JioMart, the grocery platform owned by Reliance Jio, is reportedly testing the government’s Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) and may join the network soon. ONDC is a government initiative aimed at promoting digital commerce in India. It allows businesses to connect with other businesses and customers through a common digital network, which could potentially benefit JioMart by expanding its reach and customer base.

It sounds like the ONDC platform is a network that has attracted a variety of startups and established companies. These companies, such as Paytm, PhonePe, Meesho, Delhivery, Dunzo, Zoho, Amazon, Flipkart, and Microsoft, have joined the network. It is also mentioned that other international companies such as Microsoft have already joined the network.

It appears that the ONDC platform is a digital commerce network that has attracted many companies, with around 300 companies in various stages of integration, according to a source cited by LiveMint. Additionally, it has been reported that 5,000 merchants are already a part of the network. It is worth noting that this is not Reliance’s first attempt at a digital commerce network, as last August, Reliance Retail’s logistics platform Grab joined ONDC as a logistics provider, along with Delhivery and Dunzo. JioMart, on the other hand, is a platform under the Reliance Jio umbrella of Reliance Industries Limited, which also includes the telco Jio, JioCinema, JioTV, and other digital IPs.

JioMart is a grocery delivery platform that competes with other platforms such as Tata-owned BigBasket, Swiggy-owned Instamart, and Zomato-owned Blinkit. The platform provides its services through its website, mobile app, and WhatsApp. According to JioMart’s earnings report, orders placed through WhatsApp have been increasing, with a 37% monthly growth rate.

ONDC is a digital commerce network launched by the government in late 2021, which is built on similar principles as the United Payments Interface (UPI) for digital payments. The aim of ONDC is to break the monopolies in India’s e-commerce business industry by democratizing the landscape for everyone. It is the government’s flagship digital commerce network.

ONDC creates a common registry of buyers, sellers, logistics, and tech providers that is accessible to all stakeholders. This allows the government to prevent gatekeeping by big players by providing equal access for all, creating a level playing field for all e-commerce players. This is in line with the government’s goal to democratize the e-commerce landscape, breaking the monopolies held by large companies.

ONDC is still a work in progress, but it has made some progress since its first beta launch in Bengaluru in September 2022. Since then, it has launched another beta in Meerut and is currently running alpha tests in 84 cities across India. Some of the cities hosting ONDC’s alpha testing include Noida, Faridabad, Lucknow, Bijnor, Bhopal, Chhindwara, Kolkata, Pune, Chennai, and Kannur. The network is being tested in these various cities to gather feedback and improve the service before its official launch.

The government has set ambitious targets for the adoption and success of ONDC, aiming for 900 million buyers and 1.2 million sellers, and a gross merchandise value of $48 billion in the next two years. Reports suggest that by 2025, India will have around 350 million online shoppers. However, a report by the think-tank Digital India Foundation estimates that ONDC may reach as many as 250 million users by 2027. Currently, the network is open-source and free to use, but ONDC plans to charge a small fee from users to contribute towards the maintenance and development of the network.