ONDC Drives Women's Empowerment in Indian Digital Commerce

ONDC Drives Women's Empowerment in Indian Digital Commerce
In a significant stride towards women's empowerment and entrepreneurship in India, the government-run Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) has emerged as a catalyst for fostering growth and inclusivity in various sectors. Established in December 2021, ONDC, an initiative of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce, is spearheading a transformative model for digital commerce.
Artisan-based initiative SHWET, representing over 1,000 artisans, seamlessly integrated into the expansive ONDC web, attests to the positive impact. Founder Vibhha Mishra highlighted that leveraging ONDC has optimized production, design, and connectivity with new artisans nationwide. The ONDC, with its responsive technical support and personalized seller recognition, has created a user-friendly ecosystem for Mishra and her team, allowing them to concentrate on their craft while the network handles other aspects of the business.
Craftizen, a social enterprise dedicated to promoting Indian handicrafts, is led by Mayura Balasubramanian, who sees ONDC as a potential game-changer. She emphasized that the handicrafts sector, often deemed a sunset industry, faces challenges due to a supply-demand mismatch. ONDC, by providing an extensive network, bridges this gap, connecting discerning customers with artisans and innovative social enterprises.
Anubhuti Jain Mishra, Founder and CEO of Anubhuti, reported almost four times the usual sales in the first four months after onboarding ONDC in December 2022, without resorting to paid ads or promotions. The network's inclusive approach, facilitated by SIDBI, plays a crucial role in supporting women entrepreneurs like Mishra, who found ONDC's onboarding process easier and more transparent than other e-commerce platforms.
Slony Gambhir, Founder of Very Much Indian, focused on promoting authentic handmade products and supporting rural weavers, praised ONDC for prioritizing constant support, resulting in a smooth onboarding and operational experience. The ONDC's transaction volume witnessed a remarkable 15% growth, exceeding 7.5 million in February compared to the previous month, underlining its impact and potential in driving digital commerce and empowering women-led businesses in India.