Tata Dials Just Dial To Strengthen Its Super App

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The Tata Group’s digital arm is leaving no stone unturned in its continued efforts to make sure the much-awaited Tata Super App is a success.

According to a recent media report, Tata Digital has held exploratory talks with Just Dial to either forge a strategic alliance or pick up a stake in the online aggregator for local businesses.

This move from Tata Digital comes as a part of the Mumbai-based salt-to-software conglomerate’s push to step into the online retail space in India.

Now, even though the initial round of conversations has already taken place between both parties, a senior Tata official in the know revealed that it is too early to predict any concrete outcomes from the same.

Currently, the mergers and acquisitions team of Tata Sons has been creating a list of all workable partnerships that can provide Tata Digital with an edge to scale up its Super App and rival against the likes of Reliance and Amazon in the online consumer space.

Industry analysts believe that a tie-up between Tatas and Just Dial will offer scaleup benefits to both. The latter started life as a phone-based local listing’s service in 1996 after which it went public in 2013 and now has a market cap of Rs 5,419.98 crores.

That being said, since its IPO, Just Dial has severely struggled against tech giants such as Google and Facebook. It has not been able to enable e-commerce transactions or venture into a different vertical apart from its listing services business either.

In Q2FY21, Just Dial posted a 38% decline in its consolidated net profit which stood at Rs 47.34 crores against a net profit of Rs 76.94 crores in the same quarter from a year ago.

At present, Tata Digital is creating several consumer services verticals such as grocery, pharmacy, education, lifestyle, finance and insurance and so on. The Group’s digital arm is all set to integrate its multiple existing consumer-facing online businesses such as Tata Cliq, Tata Class Edge, Tata Q and more under its upcoming Super App.

Tata Digital, as of now, is also in the final stages of closing its BigBasket deal wherein it agreed to acquire a majority stake of 68% in the e-grocer for a whopping $9,500 crores. The transaction is currently awaiting clearance from the Competition Commission of India aka CCI, a process which has apparently hindered the company’s plans to launch the Super App on time.

Besides BigBasket, Tata is also in the last leg of executing a secondary transaction of $200-$250 million in order to acquire a 55% stake in the online pharmacy startup 1mg. This deal came after Reliance Industries acquired a 60% stake in another online pharmacy company called Netmeds for Rs 620 crores.

It now remains to be seen if and when the possible deal between Tata Digital and Just Dial spew any concrete details. We will keep an eye out for the same. Stay tuned for more updates.


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