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The ‘duopolies of the decade’?

Ratan Tata’s and Mukesh Ambani’s residences in South Mumbai are just a few kilometres apart. Their digital ambitions, too, are increasingly (seemingly) drawing closer. 

As faces of India’s largest business conglomerates — both valued at over $100 billion — they are gearing up for an exciting face-off that could define India of the 2020s.

Tata Digital, a fully-owned subsidiary of Tata Sons, and Reliance Industries’ digital ambitions could end up creating one of the biggest “duopolies of the decade,” say analysts.

Over the years, the haloed Tata Group has earned multiple monikers in corporate circles: steel-to-salt conglomerate, cars-to-chemicals behemoth, and so on. It has earned its repute in primarily offline industries. 

But lately, the 153-year-old behemoth’s digital appetite has made India Inc sit up and take note

In three weeks, Tata Digital has inked three major deals — the $1.2 billion acquisition of India’s largest e-grocer Bigbasket; a $75 million investment in health and fitness startup Curefit; and the acquisition of leading online pharmacy 1mg.

In one fell swoop, Tata Digital has gained a significant presence in India’s internet economy, going beyond its own lifestyle commerce offering, TataCliq.

Ratan Tata - Tata Digital

To help Tata Digital realise its vision of building a ‘next-generation consumer’ platform that takes on the likes of Reliance, Amazon, and Flipkart, the company has appointed Mukesh Bansal, Co-founder of Curefit, as President. 

It is believed that Bansal has now been tasked with shaping Tata Digital’s vision of building a super app, which Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekharan had first revealed to the media in 2019. Read more.

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Read all about how the Indian startup ecosystem is battling the second wave of COVID-19 here.

Here are some useful tools to help you find the nearest vaccine centres in real-time.

You can also share a tribute to COVID-19 warriors, saviours, and survivors here.

The Interview

Amid the second COVID-19 wave, instant messaging platform Hike introduced various initiatives for its employees to help deal with the pandemic. 

In this episode of #HumanBeyondResources, Kavin Bharti Mittal, Founder and CEO, Hike, talked more about these initiatives. He also spoke about empathetic leadership, balancing growth with employee well-being, and the company’s ‘remote-first’ approach, among several other things.

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Editor’s Pick: App Friday

After Clubhouse became a runaway hit, social audio apps are in vogue. The a16z-backed invite-only app has spurred an all-new category of voice-based social media apps that have caught users’ fancy. 

In India, among many other competitors is Bengaluru-based Chingari’s Fireside — an audio-based social networking app launched in early May, tailored to suit local needs. Read more

Fireside app

Startup Spotlight

Aggregating cold-chain logistics, warehousing on a single platform

Founded in 2020 by Swarup Bose, Rajneesh Raman, and Arbind Jain, Navi Mumbai-based cold-chain marketplace startup Celcius offers an aggregator platform that connects clients with cold-chain transportation and warehousing service providers. 

The startup has been working in vaccine distribution across India. Besides, its target sectors include dairy, pharma, fresh food, and seafood. Read more.

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Illustration: YS Design

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Illustration: YS Design

News & Updates

Before you go, stay inspired— with… 

Mukesh Bansal on the ideology behind building CureFit

“Tata Digital has a highly inspiring vision to create next-generation consumer platform, and I am very excited to be part of the Tata Digital team that is shaping this vision.” 

Mukesh Bansal, Co-founder, Curefit, and President – Tata Digital

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