Indian multinational conglomerate Tata Group is set to launch an integrated ‘Super App’ which will combine its consumer offerings on a single platform. The Tata group had set up Tata Digital to build digital businesses that will launch this all-in-one app.

According to a report by the Financial Times, the new app should be ready for launch by December this year.

“It will be a super app, a lot of apps in apps and so on. We have a very big opportunity,” said N Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Sons to FT.

The new app is expected to pit the company against rival business such as Reliance and Amazon, among others. Tata Digital operates ecommerce platform Tata CLiQ, online grocery store StarQuik and online electronics platform Croma. Tata Digital plans to use this app to provide all their services such as food and grocery ordering, fashion and lifestyle, consumer electronics and consumer durables, insurance and financial services, education, healthcare and bill payments, to become a super app. A physical world comparison of a super app would be a mall, which allows retail space to various brands and shops across businesses and verticals.

It looks like the app will be similar to what Wechat provides in China. There are some major players in India too providing similar services, if not all, on one dedicated platform. Reliance is planning something similar with its Jio platform which has seen some heavy investments by Google and Facebook. Paytm has also brought together services like payments, ticket bookings, online shopping, banking, games among others into one app. Flipkart-owned PhonePe has tied up with companies such as Ola Cabs, Swiggy, Grofers etc to offer services from its platform.

The Covid-19 pandemic has been a blessing for the e-commerce sector in India. The rise in e-commerce has been multifold since the coronovirus pandemic. Along with edtech and fintech, e-commerce has seen some major investments by companies to upscale the business. The demand in e-commerce is also seeing a growth in the logistics and transportation sector.

Will Tata Group succeed with its Super App?

It will be interesting to see if Tata can create a space for itself in the already established super app sector in India. With Paytm and PhonePe already having the majority of market, Tata’s approach to getting customers onboard will be worth a watch. Previously, Wechat unsuccessfully tried to replicate its success in China with a super app in India. Even Indian messaging app Hike tried its hand at a super app, but couldn’t create a niche in this sector.

Privacy issues have been a rising concern among a lot of people in the world today. Super apps allow third-party service providers on their platform. They also collect vast amount of user data for AI and understanding the consumer behavior. Though it is likely that Tata will not use any third-party services since they provide all the services themselves, it will still be interesting to see how they plan to tackle the privacy issues.

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