Building the foundation for digital commerce

T Koshy, CEO/MD, ONDC

learn more about Punita Sabharwal

By Punita Sabharwal • Nov 11, 2022 Originally published Nov 11, 2022

T Koshy, CEO/MD, ONDC

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Taking into consideration the roles T Koshy has played in key national-level transformation projects in India like the Depository, Central Record Keeping Agency for Pension, UIDAI, Co-WIN, etc., he has been selected to lead the team establishing Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) which is an initiative supported by DPIIT, GOI with a vision to democratize digital commerce in India. As this is a globally pioneering initiative, ONDC is set up to operate like a start-up, working in an agile manner and pivoting to ensure it is able to synergize across creative ideas and innovations.

As in the case of the previous projects he led, he internalizes the cause that the organization has envisioned and enlists the support of his team to give their best to an idea that is bigger than themselves. As a result, his leadership style has taken on a more transformational role, where the team is encouraged to come up with a portfolio of creative solutions, test them out, proceed with what works and discard what doesn't. "In this way, we mitigate process inertia and also share credit for our successes," he shares.

ONDC is supported by a leadership team Board and Advisory Council that have extensive experience in solving population-scale problems. Koshy gives special attention to drawing inspiration and guidance from this powerful forum and extending its mentorship to a larger audience. He sets clear targets with associated accountability and milestones that are distinctly linked to the bigger picture the organization is working towards. He also meticulously tracks progress and any escalations against these milestones.

He also is supported by a leadership team composed of people who share the same vision and whom he can completely trust to get things done leaving time for Koshy to focus on the longer-term vision. Koshy has been involved in several pioneering national initiatives, setting up population-scale digital solutions, which often means very high uncertainty levels. His ability to extrapolate his experiences to new contexts, take risks and willingness to be challenged in his thinking in order to explore new ideas has allowed each of these initiatives to grow beyond their original vision.

Fact File

  • Age: 60
  • Year of joining the current organization: 2021
  • Total team size: 40-50
Punita Sabharwal

Deputy Editor, Entrepreneur India Magazine

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