ONDC a fascinating idea; excited about prospects: Amazon exec

The views assume significance as the government in April this year launched the pilot phase of India’s own open network for digital commerce or ONDC, a UPI-type protocol, in five cities, with the ambitious project geared to democratise the fast-growing e-commerce sector, help small retailers and reduce the dominance of online retail giants.
Manish Tiwary
Manish Tiwary

NEW DELHI: Amazon is “excited” about the prospects of Open Network for Digital Commerce in India’s still-nascent e-commerce market, its Country Manager for India Consumer Business Manish Tiwary has said, describing the network as a fascinating idea.

The views assume significance as the government in April this year launched the pilot phase of India’s own open network for digital commerce or ONDC, a UPI-type protocol, in five cities, with the ambitious project geared to democratise the fast-growing e-commerce sector, help small retailers and reduce the dominance of online retail giants.

Asked about his views on ONDC, Tiwary said the company is looking forward to innovations, which will lift all boats in the ecosystem and bring more buyers and sellers online, as it focuses on serving the next 500 million customers.

“I am focused on serving the next 500 million customers. Therefore, I look forward to innovations, which will lift all the boats in the ecosystem,” Tiwary said during a recent interaction.

On the impact of ONDC on the business models of established e-commerce players, such as Amazon, Tiwary pointed out that e-commerce in India is still in its infancy.

“If you look at categories like grocery, fashion...I mean groceries is like 50 per cent of shoppers’ basket... e-commerce would not even be in single digits...in terms of penetration,” Tiwary said. The question of threat comes where penetration levels are far higher, he added.

“So things threaten you when you have, say, 90 per cent penetration and everyone is using it...at this point of time, just think about any industry at infancy...the more the innovation, the more the players, the faster is the acceleration of the industry,” Tiwary said.

Stating that he is often asked the question of whether ONDC would threaten Amazon, Tiwary asserted that the company is focused on serving the next set of customers.

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