ONDC adds 15 more cities, onboards Snapdeal for pan-Indian access
Open Network Digital Commerce (ONDC) has expanded its pilot to 15 more cities. This comes at a time when it plans to begin operations next month.
Snapdeal has also signed the onboarding agreement with the network and will debut on it next month.
On Monday, ONDC expanded to Noida, Faridabad, Lucknow, Bijnor, Bhopal, Chhindwara, Kolkata, Pune, Chennai, Kannur, Thrissur, Udipi, Kanchipura, Pollachi, Mannar and Ramnathpuram.
The network first began its pilot on April 29 in Delhi, Bengaluru, Coimbatore, Bhopal and Shillong.
“We will keep on adding more locations and add more cities this week itself,” T Koshy, chief executive officer (CEO) of ONDC, told Business Standard.
Koshy also said that ONDC has onboarded 100 merchants on its platform. Several of them are digitising their catalogue in accordance with ONDC’s protocol.
It is also in the process of completing a small fundraise. This will take its total fundraise to Rs 195 crore from Rs 157 crore raised earlier. National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) and Bank of India are part of the ongoing fundraise.
“Snapdeal will provide pan-Indian access on ONDC. At the time of launch, more than 2,500 cities and towns across the country will be enabled for access. More cities and towns will be added to the ONDC network during the year,” Snapdeal said in its press release.
The release added that both ONDC and its own teams are in advanced stages of completion that require technical integration to enable a pan-Indian launch by mid-August.
The ecommerce major also said various third-party providers that work with it will offer both inter and intra city logistics. It may also explore using the on-network logistics options available on the ONDC platform.
Snapdeal will launch on ONDC with three key categories that are fashion, home and beauty and personal care.
Snapdeal draws more than 86 per cent of its orders from outside the metro cities. Around 72 per cent of the orders flow from buyers living in smaller cities and towns,” Snapdeal said.
“The increasing digitisation of India’s retail is a transformative opportunity that can benefit the sellers, buyers and other stakeholders. ONDC’s efforts will catalyse this growth in the right direction and help create an inclusive, enabling and open-access-based digital commerce ecosystem. Snapdeal looks forward to a strong partnership with ONDC in this path-breaking endeavour,” said Himanshu Chakrawarti, president, Snapdeal.
“Snapdeal’s onboarding on ONDC will accelerate our efforts to reach a wider audience of buyers and sellers. It will help us cover larger parts of the country. We look forward to leveraging Snapdeal’s long-standing expertise in serving India’s online users. We also look forward to working closely with it to build an online ecosystem that truly serves the needs of the country,” said Koshy.
The growth of Indian e-commerce is being fuelled by price-conscious consumers from the country’s smaller cities and towns.
According to a RedSeer report, the number of online buyers from tier-2 and smaller cities — which account for more than 80 per cent of the population — will triple in five years. It will go from about 78 million in 2021 to nearly 256 million by 2026.
So far, the only other major platform on the network is Paytm’s buyer side.
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