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Microsoft joins ONDC network, to launch a shopping app in India

Microsoft can implement its creative ideas like social commerce faster using the strength of ONDC’s open network users. (Photo: Bloomberg)Premium
Microsoft can implement its creative ideas like social commerce faster using the strength of ONDC’s open network users. (Photo: Bloomberg)

Through ONDC, Microsoft intends to introduce social e-commerce in the Indian market. It will also launch a shopping app in India, which will be available on the ONDC network and will allow buyers to discover the best price offered by retailers and sellers

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NEW DELHI: Microsoft has become the first big tech company to join Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), an Indian government-backed platform created to provide a level playing field to all e-commerce companies.

The Redmond-based company said that through ONDC it intends to introduce social e-commerce in the Indian market. It will also launch a shopping app in India, which will be available on the ONDC network and will allow buyers to discover the best price offered by retailers and sellers.

India’s e-commerce market has seen unprecedented growth, especially after the covid-19 pandemic which forced businesses and customers to transact online. The Indian e-commerce sector is projected to grow at a CAGR of 19.24% to $111.40 billion by 2025 from $46.20 billion in 2020 , according to an August report by the Indian Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF).

ONDC is being seen by many as a game changer, given its UPI-like network for digital commerce. “It is a win-win for both buyers and sellers as it will enable them to connect without dependency on any e-commerce solution," a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement after the announcement.

T. Koshy, managing director, and chief executive of ONDC, pointed out that Microsoft can implement its creative ideas like social commerce faster using the strength of ONDC’s open network users.

“Joining hands with Microsoft is a testament to our credibility to foster an open e-commerce ecosystem with numerous possibilities," Koshy added.

Large e-commerce players have helped smaller merchants and businesses digitise their inventory and sell online. In May, Amazon announced that it has digitised over 40 lakh MSMEs and created over 11.6 lakh direct and indirect jobs in the last nine years.

However, regulators in many countries are concerned about the dominant position of companies such as Amazon and its impact on smaller sellers or rival platforms. For instance, Amazon is being investigated in the UK for giving an unfair advantage to its own retail business and sellers that use its services at the expense of third-party merchants.

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