerce becomes an engine of growth that empowers both buyers and sellers. The Minister highlighted that ONDC will unlock doors of opportunities in an inclusive manner for both big and small businesses, benefitting the entire value chain of commerce. He said that ONDC will provide a much larger market for sellers, without any preferred or priority sellers, ensuring equitable and fair treatment for all stakeholders. He said that ONDC will foster economies of scale, competition, and better pricing and quality, ultimately benefiting consumers. He said that ONDC is customer-centric, keeping in line with the vision of Mahatma Gandhi, where the customer is king.
The Minister emphasized that India can only be defined as Bharat, as it thrives in villages and small habitations across the country. He mentioned that ONDC is targeting this ‘Bharat’ for inclusive growth, ensuring that the benefits of e-commerce reach every corner of the country. He said that the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi firmly believes in solving challenges the Indian way and trusts the people of India to come up with innovative solutions. He said that ONDC was born in such a manner when the e-commerce sector was grappling with multiple challenges and small businesses were under threat. He highlighted the need for alternate ways to address these challenges of the e-commerce ecosystem, while balancing the interests of small retailers and businesses led to the evolution of ONDC.
The Minister outlined the unique features of ONDC, which aims to provide a win-win solution for both buyers and sellers. He said that ONDC, with its concept of using interfaces between various platforms, will open up more options for buyers, enhance price discovery and market opportunities for sellers, and also empower consumers to make informed choices. He said that this will result in more competition in the market and will not be limited through algorithms. He emphasized that ONDC will enable speedy, efficient, and real-time settlement of transactions, catering to hyperlocal and global needs simultaneously.
During his address, the Minister said that ‘Enabling Bharat 2.0’ converges with the commitment of making India a developed nation by 2047 and it is desirable to plan for the future. He said that digital public infrastructure is the need of the hour. He said that all the efforts of the government have been citizen centric as was evident during the COVID pandemic with the development and production of vaccines and the launch of Co-WIN Vaccinator App to monitor the distribution of vaccines to everyone in the country.
He cited the success of initiatives like the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) in the financial services sector, which has brought about a transformational journey and encouraged hundreds of fintech companies to innovate and promote financial inclusion. He said that UPI has brought about innovation in the fintech sector at a pace never seen before and promoted startups and unicorns through socialising valuation. He drew parallels with ONDC, which is based on a similar concept of interoperable interface, opening up more options for buyers and creating more competition, while providing ease of operation for sellers across multiple platforms and also providing them a bigger market.
The ‘Enabling Bharat 2.0’ workshop has been organized to find potential synergies and deepen collaboration among the various open protocol-enabled initiatives and generate awareness amongst multiple stakeholders.