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ONDC goes live with beta launch in Bangalore; 161 orders placed on day 1

Just as Walmart-owned Flipkart’s Big Billion Day sale was drawing to a close after crossing the 1 billion step mark in a week, the government launched its own startup for digital commerce. Starting with 161 orders on day one, the government-owned Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) kicked off its beta launch in Bangalore on Friday.

Initially, 16 PIN code consumers in Bangalore can order from ONDC in two segments: groceries and restaurants. The experience is powered by shopper-facing apps like Paytm, IDFC First Bank, SpiceMoney, and Mystore, which act as a gateway to online shopping. Seller apps include names like Bizom, Digiit, e-Samudaay, eVitalrx, Go Frugal, Growth Falcons, Innobits Mystore, nStore, SellerApp, Ushop, and Uengage.

These apps allow sellers to join the network, making their catalogs and inventory visible to buyers. According to an official statement, ONDC is expected to create more visibility products and services, which will generate additional revenue for sellers.

The broader idea is to bring in small local vendors who have never been on any digital platform, an official said. On the first day, 55 percent of the orders were for groceries, while the rest were for restaurant food, the official said.

A beta release is intended to provide early feedback for necessary action, if any, before further expanding the ONDC.

“The intent is to see if transactions are successful and orders are delivered, which is the main idea behind the beta release. The next step is to build trust in the system (ONDC),” said the aforementioned official. A nationwide launch will follow at some point.

Day 1 Report Card

  • 161 orders placed on the ONDC network via shopper apps: Paytm (88), IDFC Bank (42), Spicemoney (15), Mystore (16)
  • 59 orders delivered; the rest in progress
  • 55% grocery orders, 45% food and beverages

Note: Starting at 5:30 p.m.

Source: DPIIT

With this, the government intends to make the e-commerce landscape more inclusive. One stakeholder, Paytm Mall, agreed. “This is an important milestone in the democratization of e-commerce in India,” said a company spokesperson.

Dunzo, Loadshare and Shiprocket provide logistics services. Protean eGov Technologies Ltd (formerly NSDL e-Gov) is the company behind the gateway services. NowFloats and Plotch are technology service providers that make it easy for buyer and seller applications to join the ONDC network.

Currently, more than 500 companies, including small start-ups, are talking to ONDC to be part of the network. Blowhorn, Craftsvilla, CSC Grameen eStore, Ekart, Global Linker (Faiita IT Mall), Grab, HDFC Bank, IDFC First Bank, ITC Store, Kotak Bank, Magicpin, Microsoft, Peppo, Petpooja, PhonePe, Shopalyst, Snapdeal and Zoho are found among those in advanced stages of integration and are expected to come into operation shortly.

“ONDC is a startup of the Indian government. We look forward to receiving feedback from all stakeholders on all aspects of the ONDC,” said Anil Agarwal, DPIIT Additional Secretary.

To build trust among consumers, sellers, and network participants (buyer apps, seller apps, and gateways) on the open network, the ONDC consulted experts and examined “best practices” to tailor and develop the best approach to build trust in a decentralized, unbundled network. It has sought public comment before October 31.

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