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Government planning to open network platform for e-commerce

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After the centre witnessed the success of Unified Payments Interface (UPI), it is now planning to create an Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) – a platform for sellers and logistics providers to connect with buyers.

 

Customers will be able to login into the network and browse for products and services, which will have product details, pricing and sellers location to help buyers choose. It further says, the ONDC will also be connected to payment gateways and offer delivery and logistics solutions for specific requirements.

 

Explaining how the platform would function, a source said: “ONDC would be similar to e-mails, where the sender and recipient need not be on the same platform. For example, the sender can be on Google and the recipient on Yahoo.”

 

The ONDC will also be connected to payment gateways and offer delivery and logistics solutions for specific requirements, they added.

 

“Broad contours of the model are in place,” government sources said. On the advisory group are National Health Authority CEO RS Sharma and Infosys Chairman Nandan Nilekani among others. The government official said this would be something not yet tried anywhere in the world.

 

Sources said, the pilot for the platform has already been conducted with auto-rickshaw and taxi drivers and plans include other pilots over the next six months for delivery services, FMCG players and kirana stores in Bengaluru, Delhi, Jaipur, Kochi and Varanasi, the sources added.

 

The development comes amid multiple attempts by the Centre to launch business-to-business and business-to-consumer platforms as it believes existing platforms benefit only a handful of players and also gives sellers less control, sources noted.

 

The ONDC model is thus being viewed as a potential competitor to Amazon and Flipkart. Officials are hopeful of a UPI-like success once large private players come on-board.

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