Tata plans to buy majority stake in Alibaba-backed Indian online grocer BigBasket

Founding members of Bigbasket: VS Sudhakar, Vipul Parekh, Hari Menon, Abhinay Choudhari, and VS Ramesh. Photographer: Samyukta Lakshmi/Bloomberg

Indian conglomerate Tata Sons plans to buy a majority stake in Alibaba-backed online grocery seller BigBasket, a filing with the country’s antitrust body showed on Friday.

The deal, if approved, would put Tata — a more than 150-year-old group with interests in everything from luxury cars to software — in direct competition with Amazon, Walmart’s Flipkart, and an upstart grocery service from Reliance Industries, backed by billionaire Mukesh Ambani.

In the filing with the Competition Commission of India, Tata Digital Ltd, a wholly owned unit of Tata Sons, proposed to buy 64.3% of an entity that runs business-to-business sales for BigBasket.

Media agencies have reported that the group aims to take control of more than 60% of BigBasket, buying out Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s stake.

The proposal comes as e-commerce sales, especially of food and groceries, have exploded in India as the COVID-19 pandemic spurred a shift to online shopping.

BigBasket‘s rivals are expected to spend heavily on the e-grocery business.

Flipkart has announced plans to expand to more Indian cities, while Reliance’s digital unit – which is likely to support its grocery service – has raised more than $20 billion from investors including Facebook and Alphabet’s Google.

Reuters

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.