ONDC CEO Expects 30-40 Million Monthly Transactions by March 2025

The ONDC CEO said that the platform had 5-6 lakh merchants onboarded at present, with the number expected to rise significantly in the coming months.

The government-backed Open Network for Digital Commerce expects to record 30-40 million monthly transactions through the platform by March next year, its MD & CEO T Koshy said on Wednesday.

The open network witnessed 10 million transactions in June, up significantly from over 7 million transactions in March.

"In March, it was 7 million-plus transactions. Now in June we had 10 million transactions and I think by the end of the fiscal year it should be 30 to 40 million (monthly) transactions," Koshy said at a CII event here.

He further said the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) platform had 5-6 lakh merchants onboarded at present, with the number expected to rise significantly in the coming months.

He was addressing an MSME Summit organised by CII.

The ONDC was set up to democratise the country's e-commerce ecosystem.

Koshy said ONDC has started a pilot scheme under which it will work with banks and financial institutions on a mechanism to enable a merchant onboarded on the platform to seek a loan or credit based on their transaction history instead of physical collateral.

"It is called flow-based lending, not asset-based lending. Today, 80-90 per cent of loans are only against a physical collateral... So, that is a shift that we are going to see. We have launched that, we already did a pilot.

Already did about 50-60 actual disbursals," Koshy said.

Earlier in the day, addressing the Summit, IT Secretary S Krishnan said manufacturing in India offers MSMEs a "huge opportunity to succeed", asserting that MeitY is looking at ways to spur the electronics components ecosystem in the country.

Krishnan exhorted MSMEs to seize growth opportunities, adopt technology and digital tools to expand, and "graduate" to becoming a larger enterprise over time.

"You enter as a startup and try to exit within a reasonable time frame. So we should not have 'intergenerational' MSMEs anymore in this country," he said, pointing to a slew of opportunities that technology enables.

Krishnan said India's aspirations to transform itself into an electronics manufacturing destination are "extremely important" from employment, resilience, and exports viewpoint.

Moreover, it ensures that quality products are available for domestic consumers in the market.

"There is a huge requirement for components and that component requirement is where I think MSMEs have a huge role to play and need to come into play, in a significant way," he said.

Not only does component manufacturing offer such firms a huge opportunity to succeed, but there is "also a national need to ensure that they succeed", he said.

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Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) is looking at ways to promote greater manufacturing of electronics components in the country and is keen to encourage and enable companies of all sizes and scales in this space.

Krishnan cited the success tasted by India in mobile manufacturing, saying the country produces 33 crore mobile units and has a strong exports play, a "significant" feat compared to levels a decade ago when 21 crore mobile phone units were being imported in the country with manufacturing at a mere 5 crore units.

He, however, pointed out that while mobile phones manufactured and assembled now cater to almost all domestic consumption in the country, the value addition is only 18-20 per cent.

"Today we have an advantage in terms of labour cost... the assembly of electronics units are heavily employment-oriented which is good... but for it to be continued to be based in India, we need to continue to be competitive," Krishnan said.

For electronics manufacturing to dig "deep roots in India" would require a significant proportion of components to also be manufactured here.

"Our goal is that value addition should double to 35-40 per cent in the next 5 years so we are able to take forward the component manufacturing ecosystem and there the role of MSMEs will be significant," said Krishnan.

The ONDC MD & CEO further said that the network is also adding insurance as a component and it will be visible soon.

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