Small retailers in Coimbatore begin to reap the benefits of the ONDC pilot
With the gradual resumption of the Centre’s ambitious Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) pilot, small retailers in Coimbatore have already started to see the benefits of digitalization.
For Shantosh Kumar, a mechanical engineer turned small retailer, the biggest advantage is that despite being a modest neighborhood trader, he can still have a large customer base by fitting into the ONDC architecture. A larger customer base will ultimately result in increased sales.
“I have the knowledge to code and develop an application, but I don’t have the financial resources to launch our own application. But now we are an online store and can also sell offline. We get five to ten orders a day (through the Paytm buyer app),” Kumar told Business Standard. He joined the ONDC pilot 20 days ago.
The development comes against the backdrop of the small-scale implementation of ONDC over the past two months. Government officials said the open network is gaining popularity with industry under the ongoing pilot project that began on April 29.
A total of seven companies – one buyer-side application, five seller-side applications, and one logistics service provider application – have adopted ONDC protocols and created their own ONDC-enabled applications.
The pilot is being conducted in five cities – Bangalore, New Delhi, Bhopal, Shillong and Coimbatore – in the grocery, food and beverage segments. No less than 150 retailers are participating in the pilot project.
Five seller platforms – SellerApp, GrothFalcons, Gofrugal, Digiit and eSamudaay – have onboarded sellers and retailers on an ONDC compliant app (app), giving them visibility.
The pilot is not yet open for the common man. Currently, only certain Paytm users or buyers can participate in the pilot and transact.
“The success achieved has generated enormous interest among many new companies. A large number of buy-side, sell-side and logistics-side companies are now building their own apps. They are in advanced stages of integration with ONDC,” an official statement said last week.
The ONDC aims to promote open networks for all aspects of the exchange of goods and services over digital or electronic networks.