In a bid to bridge the digital divide among micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), has fixed its visions on transforming the B2B space in India.
With less than one million out of almost 100 million MSMEs currently engaging in digital transactions, ONDC gears toward unlocking the extensive potential that exists in the B2B space by addressing critical barriers to digital adoption, said Vibhor Jain, COO & President at ONDC.
“This highlights the immense possibility that exists in the B2B space. We need to understand the barriers that contribute to these low numbers and how the ONDC network can help overcome them,” he said.
According to Jain, one of the big challenges faced by MSMEs is the thin profit margins, which can make operating seamlessly on a digital platform difficult.
The COO emphasised that for MSMEs to operate seamlessly with such margins is vital for their sustainability and ONDC aims to find solutions to unlock this possibility barrier for the segment.
While talking about building trust in the B2B space, he said that the transactions are another crucial factor that has slowed digital adoption. Quality assurance issues, uncertified new sellers, and lack of standardisation pose significant challenges.
He stressed the importance of standardisation, saying, “Bringing more standardisation from a buyer’s perspective is critical to enhancing comfort in terms of what is being purchased and what is delivered. ONDC aims to address this issue and introduce more standardization measures.”
Furthermore, access to credit is another notable challenge for MSMEs, with many relying on informal options to sustain their businesses or fund supply chains. “Replicating the informal credit options on digital platforms becomes crucial in this scenario. ONDC aims to understand and address this challenge to empower MSMEs with access to credit” he highlighted.
In addition to addressing barriers in the B2B segment, ONDC also aims to revolutionise the trucking industry by improving transparency, efficiency, and traceability of transactions.
Jain highlighted the current challenges faced by the industry, stating, “The trucking system incurs high logistics costs, with approximately 40 per cent of return trucks in the country coming back empty. The fragmented nature of the industry, with small operators facing working capital issues, further adds to the costs.”
Jain said that the highlighted issues can be resolved on ONDC.