Noel D'souza
Feb 13, 2023

ONDC is a fair market value place: Experts

At an event organised by MMA India, a panel discussed the growth opportunities and apprehensions for brands on an ONDC network

From left: Shireesh Joshi, Pankaj Raut, Amit Sarda and Deepak Bakshi
From left: Shireesh Joshi, Pankaj Raut, Amit Sarda and Deepak Bakshi

On 9 February, MMA India (Mobile Marketing India) and ONDC held an event ‘Digital Commerce Dialogues’ during which a panel comprising Shireesh Joshi, chief business officer, Open Network For Digital Commerce (ONDC); Amit Sarda, managing director, Soulflower, and Pankaj Raut, vice president - supply chain, boAt, voiced out how they perceive the ONDC network for their respective brands and the uncertainties they envision. 


The panel was moderated by Deepak Bakshi, managing director, Accenture Strategy & Consulting, India, Accenture. 


How ONDC can amplify brand offerings


The panel kicked off with Sarda sharing how ONDC will provide an added layer of scale for Soulflower. He expressed, “We are looking at the traceability factor of ONDC because it is a blockchain network. When a consumer, for instance, buys a Soulflower soap, they will be able to understand when the ingredients were harvested, the origin of the raw ingredients and how it was made. This helps us transmit our product journey easily to the consumer.” 


Another area that Sarda feels ONDC will be able to give an added layer of benefit for brands is distribution. 


He shared, “When a brand gets onto an ONDC platform, they will be able to enable smooth transition and tracking of goods. We will also be competent by having accessibility not just from a B2C perspective but also from a B2B point of view in regards to warehouses and retail stores.”


Raut pointed out that ONDC will provide the wearables brand with reach and penetration of markets. 


He said, "The growth of our brand is built on resonance with our young consumers. Our constant endeavour is to be placed as close to the consumer as possible. Hence, ONDC will play a vital role in helping us achieve this goal of proximity with our customers. Another area where the network will be beneficial will be tapping into rural households with features like the CSG E-Grameen Stores onboarded on ONDC.” 


Joshi too believes that ONDC will be able to play a part in a brand’s intended business goals by enhancing its impact and reach. “With the network, brands who have a product niche they want to provide solutions for will be able to access growth opportunities and cater to those potential innovations," he remarked.




Raut is hesitant to jump head-on into the network because there is a lot of learning and trials that our brand needs to experience. 


He expressed, “We are still searching for answers and how our brand will be able to leverage when ONDC will come into the picture. For instance, In b2c, there is a simple process where a payment gateway takes in the money, and the order is placed by the OMS (order management system). With ONDC, there will be a buyer and a seller app, which will give rise to multiple dropoff points. So if there is a refund or cancellation from the consumer end, how will the offering play out?”


Enhancing marketing capabilities


Sarda feels that with ONDC coming into the picture, it will be a fair market value place. 


Explaining this thought, he shared, “Imagine a consumer wants to go out and buy a Heineken beer. If it is available at one place for INR 50 and another for INR 80, it will be easier for a consumer to understand the fair market value. It will change the game for brands as everyone will have to start selling products at the same price or close to the market price. It will have an added advantage to large players like Amazon and Flipkart.”


Joshi advised that brands should look at ONDC not just as another marketing channel but as a growth opportunity. He remarked, “The network is an avenue to reach out to potential customers, create different products and access different markets.”


Sarda shared why the willingness to be ‘open’ is paramount. “The time has come when marketers need to be open to adapting to digital innovations much faster than anybody else. Even if we fail and don’t get enough business opportunities through ONDC, it will still be beneficial as we will be the first ones to move to the network as opposed to those who are hesitant”, Sarda remarked. 


Giving his closing remarks, Raut predicted that ONDC will give localised sellers getting business opportunities. “There will be a lot of flexibility, where smaller partners can be onboarded. A seller will also have the opportunity to be a buyer on the network. For instance, if boAt is selling a product to a customer, we want it to be an experiential process. Thus, with ONDC, we will be able to provide faster customer services with repairs or installations. Thereby giving smaller businesses a trump card”, he concluded. 

Campaign India

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