The Tata Group will be entering the war for India’s online grocery market, according to media reports quoting Tata plans to buy a majority stake in Bigbasket.
If confirmed, one of India’s more credible industry behemoths will be carving a hefty stake amid rising heat with legal battles between Amazon, Reliance and the Walmartowned Flipkart to be mega online grocers. India’s e-grocery market is expected to be worth more than $18 billion by 2024, and more industry leaders are rushing in to grab their territory. If negotiations are successful, the Tata Group is reported to be willing to pay about $700 million to $1 billion for a controlling stake in Bigbasket.
Major investors in Bigbasket include China’s Alibaba, with Bigbasket expected to go public (initial public offering) next calendar year.
Bigbasket’s market valuation soared to $2.28 billion with $150 million fundraisings last year from multiple sources including Alibaba, the British CDC Group and Mirae Asset Global Investments from South Korea.
Alibaba will sell its entire 26 per cent stake in Bigbasket, according to reports. Private equity funds Temasek and Generation Investment Management may also invest in the Bengaluru based Bigbasket that claims to be India’s largest online grocery store.
The entry of India’s oldest conglomerate Tata Group into selling online grocery emphasises the major generational change of the 21st century retail industry, from brick, mortar and street markets to the Internet universe.
The Tata Group will also be launching a “super app” to enable customers to have single-app access to all its online retail businesses.
“The app would eventually encompass services from food and grocery ordering to fashion, lifestyle, electronics, insurance, financial services, education, healthcare and bill payments,” according to Tata Sons chairman Chandrasekaran.
The Tata Group already has an established grip in the traditional grocery market. “Tata Consumers” that markets spices, pulses, salt, tea and other groceries has become the third most valued Tata company after TCS and Titan.