The Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) project was made live by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).
ONDC project enables small merchants and mom-and-pop stores in some parts of the country to access processes and technologies deployed by large e-commerce platforms.
The objective of ONDC project is to make e-commerce processes open source, thus creating a platform that can be used by all online retailers and vendors.
ONDC will digitise the entire value chain, standardize operations, promote inclusion of suppliers, enable efficiency in logistics, and enhance value for consumers.
Open source features
Onboarding of sellers, vendor discovery, price discovery, and product cataloguing could be made open source under the project.
In the test run, 150 sellers have been involved from places such as Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru, Coimbatore, Bhopal, and Shillong.
Seller side companies include enterprise resource planning company GoFrugal and digital business platform Digiit while the buyer side interface is being built on Paytm.
The ONDC platform acts as the interface hosting the buyers and the sellers. When a buyer searches for an item, the app will connect to the ONDC platform, which will connect it to seller side interfaces.
It will contain the list of all the sellers that have listed that particular item.
The DPIIT commissioned the project through the Quality Council of India (QCI).
Significance of open source
Once ONDC is implemented, all e-commerce companies will have to operate using the same processes.
Open source means that the code or the steps of that process is made available freely for others to use, redistribute and modify.
Currently, product like Google’s Android operating system is open-source, and therefore it is possible for smartphone manufacturers to modify it for their hardware.