Tata Group Forays Into Ecommerce; To Create a Branded Marketplace For Offline and Online Sellers
After Reliance Industries and Birla Group, it’s the turn of Tata Sons to get smitten by the ever-burgeoning ecommerce market in India. As per reports coming in, Tata Sons has confirmed that ecommerce is their next destination.
When a $108 billion behemoth like Tata Group ventures into a new, emerging market, then it’s bound to create some ripples! Last year, we had speculated that Tata Group can venture into ecommerce, as we had observed large reshuffling across their top management.
This confirmation was shared during the Insights 2020 CMO Masters Circle event in Mumbai this week, when Nirmalya Kumar, member of the group executive council at Tata Sons said, “We will launch our e-commerce venture next month,”
As per Nirmalya’s statements, they are going to create a branded marketplace which will connect offline and online traders/retailers from across the nation.
K.R.S. Jamwal, executive director, Tata Industries Ltd, had given hints of such an initiative last month, when he had said, “What we have experienced so far is e-retail 1.0 with two different sets of people doing retail by themselves.. What we will offer is e-retail 2.0. It is merging these two different sides because the reality on the ground is that much more integrated,”
This seems like an indirect take on the business model propagated by existing ecommerce biggies Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal which are also providing similar branded marketplaces for online buyers and sellers. Although they don’t have sole focus on merging offline and online retailers, but they are now official competitors of Tata Group.
But when it comes to the brand called Tata Group, then they will definitely enjoy an upper-hand; especially in matters of trust and confidence. Offline retailers who detested online commerce will now find themselves lured with the Tata brand.
Tata Group’s ecommerce venture can be a new platform, which will introduce some major innovations for creating a platform wherein offline and online retailers can merge and work together.
Will Ratan Tata Prove To Be A Competitor for Tata Sons?
Another interesting aspect of this new development is Ratan Tata himself.
Having served as Chairman between 1991 and 2012, Ratan Tata is now Chairman emeritus of Tata Group. During the last 12-15 months, he has personally invested in several ecommerce ventures, which includes Snapdeal and Paytm. Both of these biggies are marketplaces for buyers and sellers, and apparently, they will be competing against Tata Sons’ new ecommerce venture.
Besides Snapdeal and Paytm, Ratan Tata has also invested in Chinese mobile company Xiaomi, online jewellery portal BlueStone, furniture startup Urban Ladder, health based startup Swasth India and social startup Grameen Capital.
It would be really interesting to observe, how Ratan Tata deals with this new business equation: Either he can share his gems of success with his own parent company or give it away to external parties as he has his own personal investment to take care of.
We will keep you updated as more details come in.