Billionaire Infosys co-founder and tech giant Nandan Nilekani takes on Walmart, Amazon in India

Cindrella Kashyap
Cindrella Kashyap April 29, 2022
Updated 2022/04/29 at 8:55 PM
Nandan Nilekani
Nandan Nilekani. Source- Bloomberg
Nandan Nilekani
Nandan Nilekani. Source- Bloomberg

After co-founding Infosys, which is one of the biggest IT company today, and becoming a billionaire, tech pioneer Nandan Nilekani further went on to become a driving force in one of the gigantic government programs to fabricate biometric identification for the approximately 1.4 billion people of India.

However, the 66-year-old business mogul is not done yet. Now Nilekani has joined hands with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to build an open technology network whose objective is to make the playing field even for small businesses in India’s exponentially growing $1 trillion retail market.

This move will help to create an accessible online system which will be available freely. Traders and consumers across the country will be able to buy and sell anything and everything on this system. However there is another unspoken objective- to offer added support to the small merchants and stores by keeping the power of Amazon and Walmart owned Flipkart in check.

Nandan Nilekani
Nandan Nilekani. Source- Infosys

Since these popular e-commerce platforms came into the picture, their popularity has been growing fast and the small merchants and local stores are alarmed by their online domination. These small businesses and local mom-and-pop stores, also known as Kirana, form the retail backbone of the country.

However, the global e-commerce giants have managed to capture almost 80% of the online retail market via massive discounts and promotions, which is creating a sense of fear among the Kirana shops regarding their future.

And that is exactly what the not-for-profit system or Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) will offer their support to. This system has not been applied anywhere else till date and will help the small merchants and retailers to acquire the economy and the reach just like the giants do.

In other words, the government will be creating its own E-Commerce ecosystem which will loosen the grip companies like Amazon have today in terms of how much access a brand can get to its consumers.

Nandan Nilekani
Nandan Nilekani. Source-

This open network is targeting approximately hundred cities in the coming months. Nilekani commented that they are charting a new course for India and their primary goal is to change the rules of the e-commerce game.

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