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Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) is an initiative of the Department of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry. ONDC was conceptualized within the Quality Council of India, its Founder-Promoter. It was then institutionalized and incorporated as a Section 8 Private Limited Company under the Companies Act, 2013 on December 30, 2021.

ONDC aims to promote open networks for all aspects of the exchange of goods and services over digital or electronic networks. It is a first-of-its-kind initiative globally that will pave the way for democratizing digital commerce in India so that all small retailers, businesses, traders, FPOs, SHGs, MSMEs etc., as well as consumers across the country, can participate in and benefit from e-commerce.

In India, more than 12 million sellers earn their livelihood by selling or reselling products and services. However, only 15,000 of these sellers (0.125% of the total) have enabled e-commerce. E‑retail has been out of reach for the majority of sellers, especially from small towns and rural areas. ONDC recognises the unique opportunity to increase e‑retail penetration from the existing 4.3% to its maximum potential in India. The initiative will not only facilitate the rapid adoption of e-commerce but also boost and strengthen the growth of startups in India. By facilitating scalable and cost-effective e-commerce through the open protocol, ONDC will empower startups to grow collaboratively.

As a member of the board of ONDC, QCI continues to support this e-commerce revolution. To further act as a growth driver, QCI is also working on a voluntary certification scheme to check the digital readiness of sellers along with a capacity-building program for the logistics service providers.

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