ONDC seeing variety of participation from small businesses across India: CEO T Koshy

New Delhi, June 10 From farmer producer organisations to Kanjeevaram silk weavers to self-help groups like Kerala's Kudumbashree, the government-run Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) is seeing a variety of participation from small businesses across India, said T Koshy, MD & CEO.

Speaking to IANS, Koshy said that the idea of ONDC, an initiative of the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) under the Ministry of Commerce, was "conceptualised about three years ago when the country was struggling with the pandemic."

The ONDC chief said that it was registered as a company in 2021, and by the end of 2022, it was available in some areas in Bengaluru.

"In the last one and a half years, we have been able to get significant traction. From just 1,000 transactions 15 months ago, we did 9 million transactions in May. From 500 merchants in January 2023, we now have five and a half lakh merchants. About 85 per cent of them are small and micro enterprises, including taxi drivers and artisans," said the MD and CEO of ONDC.

The network was created to revolutionise digital commerce and to give a greater thrust to the penetration of retail e-commerce in India.

Koshy said that the response to ONDC has been "pretty decent" in tier II and III cities.

"About 40-45 per cent of transactions are mobility, which is very hyperlocal and is available in 8-9 cities. About 65 per cent of the day-to-day transactions happen from tier II and III cities," Koshy said.

"In total, transactions happened in about 1,000 cities. These are all beginnings, but it shows that this is something that is acceptable even to the largest among the population across and has a potential to grow," he told IANS.

Calling ONDC "a network and not platform," Koshy noted, "We are seeing a variety of participation from small businesses across the country."

"The participants and the people who are making their products available on the network are from the small towns and villages and include farmer producer organisations, Kanjeevaram silk weavers or some self-help groups from Kerala like Kudumbashree."

Source: IANS

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