*****Dunzo, PhonePe among 24 e-commerce firms joining India’s open network | Business Standard News

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Real-time transactions in retail and food delivery have started in Delhi, Bengaluru, Shillong


While ONDC is a private sector-led non-profit organisation, on the government’s side, it is being spearheaded by DPIIT.

More than two weeks since the launch of the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) pilot, as many as two dozen companies, such as Flipkart-backed logistics provider Ekart Logistics, hyperlocal quick commerce company Dunzo, and digital payments company PhonePe, were in the process of integrating with the network, said people in the know.

They said real-time transactions in the retail and food delivery space have started in some cities. For instance, in Shillong, there has been a delivery from a restaurant.

Similarly, there has been delivery from a retail store in Delhi.

The small-scale implementation of the Prime Minister’s ambitious ONDC architecture began on April 29 in Delhi, Bhopal, Bengaluru, Coimbatore, and Shillong.

The idea behind the exercise is to make processes more robust before an official launch. Currently, five seller platforms, one buyer platform, and one logistics partner are part of the pilot.

“We are focusing more on retailers and restaurants at the moment. What started as an idea is happening real-time,” said one of the persons.

“These are still early days for ONDC. The entire exercise will take around six months to stabilise,” said an official.

For instance, in Bhopal and Coimbatore, trader catalogues are being made. Once uploaded, transactions will start subsequently.

Similarly, these two dozen companies are also at various stages of integration and are developing their information technology platform. The integration may take at least two to three months.

Dunzo, PhonePe among 24 e-commerce firms joining India's open network

Government officials believe that most e-commerce platforms will eventually adopt the network, considering the business proposition ONDC has to offer.

“We believe most e-commerce platforms will join ONDC because they will see business proposition and trust. Moreover, their users in terms of buyers and sellers, too, will expand,” said Anil Agarwal, additional secretary at the Department for Promotion of

Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).

While ONDC is a private sector-led non-profit organisation, on the

government’s side, it is being spearheaded by DPIIT.

ONDC will work on the principle of open network, where a buyer and a seller don’t have to be on the same platform to conduct business with each other. Rather, the network will enable them to be digitally visible and transact no matter what platform or application they use. Over a period of time, hopefully this will result in rapid digitalisation of small businesses and consumers.

The open network concept will not be restricted to the retail sector, but extend to mobility, food delivery, travel, among others.

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