As the Tata group looks to build a new digital platform, the business conglomerate is reportedly in talks with companies in the retail, e-commerce, and consumer product segments. The company is also reportedly in talks with potential investors for a stake in the digital platform that it is building, in a bid to take on Amazon, Flipkart and Reliance’s e-commerce ambitions.
Financial Times and Livemint reported that the Tata group is in talks to buy a stake in online grocery platform BigBasket, cashing in on a business segment that saw exponential growth during the pandemic. According to the Mint report, Tatas are likely to be part of BigBasket’s on-going fund raise, where it is looking to raise $200 million.
Economic Times reported that the company is scouting for mergers, acquisitions, and strategic partnerships, and has held initial talks with Snapdeal and IndiaMart.
“There are a lot of conversations and talks that are happening in many areas. How does it strategically work for both sides will take time to figure out. There are many areas where the group is only interested in strategic partnership and not a complete buyout or stake purchase,” it quoted a source as saying.
In August, Financial Times reported that the conglomerate was planning to launch a super app by the end of this year. The financial daily quoted the Chairman N Chandrasekaran as saying, "It will be a super app, a lot of apps in apps and so on . . . We have a very big opportunity.”
He reportedly said that this super app would provide services ranging from food and grocery to fashion, electronics, etc to insurance, financial services, education and healthcare, among others.
A super app is one single application that offers a range of services from food and digital services, to financial services and education.
While India doesn’t have a super app yet, it exists in Southeast Asian countries where apps such as Grab, GoJek and Meituan are popular and widely used.
Last month, Mint also reported that the Tata group was in talks with Walmart to sell a large stake in its super app. The report quoted sources as saying that the deal is likely to be worth $25 billion, much larger than Walmart’s acquisition of a majority stake in Flipkart ($16 billion). It also stated that the super app could be a joint venture between both companies.
Meanwhile, a Bloomberg report states that the conglomerate is working with advisors as it looks to bring in financial or strategic investors as part of its plans to consolidate its digital assets across its businesses under one new entity.
Currently, the Tata group runs TataCliq and also has websites of its retail stores such as Westside, Tanishq.