Nandan Nilekani Collabs With Govt To Take On Amazon and Walmart

Photo by Mike Petrucci on Unsplash

On a mission to shield India from deep-pocket e-commerce players like Amazon and Walmart, tycoon Nandan Nilekani has collaborated with the Indian government to level the playing field for small merchants.

Power Dish Out

The high-profile tech mogul is helping Prime Minister Narendra Modi build an open technology network that seeks to level the playing field for small merchants in the country’s fragmented – but fast-growing $1 trillion retail market.

The stated purpose of the move is to create a freely accessible online system where traders and consumers can buy and sell everything – be it a dishwash bar or an expensive airline ticket.

Challenge Accepted!

The network has the potential to challenge e-commerce giants Amazon and Flipkart, which have captured 80% of the country’s online retail market. These e-tailers, with their aggressive discounts and promotion of preferred sellers, have made the local mom-and-pop stores fearful of an uncertain future.

Nilekani, who is leading this project to be named ‘Open Network for Digital Commerce’ (ONDC), had earlier spearheaded the development of the Aadhar biometric ID system.

The Infosys co-founder plans to roll out the pilot for the not-for-profit project next month. ONDC will be available for testing to select users in 5 cities initially – Delhi, Bengaluru, Coimbatore, Bhopal, and Shillong.

Pitching In

To bolster the project, major banks have stepped in as investors. SBI picked up a 7.84% stake in the open network project for Rs.10 Cr. Earlier, Kotak Mahindra, HDFC, and Axis Bank also picked up a stake for 10 Cr each.

Too long? Here’s a one-liner: Nandan Nilekani to lead government project for building open technology network named ‘ONDC’ – to help small traders beat Amazon, Flipkart

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