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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:

Giving a digital thrust to the industries sector, Kerala Department of Industries and Commerce today signed an MoU with the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), launched by the Central government’s Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, to increase business opportunities in various sectors by facilitating digital transformation. Minister for Law, Industries & Coir Mr. P. Rajeeve inaugurated the MoU signing ceremony and launched the products of Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) on the e-commerce platform at an event here. Minister for Transport Shri Antony Raju presided over the function.

 

Mr. Rajeeve said around nine companies have signed agreement with ONDC and 220 products of PSUs are available on the platform currently. The Minister reminded PSUs of maintaining professionalism in product delivery, quality and packaging, besides strengthening their marketing team. “Products of MSMEs will be made available on ONDC platform in the next phase and workshops will be conducted in all taluks to create awareness on the possibilities offered by ONDC,” he said.

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Stressing that product innovation is vital to lap up vast opportunities in the market, Shri Rajeeve said training sessions will be held in coir sector for designing products. Noting that ONDC is a good opportunity and beneficial for traders, Shri Antony Raju said no entrepreneurs can shy away from online platforms these days. The Minister said the Transport Department will also be engaged in a pact with ONDC soon.

 

Dr. V P Joy, Chief Secretary, Government of Kerala, who was the Chief Guest, highlighted the importance of marketing support to achieve success. He said the agreement with ONDC will bring in a new energy and impetus for PSUs, MSMEs and other industries to market their products widely and help Kerala industries go global under the tag of ‘Kerala Brand’. Principal Secretary, Industries and Norka, Mr. Suman Billa, and CEO of ONDC Mr. Thampy Koshy exchanged the MoUs on the occasion.

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In his welcome address, Mr. Billa said ONDC is a democratic market where products can be listed to get wide visibility. He said the MoU has been initiated by considering the interests of traders and consumers as well and it will be a fillip to PSUs and MSMEs in the state. Principal Secretary, Industries, Mr. A. P. M. Mohammed Hanish said advanced marketplace like ONDC opens new opportunities for PSUs to feature their variety products and create an impact on the consumers beyond frontiers.

 

In his keynote address, Mr. Koshy said ONDC provides equal opportunities to all and the e-commerce sector in the country will be transformed entirely in two years due to its popularity and effective result. Director, Industries and Commerce, Mr. S Harikishore, proposed a vote of thanks.

 

Officer on Special Duty, Industries, Ms. Anie Jula Thomas; GM and Regional Head of SIDBI, Bengaluru, Mr. Satyaki Rastogi; Member Secretary, RIAB, Mr. Padmakumar; Managing Director of KINFRA, Mr.  Santhosh Koshy Thomas; and State President of KSSIA, Mr.  A Nizarudeen also spoke. An awareness programme on ONDC, led by ONDC Senior Vice-President Mr. Nitin Nair, and Co-founder of Seller App Mr. Dilip Vamanan, was also held on the occasion.

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ONDC, which goes beyond the current platform-centric digital commerce model, is a platform for entrepreneurs to seamlessly feature their products on multiple marketplaces and can be sold through several e-commerce platforms across the country. Launched in 2021 to develop open e-commerce, ONDC is building a digital network for the e-commerce industry that allows any online seller to connect with any buyer in the country. The initiative aims at promoting open networks for all aspects of exchange of goods and services over digital or electronic networks. Functioning similar to Unified Payments Interface (UPI), ONDC aims to make e-commerce more inclusive and accessible for consumers.