ONDC Subnets : Future of EcommerceONDC Subnets

There is lot of buzz around ONDC (Open Network for Digital Commerce) these days. It is set to disrupt the ecommerce in India with major expansion of ecommerce participants in India, right from Google Airtel etc to small Kiranawala (neighborhood grocery shop).

Billion Size Targets

The targets for ONDC are clear:

  • Generate 3 billions orders per month
  • Bring 15 million neighborhood shops online
  • Ecommerce in 75000 pincodes in India

To make this happen is not going to be easy. It is a population scale problem. It is a large problem. This is similar to internet scale problem. In internet, a huge network is divided into smaller networks and subnets to ensure scale can be handled. Similar approach is required in ONDC to ensure it can scale seamlessly.

Rise of ONDC Subnets

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The subnet can be created by an entity as long as they follow ONDC spec. It may happen that city based subnets come first as they are easier to spawn. So we might see rise of city based ONDC subnets like "Jaipur subnet" or "Ranchi subnet".

The way the transaction flow works is that the seller app on ONDC main net becomes a buyer app on the ONDC subnet. So a request for an order which comes to seller app is again broadcasted to city based subnet.

Benefits of ONDC Subnets

The benefits of creating ONDC subnets hooked to ONDC mainnet are multiple:

  • Easier administration - The mainnet will be crowded and congested. The registry size will be large. To bring everyone on the mainnet will be a challenging as the network grows. It might happen that mainnet participants will have stricter KYC.

Having subnets load balances the admin load.

  • Easier onboarding of local Kiranas - If a large section of local neighborhood shops have to come on ONDC, that effort has to be led by local ambassadors who have feet on the ground to bring the masses online. There have to be local campaigns, pitching and touchpoints.

Having subnets makes Kirana onboarding faster and easier.

  • Simpler tech solutions - With smaller networks, tech solutions can be simpler and mobile friendly as lot of Kiranas rely on mobile phones and POS billing machines. In fact someone on the seller app side in the subnet may just use Whatsapp to broadcast an order received in the subnet.
  • Better search routing - Since networks are smaller, an order for a particular item can be better routed to relevant seller since category-seller mapping might be more fine tuned
  • Infinite inventory - Since seller app is reaching to a wider local network for Kirana stores, an item like Parle-G will never be out of stock on ONDC network.

It is high time you start thinking about subnets and start building one for seller ecosystem around you. Creating these subnets is an opportunity which can yield mutual benefits for everyone in the ecosystem. Talk to Plotch.ai team if you are interested in building one.