Home / Industry / Retail /  Tata Neu may open to sellers outside group: N. Chandrasekharan
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The recently-launched Tata Neu super app, which offers products from Tata group companies, is likely to allow third-party sellers to use the platform, Tata group chairman N. Chandrasekaran said on Thursday.

The app is built on an open architecture system that allows it be more inclusive, he said. “Tata Neu will have all the products and services from the Tata stable. Our aim is to ensure Tata Neu becomes a super app that simplifies the lives and meets the demands of every consumer from their product service and commercial needs point of view. For that the offerings may come from the Tata stable or from outside."

Chandrasekaran denied that the app, which was under development for two years, suffered inordinate delays and insisted the launch was in line with the company’s strategy. “There was no delay. We were calibrating it all the way on when to launch it and what to go with," he said.

Tata Neu is a part of Tata Digital, the wholly owned unit of Tata Sons Pvt. Ltd. It allows users to shop across categories, ranging from groceries and luxury goods to hotels, comprising all Tata group’s consumer brands.

Since its launch last week, the super app witnessed 2.2 million downloads. “I believe in the Indian economy. It is a very strong economy. It is going to be a $5 trillion-$10 trillion economy. The per capita income is going to double or triple. All of this is a brilliant opportunity for us to shape Tata Neu to become the go-to destination for every consumer," he said.

The app allows users to log in with just a name and mobile number and uses the device’s biometrics such as fingerprint sensors on Android phones and face ID on iPhones to gain secure access to the app. It hosts the group’s airline Air Asia, hospitality firm Indian Hotels Co., e-grocery platform BigBasket, as well as retail brands such as Croma, Starbucks, Tata 1mg, Tata CLiQ, Tata Play and Westside.

On 8 April, Mint reported that the super app was launched at a time India’s retail landscape is transforming, with consumers taking to online shopping amid the covid-led disruptions.

In May 2021, Tata Digital acquired a 64.3% stake in online grocer BigBasket for 9,500 crore, besides acquiring e-pharmacy 1mg. It had also signed a deal to invest up to $75 million in CureFit Healthcare.

The company is working on a number of services and tech innovations, such as an artificial-intelligence-driven personal assistant, to improve consumer experience, Chandrasekaran said.

The app records purchase histories of Tata customers from the company’s pre-existing databases, and offers digital rewards for each transaction with “Neu Coins", which can be redeemed against purchases across categories on the app. “Neu Pass will also go beyond Tata group at some point. It is not only a loyalty programme for every touchpoint, where you can earn, but also has an integrated financial credit line that gives instant loan very easily," the Tata group chairman said. Neu Pass will get upgrades in terms of benefits and offerings, he said.

“We have worked out a string of commercial models and our aim is to become a profitable business, driving growth and simplifying the life of consumers," said Pratik Pal, chief executive officer, Tata Digital.On the day of the launch, there was a glitch for three hours because of “unprecedented demand", but the app is now in the “stabilization phase" and problems have not recurred, he said.

Tata digital president Mukesh Bansal, the founder of Myntra, expects a high traction of consumers moving from being a single app user of Tata brands to the super app. “During the pilot stage we have seen that our single category customers have increased from 10% to 30%...We expect the number to go as high as 50%," he said on Thursday.

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