CCI (Competition Commission of India)has approved acquisition of Supermarket Grocery Supplies Private Limited by Tata Digital up to 64.3 percent and also has approved its sole control over the company that runs BigBasket i.e. Innovative Retail Concepts Private Limited.
Hari Menon, BigBasket co-founder and CEO said at a separate event that the company hired over 12,300 persons in 16 days during the first lockdown to meet the surge in demand as a large number of people started turning to digital platforms to shop for grocery items.
The CEO also emphasized on the importance of being a learning organization. He also mentioned, “Learning elements of culture and managing people are more critical than being a technocrat and understanding technology, since that can be outsourced as long as you know where your organization is headed”.
K Ganesh, who is the promoter of BigBasket, Portea Medical and HomeLane told Moneycontrol, “This is a great development. Tata is the most respected brand name. Hope this sets the trend for Indian conglomerates to bet on new-age business models. Traditionally, Indian corporate houses have been wary of investing or taking bold bests in tech-based, valuation driven, initially high loss-making businesses. As a result, all the value gains have been captured by foreign investors and funds”.
Big Basket, backed by Alibaba, was founded in 2011. It has its operation in 25 Indian cities. Its tough competitors are Amazon India, Flipkart and SoftBank-backed Grofers.
Anurag Mathur, head- retail and partner, PwC, issued a statement ,“Tata’s entry makes the space more competitive”. He also added ,”But these four large players can also bring disruption to the segment”.
Tata is the largest contributor in the retail basket of Consumer goods but its presence Online has been limited to fashion and Gadgets. This move comes as a result of increase in e-commerce sales, especially of food and groceries due to the Covid-19 pandemic which has exploded in India and spurred the diaspora of online shopping.
Now there are more consumers online, hence the competition among these players to bring them onboard has increased. This Pandemic has given a huge push to online sales which has registered a gross merchandise value (GMV) of $3.3 billion in 2020 as compared to $1.9 billion in 2019.
Arvind Singhal, Technopak’s Chairman and Managing Director shared with Moneycontrol that, “This is not just about buying groceries. Using the data that BigBasket has, which is used by people on a daily basis, Tata group can understand customer patterns and drive value across various categories including clothing, hospitality and other verticals using technology. The deal is about what all can be done with BigBasket beyond just what it is. That is why I think it is a very valuable asset. That asset can be leveraged much more by the Tata Group.”