Ecommerce News

CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma, ET Retail

Vijay Shekhar Sharma

Fintech giant Paytm is planning a deeper push for the government-backed Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) through its platform, chief executive Vijay Shekhar Sharma said on Monday at the launch of the ONDC ‘Build for Bharat’ Hackathon.

“I can make a commitment here that, as Paytm, we will bring a minimum of 10 million merchants on the ONDC platform in the shortest period of time,” he said.

As many as 11.8 million users have transacted on ONDC through the Paytm platform, he added. According to Sharma, “If payments is the beginning, commerce is the building on top of it.”

ONDC’s chief business officer Shireesh Joshi told ET that the network was recording over 1 lakh transactions regularly per day. Currently, ONDC offers ecommerce services such as food and grocery deliveries, in addition to online shopping of products such as smartphones, electronics and apparel.

ONDC is also in process of launching financial services including credit and insurance products. The network, through the Namma Yatri app, offers an autorickshaw ride-hailing service in Bengaluru as well.

Also read | ONDC logs meteoric rise; challenges are climbing fast too

“Paytm’s ONDC team…is shockingly less than 50 people as much of management work is done by AI,” said Sharma while emphasising on leveraging the power of generative artificial intelligence (AI). Recently, Paytm also started displaying ONDC offerings such as shopping and food delivery on the homepage of its app, signalling its intent to double down on the network.

However, Paytm is not the only Indian tech giant to onboard the ONDC bandwagon. Several other larger Indian new-economy companies such as Shiprocket, Delhivery, PhonePe, Ola, Meesho, and NoBroker have also joined the network.

Paytm, one of the first buyer apps to go live on ONDC recently launched ‘Paytm se ONDC Network’ on the Paytm app through its ecommerce unit Paytm E-commerce Pvt Ltd.

On May 12, ET reported that owing to the strong growth of orders on ONDC, Paytm may forego the 3% commission it charges as a buyer app on ONDC to further fuel customer participation in the fast-growing government-backed ecommerce platform.

While talking about moving from a platform to a network, Sharma said “the combined power of the ONDC ecosystem, which includes supply, logistics, customer care and consumer interface, will inevitably become equal to one of them.”

“India’s commerce is yet to be solved…India’s commerce will be solved inevitably in this network,” Sharma added.

While ONDC is conventionally compared to UPI, Sharma said that in five years ONDC will be a standalone reference for people to quote.

  • Published On Dec 5, 2023 at 08:00 AM IST

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