Tata Group plans to expand the family of services it offers on its recently launched Tata Neu super app to include services from outside the Indian conglomerate group, the company’s top executive said, as the 154-year-old salt-to-software giant looks to make a dent in the consumer technology space.
Tata Neu — which clubs together nearly a dozen services, including online grocer BigBasket, pharmacy app 1mg and hotel group Taj — will evolve its offerings with inputs from consumers and “not contracts,” said Natarajan Chandrasekaran, the chairman of Tata Group, at a media conference.
The $103 billion firm is also looking to make its loyalty program, called Tata NeuPass, available to services beyond the company’s empire, he said.
The app, launched last week, is the local giant’s aspirational attempt to “bring together so many group businesses in a way that makes sense and is compelling to the customers,” he said.
Tata Neu has been downloaded about 2.2 million times in the first four days of its availability, said Pratik Pal, chief executive of Tata Digital, at the conference.
Fielding questions from reporters, Tata executives reiterated that the company believes its super app offering has what it takes to succeed, even as no other super app model has been able to make wide inroads in the country.
Scores of firms in India, including Facebook and Google-backed Jio Platforms, payments giant Paytm and ride-hailing firm Ola have attempted to stitch together various offerings in their apps, to little success.
“Our team has very successful entrepreneurs. Whether it’s supply chain or technology, we have assembled the finest talent. We’re here to go forward and push our vision to the limits. We will certainly drive strong financial outcomes,” he said.
Mukesh Bansal, president of Tata Digital, pushed back on the idea that a super app — a category that was first proven by Chinese giants Alibaba and Tencent — needs to have a messaging service. “With a super app, we want to cover the majority of consumer consumption patterns,” he said.
Bansal, who previously co-founded fashion e-commerce Myntra (since acquired by Flipkart), said Tata Neu clocked an ARPU (average revenue per user) that was three to four times of other comparable offerings during the testing phase.
“If you look at the categories that we have just launched with, not even the categories that we are going to expand to, we don’t have a solution in the country which has such a breadth of coverage. With NeuPass and the trust in Tata … we’re [a] super app in that respect.”
The new technology offering has received interest from outside investors, he said, but noted that it’s too early for the firm to split focus with anything but growing the app.