Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani's new mission to Amazon's Wal-Mart

Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani’s new mission to Amazon’s Wal-Mart

He co-founded software powerhouse Infosys Ltd., became a millionaire, and led a huge government program to create biometrics for about 1.4 billion people in India.

Now 66, Nandan Nilekani has another ambitious goal. His well-known mogul is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s open technology network trying to level the competition for small merchants in the country’s fragmented but fast-growing $ 1 trillion retail market. We are helping to build.

Its purpose is to create a freely accessible online system that allows traders and consumers to buy and sell anything from a 23-cent detergent bar to a $ 1,800 ticket. However, its implicit purpose is to ultimately curb the power of Flipkart, owned by Amazon.com Inc. and Walmart Inc. Flipkart’s online dominance surprises small merchants and millions of local moms and pop shops called Kirana who form the country. Retail backbone.

Kirana Shops are afraid of an uncertain future as two global giants have poured a total of $ 24 billion into India and won 80% of the online retail market with aggressive discounts and priority seller promotions. Online commerce occupies about 6% of the total retail market, but is worried that it will follow the same fate as many family-owned businesses in the United States and elsewhere and will eventually disappear. increase.

A non-profit system with the awkward name Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) is trying to address these concerns. Never tried anywhere else. It aims to allow small merchants and retailers to plug in and gain giant economies of scale. Basically, the government creates its own e-commerce ecosystem for everyone and loosens the shackles of companies like Amazon that determine which brands can access key consumers under what conditions. Designed to be.