BUSINESS

Over 150 firms expressed interest in joining the ONDC Startup Mahotsav, which included 12 unicorns

May 17, New Delhi, India: At the first ‘ONDC Startup Mahotsav’ event, more than 150 startup stakeholders, including up to 12 unicorns and high-growth companies including EaseMyTrip, OfBusiness, Winzo, Livspace, GlobalBees, Pristyn Care, Cars24, Physics Wallah, PolicyBazaar, and Zerodha, signed Letters of Intent (LoI).

These letters of intent would encourage national entrepreneurs to work with the ONDC platform, a vital piece of digital public infrastructure in India.

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) hosted the event, which attracted almost 5,000 hybrid startups. The Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) and the Startup India program, two of DPIIT’s major projects, are meant to be celebrated and collaborated upon during this event.

In his speech, Rajesh Kumar Singh, Secretary of the Department of Petroleum and Information Technology, emphasized the government’s commitment to fostering an environment that promotes innovation and startup expansion.

“Indian companies may take advantage of the potential that ONDC has opened by participating in the ONDC Startup Mahotsav. Over the last 18 months, the network has expanded and developed quickly, and today’s meeting demonstrates the industry’s and DPIIT’s shared commitment to democratizing digital commerce in India, according to Singh.

“Startups can play a pivotal role in the ONDC ecosystem by driving innovation, fostering competition, and enhancing consumer choice,” said Sanjiv, Joint Secretary of DPIIT. At today’s event, over 150 firms have committed to joining the ONDC network, demonstrating the enthusiasm and vigor of the nationwide campaign.

Speaking about this partnership, T. Koshy, MD and CEO of ONDC, stated: “The ONDC Startup Mahotsav represents a critical turning point in India’s digital transformation path. Our environment encourages creativity and cooperation, which gives companies the ability to completely change the e-commerce landscape.”

In January 2016, the government initiated the Startup India program with the goal of fostering entrepreneurship and creating a strong startup ecosystem inside the nation. With over 1.3 lakh DPIIT-recognized firms, India has grown from around 300 startups in 2016 to become one of the top startup hotspots.

These are delivering innovation across disciplines and functioning in over 55 areas. More than 13 lakh new employment have reportedly been directly generated in the nation by the startups.

Launched in 2021 as a first-of-its-kind protocol, the ONDC is another significant government effort whose goal is to democratize digital commerce.

Over five lakh merchants have signed up for the site, with over 70% of them being small or medium-sized retailers. The ONDC processed around 7.22 million transactions in April 2024.

According to DPIIT, companies have a problem in finding and generating markets, one that the ONDC platform may help with.

India has produced some of the best digital infrastructure for public goods, which has the potential to transform lives everywhere. Its Open Network for Digital Commerce, which is only beginning to gain traction, may be the next in line. Most significantly, Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) is not platform-specific and promotes open source networks that allow anybody to trade products and services online.

India has chosen to develop public digital infrastructure, such as Jan Dhan, Aadhar, and CoWin, to serve its population and facilitate UPI.

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