The Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), the government’s alternative in India’s e-commerce market, should help non-digital traders, handicraft traders and artisans, said commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday.
Goyal asked the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) to launch an ONDC pilot for offline traders in a single market as a separate exercise assists digitally enabled ones.
Goyal made the comments at an advisory council meeting of ONDC to review the ongoing pilot.
ONDC promotes open networks for exchange of goods and services over digital or electronic networks. According to statement by Goyal’s ministry, open networks are gaining traction in the ongoing pilot that started on April 29.
A total of seven companies–one buyer side app, five seller side apps and one logistics service provider app–have adopted ONDC protocols and built their own compatible apps. The pilot took off in five cities–Bengaluru, New Delhi, Bhopal, Shillong and Coimbatore–in grocery and food and beverages segments.
The meeting also discussed plans for faster rollout of the ONDC platform to a larger number of traders, categories of goods, geographies and companies.
“The success achieved has ignited tremendous interest in many new companies and a large number of companies on buyer side, seller side and logistics side are now building their own apps and are in advanced stages of integration with ONDC,” said the commerce ministry statement.
“During the meeting it was informed that the ONDC and NABARD are working on a program to bring the agriculture sector to ONDC and as a first step, a hackathon is being organized on 1-3 July to build innovative solutions for FPOs (Farmer Producer Organizations). The Minister said that ONDC may prove to be an invaluable tool to assist farmers find the right prices for their produce,” it said.