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Is 2022 Independence Day Arriving Early for Indian Retailers?

ONDC initiative

Small retailers have started reaping benefits from the ONDC pilot. The Minister of Commerce & Industry experienced it personally.

Small retailers start reaping benefits from the ONDC pilot. The minister of Commerce & Industry experiences it personally.

Yes. You read the title right. For every Indian Retailer who has been bound by the shackles of not being able to reach their customers because of major e-Commerce platforms blocking the way, it is time to regain freedom and enjoy independence. Have you ever felt like losing your favorite customers recently due to the rise of online shopping? Is your orange candy jar full as your neighborhood kid does not turn up at your store anymore asking for that extra chocolate because her parents purchase everything from online platforms? Do you wish you could offer them more and show them that you are no less than the e-Commerce platform that manipulates your customer’s shopping behavior? If your answer is yes, you have an option right before your eyes!

To help you join the league of online selling and expand your business, here comes ONDC. Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), one neutral, democratic, revolutionary leveler, often analogized with the UPI regarding the magnitude of change it can make, is set to be the future of Indian e-Commerce.

However, why are we talking about this suddenly? Because Gofrugal and ONDC have achieved a remarkable milestone. Every major leap for change looks effortless. But there goes months and even years of effort to create it. It was one such moment not just for Gofrugal and ONDC on June 24th but also for the entire world of e-Commerce when our Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs & Food & Public Distribution and Textiles, Mr. Piyush Goyal, visited Home Stock Super Market in Coimbatore, a Gofrugal seller and one of the pilot cities of ONDC to witness how ONDC helps the small merchants personally.

Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs & Food & Public Distribution and Textiles, Mr. Piyush Goyal, visited Home Stock Super Market in Coimbatore and experienced the ONDC initiative personally.

Okay, let me quickly rewind and give you a brief on ONDC.

What is Open Network for Digital Commerce?

ONDC is a non-profit digital e-Commerce junction for buyers and sellers to connect with associated logistics and service partners. The Government of India initiated it to provide an unparalleled monetary frame, audience scale, and autonomy in the e-Commerce sector. Buyers can shop for groceries and food from a sea of sellers on everyday apps like Paytm, Whatsapp, Kotak, etc. Sellers get the biggest possible buyer audience without having to invest in digital marketing or worrying about logistics management. Robust cross-sectional transaction programming will lay the foundations for the seamless integration of Buyers, Retailers, and Logistics. Starting with the Retail and Restaurant sectors today, ONDC will soon host the Wholesale, Food delivery, Mobility, Tourism, and Hospitality, Travel sectors.

ONDC is a non-profit digital e-Commerce junction for buyers and sellers to connect with associated logistics and service partners.

Now that you know what ONDC is, you will ask me why ONDC, and I will let you in on the secret right away!


ONDC, the market maker, was birthed to solve the challenges faced by independent small businesses in trading with e-Commerce giants – posed by their hefty policies and grueling commission charges. ONDC transcends this by charging you only the referral commission of 3% for finding your buyer. And that is 7 to 10 times less than the usual online-selling commission rate of 23% to 28% on the cart value. Along with this, ONDC brings unmatched consumer reach by leveraging the consumer base of various everyday consumer apps like Paytm, WhatsApp, Kotak, and many more!

So, let’s quickly go back to the event on June 24th and hear from Mr. Piyush Goyal about the benefits of ONDC and why the Government of India is behind this initiative.

Through Open Network for Digital Commerce, MSMEs and start-ups can harness opportunities provided by digital advancement.

Mr. Piyush Goyal

Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) will enable customers to engage with sellers of their choice seamlessly. The present e-Commerce platforms are restrictive and favor products of the platform developers’ choice.

What’s in it for sellers?

The sellers are independent to decide if they will deliver or the network will deliver. When the sales increase for the seller, the seller will buy in bulk, and the price gets reduced for the buyer since the seller makes bulk purchases. As we advance, this initiative will create more job opportunities as the business of small retailers increases.

Logistics partners, including the seller, who have logged into the network, can also list their delivery charges for that particular item or distance. The customer can then choose based on cost-effectiveness or fastest delivery.

Kumar Vembu, CEO of Gofrugal

ONDC will save the lives of people working in small stores. This is why ONDC is called a network and not a platform.

Hear it from your Kirana store peer on how ONDC made him famous!

For mechanical engineer-turned-small-scale-retailer, Shantosh Kumar, owner of Home Stock Super Market, where Mr. Piyush Goyal personally experienced the ONDC initiative, says the most significant advantage is that despite being a modest neighborhood shopkeeper, he can still have a large customer base by onboarding the ONDC architecture. A more extensive customer base will ultimately result in higher sales.

Mr. Shanthosh expresses how he had the knowledge to code and develop an app but did not have the financial resources to launch his own app. But now, with the ONDC initiative, he has an online store and receives a minimum of five-ten orders daily (via the buyer app Paytm). Not just that, he revealed how the apartment residents where his store was located often ordered from big e-Commerce players with an online platform to shop and deliver to home. But with Gofrugal ERP and ONDC now, he not only sells offline to the residents but also delivers across the neighborhood with his online store in the past 10 days for about a 6 km radius. This has been possible only because of Gofrugal ERP and ONDC.

Here’s why retailers have been approaching Gofrugal to board ONDC:

As a technology partner and the front-runner in the field of ERP on ONDC, you can join us to get the early bird perks. So, that’s Gofrugal’s role – Onboarding you to ONDC by digitizing your store, inventory, and operations in a Frugal Way!

What do you get by joining Gofrugal to enter ONDC? Plausibly everything! Our coming together is just the beginning. As a result of the integration, you will be part of an incredible omnichannel transformation into all possible platforms with one-time cataloging. Your customers can shop from your store on any channel, pay you from any channel, and you can deliver through any channel with channel-specific inventory and pricing. Your sales, accounts, and inventory data will be synchronized, and you can manage your business with insightful reports and dashboards.

“The consumer can change the default settings, for instance, to the best discount available, and then the results will be based on the best offers by a store, even if it’s far away,” shares Kumar Vembu to everyone curious about ONDC and its benefits. He also promises how Gofrugal is ready to onboard ONDC sellers from 50+ cities.

Does this moment deserve a bar of chocolate? Of course, it does, and that is what our honorable minister did. He placed an order for chocolates from Home Stock Supermarket with the help of the new ONDC network, paid for it, and distributed it to everyone there!

For some time now, it has been the major e-Commerce platforms defining the boundaries, policies, and functioning of the marketplace. And it’s time as a Retailer you break those boundaries and fly independent as high as our Indian flag.

If you want to read about more benefits of ONDC, please check out our detailed blog – What is ONDC, the e-Commerce Revolution of 2022?