Reliance Retail’s logistics company Grab incorporates ONDC; eyes to offer Hyperlocal services

ONDC

Grab, a logistics company owned by Reliance Retail has incorporated the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) network into its platform.

After Dunzo, the initiative brings another firm owned by Reliance Retail onto the open network. Before joining the network in May 2022, the quick commerce company Dunzo started a pilot test in six Indian cities. 

With this, Grab would allow intracity hyperlocal deliveries, an ET story quoted one of Grab’s founders. 

“Currently, we are in the process of initiating the pilot project with the ONDC and it is at a nascent stage. We look forward to growing our partnership with the ONDC and our focus will be to provide a smooth and efficient delivery experience for our clients across sectors,” Pratish Sanghvi said.

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 nine-year-old firm serves customers like FedEx, Grofers, Paytm, BigBasket, Myntra, Amazon, and Swiggy with services such as on, reverse deliveries, and first- and last-mile logistics. 

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 primary goal of the ONDC network is to democratise small retailers by integrating them with e-commerce and e-commerce enablers that can meet their onboarding, cataloguing, customer-facing, and logistical needs through third-party connections.

The network, which is supported by both private and public banks, will link buyers and sellers on any platform targeted at consumers in any industry vertical, whether it be for B2C products in the beauty, healthcare, or stationary categories or B2C services like food delivery, repairing and maintenance, insurance, and hotel bookings, among others. 

Most recently, a report confirmed that the government-backed ONDC is likely to welcome the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), a representative organisation of more than 70 million small retailers, by the end of 2022. SoftBank and Sequoia India also encouraged their portfolio companies in India to join ONDC last month. 

OYO, Zomato, and Swiggy are likely to join the network and are in various stages of integration, according to ONDC CBO Shireesh Joshi.

The open network now consists of nine platforms, including Paytm, Digit, PhonePe, eSamudaay, Go Frugal, Dunzo, and Loadshare. As ONDC gets ready to begin in August 2022 and expand to 100 cities by the end of the year, it is rumoured to be in talks to partner with 15+ platforms, including Snapdeal and Shiprocket. 

The National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI), according to media reports from June 2022, intends to add its restaurants to the network. 

A parliamentary standing committee has asked DPIIT to develop tools that are compatible with ONDC’s protocols to quickly onboard small domestic firms because there are various operational hurdles for merchant onboarding on ONDC.

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