Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) for eCommerce in India: What, Why, How & Beyond

Anmol Ratan Sachdeva
8 min readAug 10, 2022

ONDC — Open Network for Digital Commerce was launched in 20 cities in April 2022 as a digital initiative to reduce the monopoly of aggregator platforms by bringing buyers and sellers closer.

Since then, there has been a lot of activity and discussion on ONDC, with big names from banking, eCommerce, logistics, and other domains joining the platform. Backed by the government, ONDC is an open-source digital platform to facilitate eCommerce transactions in India.

Before we dig deeper, let’s examine why ONDC is becoming India’s priority.

Some Context on the eCommerce Situation

eCommerce was the Starkid that everyone wanted to befriend for the better part of the last decade.

The poster boys for the Indian digital growth story — Flipkart, Snapdeal, Shopclues, and even Amazon, were all seen as the next-gen idea that would digitize millions of Indian bazaars across the country.

Soon, sellers were flocking to launch on Amazon, Flipkart and similar marketplace platforms.

Amazon now has more than a million sellers in India — an explosive growth since 2013, when it started with 100 sellers in India.

All was hunky dory till the real face of eCommerce marketplace platforms slapped every seller right in the face.

Everyone started voicing concerns about the problems of selling on eCommerce platforms — discriminatory pricing models, unhealthy competition, and predatory commissions.

But finally, it seems India has found its guiding light — Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC).

What is ONDC?

ONDC is the government’s answer to the growing monopoly of select eCommerce and aggregator platforms in India. Like UPI for payments, ONDC plans to integrate all digital commerce activity on a single platform.

Launched on April 29, 2022, ONDC is currently running on a pilot basis in 21+ cities with 30+ platforms already integrated on ONDC. According to Shireesh Joshi, CBO — ONDC, the ONDC network will have real customers by next month. The government plans to add 100+

Anmol Ratan Sachdeva

Marketer. Writer. Branding Enthusiast. Someone who likes sharing knowledge backed by personal experience.