Barely three months old, Qmin is not your run-of-the-mill food delivery app. For one, it delivers gourmet food at eye-watering prices. Depending on where you are in Mumbai, you can get Sunday Mutton Curry for Rs 2,245 ($30) or Crispy Aromatic Duck for Rs 3,500 ($50). The app’s average order value hovers around Rs 4,000 ($55).

For another, it’s not a startup. Quite the opposite. QMin comes from the stable of Indian Hotels Company Ltd (IHCL), a part of the 152-year-old steel-to-software conglomerate Tata Group. IHCL launched the app in July 2020 in India’s financial capital, hoping to find takers for restaurants in its Taj and Vivanta chains of luxury and business hotels.

The app, now available in 11 cities, is possibly the first public step for Tata’s growing digital ambitions. An ambition that not only includes bringing together all of Tata Group’s myriad but fragmented brands and companies under one umbrella but also culminates in a “super app”. Natarajan Chandrasekaran said as much said as much Financial Times Tata to launch super app covering range of services Read more  a month after QMin’s launch.

Chandrasekaran, chairman of the group’s principal holding company, Tata Sons, claimed the group would launch its super app by December or January. The idea is to allow consumers to order food and groceries, shop for phones and clothes, make bill payments, and buy insurance—all in one app.

In theory, a sound premise. No business house touches Indian consumers quite like the $113 billion-revenue Tata Group does. From tea and salt to air conditioners and clothes; from airlines and hotels to satellite television and insurance, there isn’t much Tata–one of the country’s most recognisable brands–doesn’t offer.

The group is reportedly in talks with investors investors Bloomberg Tata Group Courts Investors for New Digital Platform Read more , including retail giant Walmart Inc. Walmart Inc. Mint Walmart looks to join hands with Tata group in retail push Read more —which owns e-tailer Flipkart—to build a war chest for its digital move. Tata is also said to be looking to participate in a $200 million $200 million Mint Tatas in talks to invest in BigBasket Read more fundraise by online grocer BigBasket.

A payments service and a loyalty programme will be central to the super app, according to a former senior executive of Tata CLiQ, the company’s four-year-old flagship e-commerce portal.

AUTHOR

Seetharaman G

Starting out as a business journalist in 2008, Seetharaman has written about energy, climate change, retail, banking, and technology. He has worked with Business Today, a fortnightly, and the Sunday edition of The Economic Times.

View Full Profile

Subscribe to read this story

The Ken is the only business subscription you need. Questions?

 

Premium

  • 5 original and reported longform business stories every week
  • Access to ONLY India edition
  • Close to 250 exclusive stories every year
  • Full access to over 5 years of paywalled stories
  • Pick up to 5 premium subscriber newsletters
  • 4 original and reported longform business stories each week
  • Access to ONLY Southeast Asia edition
  • Close to 200 exclusive stories every year
  • Full access to all paywalled stories since March 2020
  • Pick up to 5 premium subscriber newsletters

Rs. 2,750 /year

$ 120 /year

India Edition
Subscribe Subscribe
Most Asked For

Borderless

  • 8 original and reported longform business stories each week
  • Access to both India and Southeast Asia editions
  • Close to 400 exclusive stories every year
  • Full access to over 5 years of paywalled stories across India and Southeast Asia
  • Unlimited access to all premium subscriber newsletters
  • Visual Stories

Rs. 4,200 /year

Subscribe
 

Echelon

  • 8 original and reported longform business stories each week
  • Access to both India and Southeast Asia editions
  • Close to 400 exclusive stories every year
  • Full access to over 5 years of paywalled stories across India and Southeast Asia
  • Unlimited access to all premium subscriber newsletters
  • Visual Stories
  • Bonus annual gift subscription
  • Priority access to all new products and features

Rs. 8,474 /year

Subscribe
Or

Questions?

What kind of subscription plans do you offer?

We have three types of subscriptions
- Premium which gives you access to either the India or the Southeast Asia edition.
- Borderless which gives you complete access to The Ken across both editions
- Echelon which gives you complete access to The Ken across both editions along with a bonus gift subscription

What do I get if I subscribe?

The Premium edition gives you access to stories in that edition along with any five subscriber-only newsletters of your choice.

The Borderless and Echelon subscription gives you complete access to The Ken across editions and unlimited access to as many newsletters as you like.

What topics do you usually write about?

We publish sharp, original and reported stories on technology, business and healthcare. Our stories are forward-looking, analytical and directional — supported by data, visualisations and infographics. We use language and narrative that is accessible to even lay readers. And we optimise for quality over quantity, every single time.

Our specialised subscriber-only newsletters are written by our expert, award-winning journalists and cover a range of topics across finance, retail, clean energy, cryptocurrency, ed-tech and many more.

How many newsletters do you have?

We are constantly adding specialised subscriber-only newsletters all the time. All of these are written by our team of award-winning journalists on a specialised topic.

You can see the list of newsletters that we publish over here.

Does a Premium subscription to your Indian edition get me access to the Southeast Asia edition? Or vice-versa?

Afraid not. Each edition is separate with its own subscription plan. The India edition publishes stories focused on India. The Southeast Asia edition is focused on Southeast Asia. We may occasionally cross-publish stories from one edition to the other.

We recommend the Borderless or the Echelon Plan which will give you access to stories across both editions.

Do you have a mobile app?

Yes! We have a top-rated mobile app on both iOS and Android which allows you to read on-the-go and has some amazing features like the ability to bookmark stories, save on your device, dark mode, and much more. It’s really the best way to read The Ken.

Is there a free trial?

You can sign up for a free account to experience The Ken and understand our products better. We’ll send you some free stories and newsletters occasionally, and you can access our archive of previously published free stories. You can stay on the free account as long as you’d like.

The vast majority of our stories, articles and newsletters can be accessed only by a paid subscription.

Do you offer any discounts?

Sorry, no. Our journalism is funded completely by our subscribers. We believe that quality journalism comes at a price, and readers trust and pay us so that we can remain independent.

Do you offer refunds?

No. We allow you to sample our journalism for free before signing up, and after you do, we stand by its quality. But we do not offer refunds.

I am facing some trouble purchasing a subscription. What can I do?

Just write to us at [email protected] with details. We’ll help you out.

I have a few more questions. How can I reach out to you?

Sure. Just email us at [email protected] or follow us on Twitter.