Partho Dasgupta talks about ONDC and how it has the potential to be a savior for small businesses in this market dominated by e-commerce monopolies. 

Everything is online. If you have an internet connection, then most of the things that you require for your daily needs or functioning are within your reach instantly. As a consumer, you have unlimited options at your disposal and you can just fill your cart online and receive the products within a few hours or days! Even businesses now want to have an online presence to attract more customers.

The upwards growth trajectory of the Indian e-commerce sector has been consistent with a noticeable boost post covid. The e-commerce sector is expected to grow at a CAGR of 19.24 going from US$ 46.20 billion in 2020 to US$ 111.40 billion by 2025. With such impressive numbers for growth, all businesses want to take their online presence to the next level. While all major brands and stores have a strong online presence, can the next-door kirana stores and small businesses go up against these major online retailers? Well, things have changed now with the government’s plan to introduce Open Network for Digital Commerce.

In simple words, ONDC will be your one-stop solution for all your needs. You will be able to access all major apps, websites, and services on one platform. “ONDC is an ambitious project by the government and seems to be just what local businesses need to thrive against e-commerce giants.” shares Partho Dasgupta Ex-CEO of BARC India and Presently Managing Partner, Thoth Advisors

ONDC is an initiative of DPIIT (Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade) under the ministry of commerce and industry. This platform will help micro, small, and medium enterprises against digital monopolies. As of now, it is in the nascent stages of testing in 15 cities offering services including Meesho, Dunzo, Paytm Dehlivery, PhonePe, and Shiprocket.

The latest partnership of ONDC has been with Amazon. The e-commerce giant will be offering its logistics networks and smart commerce services to ONDC. After this initial collaboration, Amazon hopes to offer more services and explore opportunities with ONDC. Amazon has more than 1.1 million sellers associated with their platform and most of them are from tier 2 and smaller cities. They also plan to digitize 10 million small-scale businesses by 2025.

“There are positives and negatives to having amazon as a part of ONDC. The pro is that amazon is an already established giant in the online e-commerce space therefore they have the correct expertise to offer. On the other hand, the downside is that involving amazon defeats the whole idea of “vocal for local” and sends a message that local Indian firms cannot offer these services.” shares Partho Dasgupta BARC Ex CEO.

The partnership between the government led ONDC and a private player like Amazon will be subjected to regulatory approval and scrutiny. As of now we can only wait and watch as to what level of involvement ONDC expects from Amazon.