The government’s flagship programme Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) on Thursday said that it has onboarded Namma Yatri,  a Bengaluru-based auto booking app in its platform. With this, ONDC has forayed into the mobility space and will be helping local auto business drivers to compete with major mobility leaders such as Uber and Ola. ONDC said that it is part of the government’s open network for mobility initiatives.

Namma Yatri, which currently operates only in Bengaluru, works on the concept of ‘Zero Commission,'. It was launched and built by Juspay Technologies in partnership with Auto Rickshaw Drivers Union (ARDU). Namma Yatri is India’s first ride-hailing app built on an open network that provides complete transparency in ride booking for both drivers and customers. “It is a lightweight app, designed by the driver community, for the driver community, completely eliminating the middleman architecture and putting the power back in the hands of drivers and riders,” the app said.

As of now, the app has garnered over one lakh downloads, more than 45,000 verified drivers, more than 4.5 lakh customers and 1,100 average daily trips.  By joining ONDC, Namma Yatri plans to amplify daily rides and benefit local auto drivers, riders and businesses. Unlike Uber and Ola, who provide commission to drivers and riders for every trip, Namma Yatri’s app design factors in drivers’ pain points while maintaining the base fare as per the government norms for riders’ convenience. In September last year, the country’s anti-trust watchdog, the competition commission of India asked cab aggregators such as Ola and Uber to adopt self-regulatory measures regarding vis-a-vis fare structure, the surge in pricing and other customer-centric issues. This was after several customers complained about the hefty amounts charged by the cab aggregators even for small distances.

Earlier this week, ecommerce platform Snapdeal joined the ONDC network and will be focusing on non-metro cities. The company draws over 86% of its orders from outside the metro cities, with more than 72% of the orders flowing from buyers living in smaller cities and towns. The company is primarily focusing on supplying home products and kitchen tools to buyers through ONDC. The company is also in the process of expanding access to fashion, beauty and personal care categories.

ONDC was launched in line with the government's start-up India initiative on December 30, 2021, to curb the presence of digital monopolies in the domestic ecommerce market. ONDC aims to promote open networks for all aspects of the exchange of goods and services over digital or electronic networks and caters to larger numbers of traders, categories of goods, geographies and companies.

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