A discussion session titled ‘ONDC (Open Network for Digital Commerce) – New Future of Digital Commerce’ was held on Saturday, October 22 from 11 am to 2 pm at BASIS Conference Center. Top officials of the Ministry of Commerce, Bangladesh Bank, SME Foundation, BASIS and other trade organizations participated in the discussion.
T Koshi, Chief Executive Officer of ONDC India, the implementing body of India’s ONDC, presented ONDC’s scope of work, prospects and challenges as the keynote speaker. Meanwhile, T Koshi said, this open network of digital businesses is going to bring a new revolution in e-commerce business. According to T Koshy, ONDC is not a new platform, it is a network or a system through which all the stakeholders in digital commerce communicate with each other through a common protocol. The biggest benefit from this approach or network will be small or micro online merchants. One of the main objectives of setting up the ONDC network is to ensure that large domestic and foreign online platforms do not monopolize the e-commerce sector and deprive small entrepreneurs.
BASIS President Russell T Ahmed said that the private sector should work with the government to implement this new network in Bangladesh. In this regard, BASIS is ready to provide all kinds of technical assistance to all, including the Ministry of Commerce and Bangladesh Bank.
The special guest of the program, the General Manager of the Payment Division of Bangladesh Bank, Mezbaul Haque, said that in the recent past, the fraud of two e-commerce companies has created a lack of confidence in the entire sector. Bangladesh Bank is working to get rid of it.
Chief Guest of the event Mohammad Hafizur Rahman, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce and Head of the E-Commerce Cell said that the ONDC network can act as a safeguard against large foreign platforms to drive away small traders from the market. The Ministry of Commerce will use the experience of other countries in this regard and will soon start the work of creating an open network policy suitable for digital commerce in Bangladesh. This policy will be developed with the opinion of others including BASIS.
Fahim Mashroor, former president of BASIS, served as moderator of the discussion meeting. FBCCI Vice President Amin Helaly, SMEF General Manager Md. Nazeem Hassan Satter, Pathao CEO & BASIS Director Fahim Ahmed, Mastercard Bangladesh Head & BASIS Director Syed Mohammad Kamal, BASIS Director AKM Ahmedul Islam Babu, Chaldal Director & BASIS Digital Commerce Standing Committee Head Zia Ashraf, E-Courier Head Executive Biplob Rahul Saha, SHEBA Platform Head Adnan Imtiaz, A2i Head of E-Commerce Rezwanul Haque Jami, Bangladesh Bank Senior System Analyst Jayant K Bhowmik, Talikhata Head Dr. Shahadat Khan also spoke at the event.