E-grocery is one of those categories that looks set to continue growing. There are plenty of reasons why consumers want to shop online, and many don’t want to face the hassle of using a physical shop or the expense of taking time to return goods.
The COVID-19 pandemic was the last straw, and it facilitated a significant shift from supermarkets to buying groceries online.
A few years back, the online grocery industry in India was nascent, with just a handful of players. BigBasket has changed all that. In a short five-year space, the company has become India’s largest and most popular e-grocery player.
This fit with Tata Digital’s vision is to build a large consumer digital ecosystem, where customers can transact anything they want, anytime with anyone.
So, to accelerate this journey, Tata Sons, through its subsidiary Tata Digital, has acquired a majority stake in the BigBasket, preciously backed by China’s Alibaba, through its parent company Supermarket Grocery Supplies Private Limited. BigBasket will now have access to Tata’s supply chain and other facilities, while Tata will use BigBasket for retail trading of fresh produce under the Tata brand.
The acquisition of Bigbasket, which is a significant development, should not be ignored.
This deal shows how Indian e-Commerce is maturing beyond the “Flipkart vs. Amazon” game and how various combinations can build large companies in this space. It also represents Tata Group’s desire to devote more time and assets towards digital to catch up with its peers.
It also shows that Tata is learning from the success of other companies and adapting to the market. For example, Flipkart’s partnership with Spencer and Reliance Retail with JioMart were mutually beneficial for business and consumers.
However, not many details of the deal have been made public. However, it was leaked through regulatory filings that Tata has acquired around 64% stake in Supermarket Grocery Supplies Unlimited- the company that runs BigBasket.
Future Plans of Tata Digital
Tata and Big Basket have crafted a plan targeted at exponential growth in a matter of few years. The flexibility that Tata brings to the table can help reduce the time to market for new initiatives.
Big Basket operates on a lean methodology with data-driven capabilities, which they can further scale up under Tata’s ownership.
Tata is committed to investing in a digitally scalable model that leverages the power of technology and new consumption models. Through Bigbasket, Tata has acquired a large and rapidly growing customer base, outstanding vendor relationships, and a leadership team that shares a passion for delivering great value to customers.
Now, Bigbasket will be able to invest further in its technology platform and expand the business into newer categories, such as a combination of traditional and digital stores with innovative solutions.
Plus, with a nod to the many apps that people use every day, the Tata Group has embarked on a new initiative to develop a super app. This super app will be accessible through one user ID and password.
It will give Tata digital customers access to all its consumer businesses such as Tata CLiQ, a lifestyle online shopping site, QMin, a food delivery platform, and electronic store Croma. They aim to release this app by the financial year 2022. This will also be an enormous change in the e-commerce industry.