Seven companies, including a buyer side app, five seller side apps and one logistics service provider app, have adopted ONDC (Open Network for Digital Commerce) protocols and built their own ONDC compatible apps, the Ministry of Commerce & Industry says.

These apps have been able to successfully complete cascaded transactions across the ONDC network during the pilot phase in five designated cities - Bengaluru, New Delhi, Bhopal, Shillong and Coimbatore - in grocery and food and beverages segments, the ministry said.

ONDC, which was set up in December last year, aims to curb digital monopolies and standardise the onboarding of retailers on ecommerce sites.

Minister of Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal chaired a meeting of ONDC Advisory Council on Thursday to review the progress made in the project. The meeting was attended by Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani, QCI chairman Adil Zainulbhai, DPIIT secretary Anurag Jain, NHA CEO RS Sharma, NSDL e-Gov CEO Suresh Sethi, and NPCI CEO Dilip Asbe, among others.

The meeting reviewed the status of the pilot launched since April 29, 2022, and discussed plans for faster rollout of the ONDC platform to a larger number of traders, categories of goods, geographies and companies.

The success achieved has ignited tremendous interest in many new companies and a large number of companies on buyer side, seller side and logistics side are now building their own apps and are in advanced stages of integration with ONDC, the ministry said.

While the pilot phase of ONDC has given promising results with traders who were already digitally present, ONDC must prioritise strategies towards inclusion of non-digital traders and artisans so that the benefits of e-commerce may be availed by these sections, Goyal says.

The commerce minister asked the department to launch a pilot with focus on non-digital traders from one single market. He said the local trader associations should be involved in the exercise and necessary measures for awareness generation and capacity building of various stakeholders be taken.

Goyal also asked officials to leverage the strength of Startup India to build ONDC based applications. “As the ONDC architecture removes many entry barriers to e-commerce, it is much more feasible for entrepreneurs to create sustainable businesses on ONDC architecture. The network of Startup India Seed Funded incubators may be leveraged for this purpose. Creation of apps in regional languages should be promoted for catering to the diverse needs of citizens living in various towns and villages across the country,” Goyal says, adding that ONDC must work closely with various industry associations to bring faster adoption to ONDC.

ONDC aims to promote open networks for all aspects of exchange of goods and services over digital or electronic networks. State-run public sector lenders Punjab National Bank and State Bank of India own 9.5% and 7.84% stake in ONDC, respectively.

The government of UP has actively started working with ONDC to get all the ODOP (One District One Product) products available on the ONDC network.

Follow us on Facebook, X, YouTube, Instagram and WhatsApp to never miss an update from Fortune India. To buy a copy, visit Amazon.