Tata to buy stake in IndiaMart

In its attempt to buy Indian online retailers, Tata Group is now looking to buy a stake in IndiaMart InterMesh Ltd. IndiaMart is a business-to-business marketplace. Tata Group sells nearly everything from cars to apparel and steel. It is looking to embolden its presence in e-commerce. Talking about IndiaMart, its shares have soared 142 per cent in Mumbai this year. This gives it a market value of almost $2 billion. Tata Group also owns tea maker Tetley and Jaguar Land Rover. At a time when the race for Indian online shoppers is heating up, Tata is scouting for local e-commerce assets. To decrease the gap with its competitors, Tata is looking for probable acquisitions.

At present, its online model is fragmented. To modernize its online model, Tata is looking for a two-pronged approach. Apart from looking for acquisitions, it is also deliberating with probable investors about taking stakes in a digital platform that it has been creating for several months. Tata’s digital platform will focus on an all-inclusive e-commerce app. The app is looking to bring different online businesses of its engrained consumer units under one banner. They include Titan watch showrooms, Star Bazaar supermarkets, Tanishq jewelry stores, chain of Taj hotels and a collaboration with Starbucks Corp. in India.

The growth of Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd. into retail and technology businesses has added urgency to Tata’s plans. Asia’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, raised more than $20 billion this year. He sold 33% of his technology venture Jio Platforms Ltd. to investors including Facebook Inc. and Google.

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