The Central government proposes to operationalise the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) as a private sector-led, non-profit company to bring focus on ethical and responsible behaviour while providing for trust, rigorous norms of governance, accountability, and transparency.
The ONDC is expected to provide a start-up mindset for a population scale implementation, enabled by a management with a futuristic vision, leadership with a deep understanding of commerce, comfort with cutting-edge technology, and missionary outlook to drive change.
The role of the entity would be to develop the network by adopting and building enabling technology and encouraging wide-scale voluntary participation by eco-system players. It would ensure network discipline by establishing a code of conduct and rules of network based on principles of consumer protection, fair trade, and regulatory conformity.
The entity will also provide foundational services for managing the network like digital infrastructure, common registry, certification of participants and certifying agencies, grievance redressal, etc.
It will develop and operate reference applications for buyers, sellers and gateway for market activation and priming the network along with partner entities. It will also support SMEs in their digital transformation by developing readymade tools to help existing software applications quickly adapt to the network.
Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal reviewed the progress on ONDC initiative of the DPIIT on Tuesday.
Expressing satisfaction with the progress made and desired to compress timelines for making this network a reality soon, he directed that wide participation from ecosystem should be ensured and the institutional structure should be created in such a manner so as to ensure that the entity conducts itself in an ethical, cooperative, democratic and responsible manner.
He also said that special efforts must be made to build trust in the ONDC network and elaborate mechanisms must be put in place for dispute resolution.
The ONDC aims to democratise Digital Commerce, moving it from a platform-centric model to an open-network.
As UPI is to the digital payment domain, the ONDC is to e-commerce in India.
It will enable, buyers and sellers to be digitally visible and transact through an open network, no matter what platform/application they use.
It will also empower merchants and consumers by breaking silos to form a single network to drive innovation and scale, transforming all businesses from retail goods, food to mobility.