Time For Open Network For Digital Commerce Has Come: Nandan Nilekani

ONDC enables local commerce to be discovered and engaged by any network-enabled application

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Nandan Nilekani, co-founder and non-executive chairman of Infosys, is helping Prime Minister Narendra Modi to build an open technology network that helps small merchants to thrive in the fragmented but fast-growing $1 trillion retail market. The claimed purpose of the open network is to create a freely accessible online system where traders and consumers can buy and sell everything from 23-cent detergent bars to $1,800 airline tickets.

Nandan Nilekani Twitter handle

Nandan Nilekani, in a news report was quoted as saying, "The Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) is an idea whose time has come. We owe it to the millions of small sellers to show an easy way to participate in the new high-growth area of digital commerce. We are charting a new course and the goal is to change the rules of the e-commerce game."

India has become a battlefront for some gigantic global retailers that are either shut out of china or are struggling to compete with the local rivals there. According to the reports, with almost 800 million smartphone users, the sheer size and potential have turned the South Asian Country into a testing ground for many companies. The ONDC addresses these concerns.

ONDC, an open technology, based on an open protocol that will enable local commerce across segments, such as mobility, grocery, food order and delivery, hotel booking and travel, among others, to be discovered and engaged by any network-enabled application. According to the statement of DPIIT, the new network is expected to be rolled out very soon across five cities, Delhi, Bengaluru, Coimbatore, Bhopal and Shillong.

"Technology is transforming the retail industry in the country which will provide credit access to millions of small retailers helping the market to grow. In the upcoming years, you will see the possible expansion of credit and democratisation so that millions of retailers will have access to credit using the digital footprints," said Nilekani on Wednesday, while addressing the Retail Leadership Summit.

Nilekani has been hired as an advisor to ONDC last summer. Previously, he has helped the government to develop the Aadhaar biometric ID system.