India warns Amazon and Flipkart, urges adoption of open e-commerce network
India will use “the full force of the government” to promote the adoption of its open e-commerce network, warning that e-commerce giants failing to join the initiative within the stipulated time frame may result in the offer being withdrawn.
India’s Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal reiterated his call for e-commerce giants to join the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) and warned that at some point “we will also have to remove those who they are left behind”.
ONDC is an Indian government-backed initiative that strives to democratize the e-commerce landscape by offering a commission-free platform. Several industry players including PhonePe and Paytm have joined the interoperable network that allows buyers and sellers to do business regardless of which service they use.
Flipkart and Amazon India, South Asia’s leading e-commerce duo, have so far shown reluctance in their commitment to the web.
“ONDC does not threaten anyone. Even big business is not threatened by the ONDC. It only opens the door to opportunities in a more inclusive way for more people and companies. I will encourage all e-commerce companies to join ONDC and join in time so that it is not too late to join the bandwagon,” Goyal said.
Goyal also urged companies to use their marquee apps to join ONDC instead of launching new offerings.
“I would say to Koshy (the CEO of ONDC) to exclude those e-commerce platforms that are not coming online with their core platforms. Some are building specific ONDC platforms. That is not our goal,” Goyal said. “If you do that, while you’re benefiting from ONDC by making use of the vendors, you’re not giving your consumer base the benefit of choosing to buy from any of the vendors.”
Monolithic technology platforms will never be able to offer the kind of opportunities and competition that a network of platforms like ONDC can, Goyal said.
“Rather than a siled, winner-takes-all approach, ONDC’s humble effort is to offer a greater degree of discovery, so that a consumer can discover more choice, can discover better prices and quality, and similarly, a seller will be able to discover more buyers across the country, maybe even in their neighborhood and then around the world.”