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.

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