The Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) has made significant strides in the Indian market since its launch in September 2021. The network, which began in Bengaluru, has grown to include 181 cities in the alpha stage and two cities in the beta stage. The ONDC wants to make it easy for consumers and merchants to do digital business by combining services like payments, logistics, and loyalty programmes onto a single platform. It has the potential to revolutionize the e-commerce industry in India by providing a level playing field for small and medium-sized businesses. ONDC has recently onboarded Namma Yatri onto its platform as part of its open mobility initiative. This move marks ONDC’s entry into the mobility sector, where it will compete with players such as Ola and Uber.
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Namma Yatri, an app built by Juspay Technologies and backed by the Beckn Foundation in partnership with the city’s auto drivers, is an open-source app that does not take any commission from drivers. The open mobility initiative by ONDC is aimed at promoting fair competition and innovation. In the mobility sector, while also providing affordable and reliable transportation services to consumers. By partnering with Namma Yatri, ONDC is expanding its reach and diversifying its offerings to cater to the growing demand for alternative modes of transportation in India. According to ONDC, this open mobility foundation will eventually support multiple modalities. Let users book rides from a variety of apps. Various modes of transportation, such as taxis, the metro, and buses, will be integrated into the app.
Growth of ONDC
The growth of ONDC has been impressive, with the network having about 800 merchants in December and now having over 26,000 merchants. In terms of the number of transactions, it has gone from 20–30 a day to 200–300 transactions in the same time period. ONDC started with grocery and food, but it has also opened up to other beauty and personal care segments.
With Snapdeal, which recently started accepting orders through ONDC. Many more products, such as fashion, electronics, and financial products, will be available in the future. According to T. Koshy, CEO of ONDC, the open mobility network will create a sizable ecosystem of consumers and service providers. It will give mobility players of all sizes and between existing and new players equal opportunities. The network also helps drivers and service providers earn a livelihood not beholden to platform interests. The power comes to the endpoints, where the brand owner and taxi driver decide their terms.
Koshy sees a situation where ONDC will not be competing with platforms like Ola and Uber. Instead, he believes that these players will also find a way to be part of the larger network. He likens it to UPI, where it was believed that it would eat the lunch of players like Mastercard or Visa, but it collectively enhanced the market. Everyone can fit in, and the platform-centric mindset’s main goal is to keep everything together. Instead, ONDC aims to share and make life good for merchants, drivers, and users, which will ultimately benefit all parties involved.
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Namma Yatri is like a SaaS platform for drivers, according to Vimal Kumar, the founder of Juspay. The app currently has over 45,495 drivers and 4.5 lakh customers. With an average trip fare of Rs 165, and driver earnings currently at Rs 8.44 crore. The product is currently being optimized for cost-effectiveness. And Kumar added that they will switch to a subscription model to recover costs. ONDC intends to do for mobility what UPI and NPCI did for digital payments. It aims to build a large ecosystem of customers and service providers. And provide equal opportunities to mobility players of all sizes and between existing and new players. The open mobility network will also help drivers and service providers earn a livelihood not beholden to platform interests. With its impressive growth and expansion into various segments, ONDC is well on its way to achieving this goal.