New Delhi– The government’s ONDC (Open Network for Digital Commerce) and Google Cloud on Wednesday announced that they are collaborating to advance e-commerce in India with generative artificial intelligence (AI).

ONDC and Google Cloud will launch an India-wide hackathon aimed at catalysing innovation and addressing critical challenges for the next billion digital users in the country. 

The hackathon plans to develop solutions that democratise access to digital commerce, regardless of digital literacy, geography, or economic status. It also aims to foster an open ecosystem of developers, students, and startups to innovate within the ONDC framework.

“This hackathon is a step closer to our vision of forging an inclusive and accessible digital commerce arena for every Indian, transcending all backgrounds,” T Koshy, MD and CEO at ONDC, said in a statement.

Spanning three months and drawing 1,00,000 participants, the ‘Build for Bharat’ hackathon will offer mentoring, assistance, and other resources to help participants take on common e-commerce challenges, such as building better supply chain visibility, creating more targeted consumer personalisation, and improving inventory management.

“Our collaboration creates an opportunity for organisations India-wide to reach larger audiences and grow their businesses, ultimately transforming digital commerce adoption in the country,” said Thomas Kurian, CEO, Google Cloud.

Meanwhile, Apollo Hospitals also announced on Wednesday an expanded partnership with Google Cloud. Built entirely on Google Cloud, Apollo 24|7 aims to deliver an omnichannel healthcare experience to people in India with telemedicine services, online doctor consultations, home delivery of medication, and improved clinician decision-making.

“Access to timely and accurate health information is a real challenge in India, and our partnership with Google Cloud is poised to address it through various collaborations,” said Shobana Kamineni, Vice Chairperson, Apollo Hospitals.

Kurian added that “our work with Apollo Hospitals will improve accessibility in healthcare, support clinicians and care teams, and drive better patient engagement — ultimately benefiting millions of Indians”. (IANS)