Tata Group buys majority stake in online grocer BigBasket

Tata Group’s digital arm Tata Digital has acquired majority stake in online grocery seller Supermarket Grocery Supplies Private Limited (BigBasket), India’s largest e-commerce player in the Food and Grocery segment,  joining the league of e-commerce majors such as Amazon.com Inc, Walmart’s Flipkart and Reliance Industries.

E-grocery has been one of the fastest-growing segments in the consumer e-commerce space and its growth is propelled by India’s rising consumption and digital penetration. The current pandemic has further accelerated its adoption as consumers seek the convenience of ordering quality groceries delivered safely at home.
Founded in 2011 in Bangalore, BigBasket has expanded its presence to 25+ cities across India since then. BigBasket provides one of the largest assortments in the e-grocery space (50,000+ SKUs) and provides customers the convenience of home delivery on preferred dates and timeslots. It also operates a farm-to-fork supply chain with over 12,000 farmers and several collection centers across India to deliver high-quality fresh fruits and vegetables to its customers.
“Grocery is one of the largest components of an individual’s consumption basket in India, and Bigbasket is India’s largest e-grocery player, fits in perfectly with our vision of creating a large consumer digital ecosystem. We are delighted to welcome Bigbasket as a part of the Tata Digital,” Pratik Pal, CEO of Tata Digital, said.
“We are extremely excited about our future as a part of Tata Group. As a part of the Tata Ecosystem, we would be able to build stronger consumer connect and accelerate our journey,” Hari Menon, CEO of Bigbasket, said.
Tata Group is building a digital consumer ecosystem addressing consumer needs across categories in a unified manner and online food and grocery is an important part of this ecosystem. Accordingly, this acquisition presents an attractive opportunity for Tata Group in its overall vision of creating a digital ecosystem
Tata Sons did not give further details on the deal while reports had earlier put the value of the deal at about Rs9,500 crore, including the cost of buying out Chinese giant Alibaba’s stake.
India’s anti-trust body Competition Commission of India (CCI) had in March approved Tata Digital’s acquisition of up to 64.3 per cent stake in BigBasket.
The deal comes as e-commerce sales, especially of food and groceries, have accelerated in India as the coronavirus pandemic spurred a big shift to online shopping.
Tata, which has interests in products spanning from salt to luxury cars to software, has been planning to launch a “super app” to club all its consumer businesses, according to media reports.
Tata Digital is a 100 per cent subsidiary of Tata Sons Private Limited. Tata Digital set up its operations in August 2019, to build consumer-centric digital businesses for deep consumer engagement and their needs across multiple verticals -  retail, travel and financial services.