Logistics service provider start-up Grab has united its platform with the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) network. The move by Reliance Retail-owned start-up marks another branch of the retail giant to join the open network. Previously, Dunzo, which is a quick-commerce start-up owned by Reliance joined the open network in May 2022. Dunzo also made initiated a pilot test regarding the network in six cities of the country.
With this specific move, according to the founders of the logistics platform, intracity hyperlocal deliveries will be supported. According to the founder of Grab, Pratish Sanghvi, the company is planning to initiate the pilot project with the ONDC, which is currently at a developing stage and the company is looking forward to growing its integration with the ONDC to pay attention to providing efficient and smooth delivery experiences for their clients.
Grab is a logistics service provider start-up, owned by Reliance Retail.
Grab A Grub Services (‘Grab’) was purchased by the investment arm of Reliance Industries in March 2019 for $14.9 million (INR 106 crore) in cash. Currently, Reliance Retail, which owns about 80% of the company, is the parent company of Grab. The start-up which has completed almost nine years of its existence provides services like on-demand deliveries, first and last-mile logistics, and reverse deliveries to its clients including companies like Paytm, Myntra, FedEx, Swiggy, Grofers (Now blinkit), Amazon, and BigBasket. Along with Flipkart and Amazon, Reliance Retail is going to participate in the ambitious ONDC effort that is similar to UPI. It is significant that Ekart, a division of Flipkart that provides logistics services, has already merged with ONDC.
The main od the ONDC network is to communize with the small retailers of the industry by integrating them with e-commerce and e-commerce enablers that can meet their onboarding, cataloging, customer-facing, and logistics needs through third-party interfaces. Be it any B2C product from beauty to healthcare, stationery to food delivery, or repairing and maintenance, the network backed by private or public banks will act as a connecting agent between the sellers and buyers on any platform that is for consumers around all industry verticals.
Grab will support the Intracity hyperlocal deliveries with this move.
According to some reports, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), which is a framework of 70 million small retailers is in talks to join the ONDC backed by the government by the end of this year. SoftBank and Sequoia India also encouraged their portfolio companies in India to join ONDC last month. The CBO of ONDC, Shireesh Joshi confirmed in his recent interviews that some companies like Swiggy, OYO, and Zomato are in process of integrating to join the network. Platforms including PhonePe, Paytm, Loadshare, Dunzo, eSamudaay, Digit, and Go Frugal are currently a part of the open network. ONDC is likely to have 15+ platforms on board to join the network including Snapdeal and Shiprocket as it plans to launch in August 2022 and reach its goal of existing in 100 cities by the end of 2022.
The National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) is also likely to onboard its restaurants to the ONDC network, according to some reports from June 2022. A request has been made to DPIIT by a parliamentary standing committee to build tools that are compatible with the protocols of ONDC to help small homegrown businesses to onboard since there are some challenges for merchants with the operations.