ONDC: Disrupting India`s e-Commerce Space through an Open Network Model?

ONDC: Disrupting India`s e-Commerce Space through an Open Network Model?
Case Code: ITSY131
Case Length: 15 Pages
Period: 2016-2021
Pub Date: 2022
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.400
Organization: ONDC
Industry: Retailing
Countries: India
Themes: Digital Marketplace, Digital Ecosystem, Digital Marketplace,Digital DisruptionInnovation
ONDC: Disrupting India`s e-Commerce Space through an Open Network Model?
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


The case focuses on the Open Network for Digital Commerce christened ONDC, a globally first-of-its-kind initiative undertaken by the ministry of commerce and industry, India. ONDC was an attempt to democratize digital commerce in India by integrating e-commerce platforms through a network based on open-source technology to curb digital monopolies and standardize the on-boarding of retailers on e-commerce sites. The case describes first the e-commerce sector in India and its domination by a few major players like Flipkart and Amazon. The case then touches upon the various policies and regulations that were introduced to bring more transparency into the e-commerce ecosystem. The case examines in detail the need for an open network and the objectives of the ONDC initiative to digitize the entire value chain, standardize operations, promote inclusion of suppliers, derive efficiencies in logistics, and enhance value for consumers. This is followed by the steps taken by the Government of India to prepare for the implementation of this initiative. The case also touches upon the challenges for existing e-commerce players on account of the proposed new e-commerce rules and the criticism from various quarters of industry with some commenting that the ONDC was a solution searching for a problem. It also remained to be seen if the offline retailers would get a level playing field because of the ONDC initiative and how much it would help in providing more freedom of choice to consumers.


The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives:

  • Examine the e-commerce market in India.
  • Understand the systemic issues in the e-commerce ecosystem.
  • Understand why government has proposed open sourcing for e-commerce players in India.
  • Analyze how the regulatory framework of a country impacts the growth of digital payments.
  • Examine the intricacies of interventions initiated by governments to avoid a duopolistic scenario.



E-commerce; Digital commerce; Digital monopolies; Open-source platforms; Government Policy, Duopoly; Platform Ecosystem; Consumer Protection; Anti-competitive Practices

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