New Delhi, June 23 (EFECOM) .- India seeks to eliminate the exclusive power of a few e-commerce companies such as Amazon and replace the traditional vision of a broker-run website with an open network that hosts buyers, sellers and distributors without the interests of third parties.
Its promoters are focusing on the low penetration of e-commerce in India, where it is estimated that around 90 million people are regular users, which is not the second most populous country in the world with more than 1.350 million users. inhabitants.
Doing something other than what big companies have done is the only way to increase those numbers, say those responsible for the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) project, who say it will democratize the sector by prioritizing a leap. to virtual business. operations of small companies, which will provide them with the same visibility as larger companies.
E-commerce in India is estimated by the Indian Capital Fund under the Ministry of Commerce to reach $ 74.5 billion in turnover by the end of this year, and to increase to $ 350,000 million by 2030.
Today’s companies are “feudal lords with an incentive to show the customer what they want and not what the customer wants,” T. Koshy, executive director of the ONDC project, which began its pilot phase in five Indian cities in the middle of the year, Efe said. April.
On the other hand, the ONDC, which is indirectly controlled by the Indian government and created a non-profit organization, “does not owe loyalty to anyone, so it will try to help you make faster decisions by asking you intelligent questions without trying to influence you. “he stressed.
Although the initiative is taking its first steps, in a kind of beta phase, to learn from the mistakes that could happen, the goal is to gradually expand its action radar until it is present in a hundred Indian cities in August.
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The main difference between this network and e-commerce giants like Amazon or Flipkart is that ONDC doesn’t have its own interface, thus avoiding “online centrism,” as Koshy calls it, so just access the one you want to access it. product on any platform that makes it up.
In addition, when a consumer searches the application or website of one of the ONDC participants, he will be shown not only the products of the said business, but also the products of any other part of it.
Without a predetermined order, which will depend on the filters chosen by the consumer, the services of a large company will appear in addition to those offered by a small company, giving both of them the same choice.
“Previously, the broker was a source of power, as with all the information he could tell the seller‘ if you give me some extra money, I can raise you ’. This is a fundamental change, ”Koshy warned.
The turn of the table is intended to end the opacity of e-commerce giants, which will increase the number of e-commerce consumers in India by three to 250 million people, according to ONDC Vice President of Strategic Projects Rahul Handa.
“The reason why the ONDC exists is the democratization of trade,” he said.
Currently, the network includes seven companies covering, among others, such diverse sectors as food, health or agriculture, and the idea is that it will eventually offer a wide range of products, including airline or rail ticket sales.
Despite posing as an alternative to Amazon or Flipkart, ONDC promoters avoid referring to these platforms as competitors and instead say Amazon has already shown interest in the project due to possible adhesion.
“We are talking to them (…), that would be good news both for us and for them. For them, because they would have access to a much larger network, and for us, because the addition of any important brand contributes to the credibility of ONDC, “Shireesh Joshi, the network’s managing director, told Efe.
However, the Indian government doubts that this interest of the e-commerce giant really exists, and believes that the development of an initiative indirectly controlled by 50% will trigger the transfer of Amazon customers to their network in the future.
“The seller wants to have as many customers as possible. Now, if it’s on Amazon, it only gets customers who are on Amazon. If he is at ONDC, he gets customers from all fields, ”Anil, the additional secretary of the Indian Ministry of Commerce, told Efe. Agrawal.
In charge of the project, Agrawal insisted on the non-profit nature of ONDC, noting that after an initial investment of $ 1.3 million, he has already raised enough money to be able to maintain himself for the next few years.
This allows them, he continued, to charge a fee, “very small for every transaction that happens on the network”, but this will not be done until they negotiate with network members as the test phase progresses.
“We are taking special measures to strengthen confidence in the system. (…) If there is no trust, no one will come here, ”Agrawal concluded.
(c) EFE Agency