ONDC has been one of the most discussed topics on the Internet today after many users brought to notice the striking price difference between online food delivery ordered via it and other competitors such as Zomato or Swiggy. Even though it is still in the development stage and is mostly available for beta and alpha users in some cities, it allows consumers to search for potential sellers with regard to their product and helps in fetching them the best price.
The growing popularity of online food delivery platforms like Swiggy and Zomato does not come as a surprise. As you peep out of your window on a lazy summer afternoon or cosy winter evening on the street, you might come across a food delivery partner in a red or orange shirt with a black logo box at the back of their bike, moving to deliver the food at the earliest. Such is the emerging scenario of the currently available food applications in the market.
In light of this, a major competitor or new player in the field of food delivery operations, ONDC, must not be forgotten.
What Is ONDC?
ONDC, or the Open Network for Digital Commerce, has been an initiative under the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, a nodal agency under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. It brings sellers and buyers under one single umbrella to sort the scenario of e-commerce purchases in the country. Earlier, both stakeholders had to be present on a single platform to complete the transaction.
However, with the advent of this new era of digitisation by the Government, the platform comes as a boon to buyers and sellers. Keeping buyers happy through discounted prices over the competitors and allowing smaller and large businesses to thrive together via little commission on the same platform makes it a win-win for both!
As per the IMARC report, the market size of online food delivery in India has already crossed USD 28.4 billion. This is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. This platform can really prove to be a game changer in times to come. Additionally, it should promote healthy competition among those prevailing in the market.
10 Things We Bet You Did Not Know About ONDC
- Open Network for Digital Commerce, or ONDC, was launched in April 2022 by the Government of India to bring a greater sense of transparency between buyers and sellers and reduce the cost of interaction.
- The not-for-profit company provides know-how about different products listed on the site by the seller.
- Consumers and sellers do not need a third-party application to interact with each other.
- Small businesses do not need to pay a hefty fee to the platform (currently 3 per cent) to be discovered by the audience, unlike the prevailing food delivery apps, which charge nearly 25 per cent commission. This allowed the inclusion of local players and promoted more competition in the business.
- The platform is not limited to food delivery; rather, it deals with grocery delivery, apparel, and other utility items.
- It is currently active in around 180 cities across India and is expanding rapidly.
- You may not be able to order via ONDC if it is inoperational in your location. The platform is still in beta and alpha stages for food delivery and may launch for a larger audience soon.
- Even though the project was announced in 2020 alone, it started to pace up by 2022. It was in 2023 that it started garnering major headlines.
- You can order via buyer applications like PayTM, Meesho, Pincode, Magicpin, and more.
- Sellers present on any seller app are visible to the buyers. They might not be using the same application as a seller and may still interact via the use of ONDC.
Will ONDC Change the Headwind Of the Market System in India?
It might be too early to state if the open network platform can keep pace with the rapidly changing market of the country. Besides, introducing a new platform does not amount to the consumers losing trust in the already prevailing businesses in the market.
In the words of Pramod Verma (Ex Chief Architect of UPI, Aadhar), “Looking at #ONDC as a Swiggy/Uber/Amazon killer is missing the forest for the tree. #UPI was never meant to be a VISA/Mastercard killer; it was meant to trigger bigger domino effects in digital payments that make everyone a winner.”
The promising feature of the platform has been to bring the purchasers and sellers on the same ground. This is done without the use of third-party applications. Besides, it disincentivised the involvement of high commissions, which kept small businesses from connecting with a larger consumer base, thus creating a level playing field.
People have already been getting hands-on with buying some organic and natural products like Millet laddoos, Kashmiri walnut, and more. The purchases are made straight from FPO (Farmers Produce Organisation) and farming heartlands via the platform without much hassle.
A typical McDonald’s burger that may cost you nearly ₹282 on Swiggy or Zomato costs you ₹109.4 on the ONDC platform. This saves you 60 per cent of the money spent via purchases made through third-party applications. The examples are numerous. However, the enrolment of vendors and its launch in far and wide locations of India needs to be monitored for proper penetrations in the market.
The scope of ONDC has just begun. It is expected to create a greater domino effect not just for food deliveries but for other e-commerce platforms too. One thing that can be ascertained through the countrywide launch of the platform is the minimisation of any monopoly by the existing market players. Creating a healthier environment for both customers and sellers can be a field where ONDC can be a big-time game changer.
One who turned her passion into a profession. Traveller by heart and minimalist by nature, I am a people person and voice to the voiceless. A Bollywood buff and tech enthusiast who intends to cover the nooks of the world.