As the e-commerce sector is booming in India, Tata plans to take over Amazon, RIL and launch a more competitive app to boom its market share. This app will be providing its customers a range of product and services offered by different platforms of Tata group, including shopping app Tata CLiQ, grocery e store StarQuik and online electronic platform Chroma.
N Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Sons quoted, “It will be a super app, a lot of apps and so on. We have a very big opportunity.” The Tata group is poised to launch this super app by December or early next year. “The Tata Group, depending upon how you count, touches several hundred millions of consumers in India, if you take consumers who are walking in everyday into a Tata facility … How do we give a simple online experience connecting all of this, and at the same time a beautiful omnichannel experience? That is the vision,” he added.
That sounds suspiciously similar to what Reliance had done — Reliance already had several customer touch-points through Reliance Retail, Reliance Digital and its other brands. Over the last few years, it had also acquired a digital footprint in Jio, and then proceeded to launch JioMart. The Tata Group has a similar profile — it has digital arms in Tata CliQ and Croma, brands like Tanishq and Voltas, and even consumer products like Tata Salt, Tata Coffee and Starbucks. With third-party partnerships, it can tie its products into a digital offering, and create an interesting new vertical. Like Reliance, the Tata Group has no shortage of cash if it really has its heart set on building an e-commerce offering, and quickly build a formidable competitor.
It has also been reported that RIL and Facebook were toying with the idea of unveiling a multipurpose app, on the lines of Chinese super-app WeChat, by leveraging the WhatsApp platform and user base. Tata runs a conglomerate which includes a variety of businesses such as steel plants and carmaker Jaguar Land Rover. “Super apps” such as Meituan and Grab have generally remained a popular and successful concept in south-east Asia and China. However, the idea still has to find its feet in India.
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