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With an aim to democratise fast growing e-commerce sector, help small retailers in the country, India has launched the pilot phase of open network for digital commerce (ONDC), a UPI-type protocol, in five cities- Delhi NCR, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Shillong and Coimbatore.

The architect of the Aadhaar card, Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani is working on the ONDC project which helps small shoppers compete with companies like Walmart and Amazon in the country’s $1 trillion retail market. will help you take it.

Nandan Nilekani has been praised by Anand Mahindra, chairman of Mahindra and Mahindra Group, for the ONDC project. He wrote on Twitter, ‘We are on the cusp of a world beating retail revolution. It will democratize e-commerce, free us from the domination of a few giants and empower millions of small shop owners. We all should support this. Bravo Nandan Nilekani and Narendra Modi.’

 

To this Infosys co-founder replied, ‘Dear Anand Mahindra, ONDC is a great team effort. Piyush Goyal, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Anil Agarwal, Additional Secretary, DPIIT, has also been a big champion. Along with me in the advisory council are Dr. RS Sharma, Adil Jainulbhai, Dilip Asbe, Anjali Bansal of Avana Capital, Arvind Gupta, Sudhi Sethi, Kumar Rajagopalan. Koshi is the CEO of TK ONDC."

To this Anand Mahindra replied: "I acknowledge and salute the entire team."

The initiative is also aimed at curbing the dominance of two large multinational e-commerce players

"After UPI, another game changing idea to democratise commerce - ONDC soft launch today to select consumers, sellers and logistics providers. Get ready for a world of choice, convenience and transparency," Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said in a tweet.

What is ONDC?

The Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) is an initiative of the government to promote an open platform for all aspects of the exchange of goods and services through electronic networks.

Dynamic pricing, inventory management and optimisation of delivery cost are the three important things in ONDC which will help reduce the cost of doing business for everybody, including retailers.

The government has set up a nine-member advisory council, including Nandan Nilekani from Infosys and National Health Authority CEO R S Sharma, to ascertain steps required to design and accelerate adoption of ONDC.

As many as 20 organisations of national repute have confirmed investments of 255 crore into the ONDC. Lenders such as the State Bank of India, UCO Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Bank of Baroda have already committed investments.

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