ONDC: Revolutionizing Digital Commerce in India!

ONDC: Revolutionizing Digital Commerce in India!


Rahul Agrawal


Digital commerce has witnessed remarkable growth in recent years, transforming the way people buy and sell goods and services. To further accelerate this progress and foster inclusivity, the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) has emerged as a game-changing initiative in India. ONDC, based on the Beckn protocol, aims to create an interoperable network where platforms of all sizes can seamlessly connect and operate.

In this blog post, we will delve deeper into the concept of ONDC, explore its benefits, discuss the challenges it may face, and envision its future impact on the digital commerce landscape in India.

What is ONDC?

ONDC is an open and interoperable network that enables various digital commerce platforms to connect and collaborate effortlessly. Built on the Beckn protocol, ONDC eliminates the existing silos in the digital commerce ecosystem and promotes a network-centric approach. It allows buyers and sellers to access multiple platforms through a single interface, thus increasing freedom of choice and reducing dependence on a single platform.

At the core of ONDC are the Network Participants, including Buyer Applications, Seller Applications, and Gateways. These participants facilitate search and discovery functions, creating a comprehensive marketplace where both large e-commerce platforms and local businesses can coexist.

ONDC's network-centric approach breaks down entry barriers for sellers and ensures equitable access to goods and services for all participants.

Benefits of ONDC

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Enhanced Consumer Choice

ONDC empowers consumers by providing them with a wide range of options from various platforms. They can discover local digital stores alongside popular e-commerce giants, thereby expanding their choices and promoting healthy competition.

Increased Seller Opportunities

Small and medium-sized sellers often face challenges in reaching a wider audience due to high entry barriers imposed by dominant platforms. ONDC enables these sellers to participate on equal footing, fostering inclusivity and allowing them to grow their businesses.

Democratization of Digital Commerce

ONDC aims to democratize digital commerce by making it accessible to all, irrespective of the size of the platform or business. This inclusive approach levels the playing field and promotes fair competition in the marketplace.

Reduced Costs and Infrastructure Requirements

By connecting multiple platforms under one network, ONDC eliminates the need for sellers to maintain separate infrastructure for each platform. This cost-saving measure enables sellers to invest their resources more efficiently and expand their business operations.

Challenges and Considerations

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While ONDC holds tremendous potential, it is essential to consider the challenges it may face during its implementation and adoption

Platform Integration

Integrating various digital commerce platforms into the ONDC network requires cooperation and collaboration from multiple stakeholders. Encouraging platform owners to embrace interoperability may pose challenges, as they might hesitate to relinquish control over their ecosystems.

User Adoption

Driving user adoption of ONDC among buyers and sellers is crucial for its success. Educating users about the benefits, functionality, and ease of use of the network will play a pivotal role in overcoming initial resistance and fostering widespread adoption.

Technical Infrastructure

Establishing and maintaining the necessary technological infrastructure for ONDC requires substantial investment and expertise. Ensuring the network's scalability, security, and reliability will be critical to its long-term viability.

The Future of ONDC

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ONDC has the potential to transform the digital commerce landscape in India and serve as a benchmark for future Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) governance frameworks. As the network expands and matures, its impact is expected to be far-reaching

Inclusive Digital Commerce Ecosystem

ONDC aims to bridge the gap between large e-commerce platforms and local businesses, creating an inclusive ecosystem that benefits all participants. This inclusivity will enable small businesses to thrive and contribute to India's economic growth.

Increased Competition and Innovation

By fostering healthy competition among various digital commerce platforms, ONDC encourages innovation and promotes the development of new business models. This competition benefits consumers through improved products, services, and pricing options.

Strengthening Digital Public Infrastructure

ONDC's multistakeholder governance model and representative decision-making approach lay the foundation for a robust Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI). As the network evolves, it is likely to inspire similar initiatives in other sectors, driving the growth of a digitally empowered nation.


ONDC represents a significant step forward in India's digital commerce ecosystem, aiming to break down barriers and foster inclusivity. By enabling interoperability and promoting a network-centric approach, ONDC empowers both buyers and sellers, offering them a wider choice and reducing reliance on dominant platforms.

While challenges exist, the future of ONDC holds great promise, with the potential to transform the digital commerce landscape in India and serve as a model for digital infrastructure governance. As this initiative progresses, it is crucial to address challenges, drive adoption, and build upon the foundation of an inclusive and innovative digital commerce ecosystem.


Can any platform join the ONDC network?

Yes, the ONDC network is open to all platforms, regardless of their size or configuration. The aim is to promote inclusivity and enable seamless integration across digital commerce platforms.

How will ONDC generate revenue?

While the initial funding for ONDC was raised through investments, the network aims to develop a self-sustaining financial model. One potential revenue stream could involve charging a small fee from platforms for ongoing activities and expansion, ensuring the network's long-term sustainability.

How is ONDC governed?

ONDC follows an inclusive governance approach, with the ONDC entity managing and operating the network. The entity includes representatives from banks, the government, and independent industry and civil society members. The User Council, comprising representatives from Network Participants and civil society, provides regular guidance on the network's functioning and governance.

What is the expected timeline for ONDC's widespread adoption?

While ONDC is currently in its alpha testing phase in several cities, the timeline for its widespread adoption depends on factors such as user adoption, platform integration, and scalability. The gradual expansion and refinement of the network are expected to occur over the next few years.

Will ONDC be limited to specific industries or sectors?

No, ONDC aims to create a comprehensive digital commerce ecosystem by incorporating platforms from various industries and sectors. It seeks to bring together a diverse range of sellers and buyers, promoting inclusivity and a wide choice of goods and services.