ONDC plans collaborations to create fresh solutions: Koshy

The protocol aims to make it possible for anybody to establish an online store and connect to the ONDC network to find vendors.

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade of the Union government established the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), a non-profit organisation, and it is developing a number of collaborations with other organisations to activate enablements in many fields. For instance, this week ONDC hosted the Nabard-ONDC Grand Challenge for facilitating e-commerce in agriculture in collaboration with the National Bank For Agriculture And Rural Development (Nabard). The ONDC protocol was designed to support online sales in industries where the vendors are independently owned.

The protocol aims to make it possible for anybody to set up their own online store and connect to the ONDC network to find vendors.

T. Koshy, the chief executive of ONDC, stated in an interview that the alliance was just a first step. The non-profit group that manages the ONDC network protocol, he continued, is currently preparing a similar partnership with the Small Industries and Development Bank of India (Sibdi) for small and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs). In March of this year, Sidbi invested 10 crore for a 7.84 percent interest in ONDC.

“We should have a series of plans to help people make use of this opportunity,” said Koshy. “What we’ve done with Nabard is just a first step. We said let’s start with the agriculture sector to help farmers and farmer producer organizations (FPOs) to sell products in the larger market. We identified nine unique problems which can be digitally solved, and organized this hackathon to let people come around with smart solutions,” he added.

According to him, the programme with Nabard would last for at least six months in order to assist the concepts become answers. State MSME ministries are also “in touch” with ONDC, and according to Koshy, Kerala is the first state to launch an active protocol-related activity.

“Essentially, this is a series of activities in which ONDC, its investors, and ministries are all coming together to enable MSMEs to take advantage of the opportunity being created by ONDC,” he said.