As it aims to acquire more and more digital commerce startups to stay ahead in the super app race, Tata Digital, the subsidiary of Tata Group, is reportedly working on its own ecommerce platform to sell cosmetic products. The company, which owns beauty brands Studiowest and Skinn, will compete with the existing cosmetic online marketplaces such as IPO-bound Nykaa, Sugar, Lush, Purplle and MyGlamm.
The ecommerce site for cosmetics will be separated from the company’s existing online stores, such as Tata CLiQ and Westside. “Tata Digital is diversifying rapidly to capture fast-moving consumer-facing segments within the digital ecosystem. The group sees the upcoming venture as a strategic high-growth platform,” ET quoted one of the executives directly aware of the development.
Tata’s foray into the cosmetic segment is nothing new. Maker of the Indian cosmetic line Lakme (fully acquired by HUL in 1998) in 2016, Tata re-entered the beauty biz with Studiowest, its proprietary range of cosmetics, bath products, fragrances and skincare. The products are available to buy via Westside, its apparel marketplace — online as well as offline. The company also owns the fragrance brand Skinn by Titan.
The revenue in the Indian beauty and personal care market is projected to reach $26.8 Bn in 2021, with an expectation of a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.5% by 2025. The market’s largest segment will continue to be personal care with a market volume of $12.2 Bn in 2021.
Announced in August 2020, Tata Group’s super-app ambition represents the salt-to-steel conglomerate’s way of joining 21st-century businesses. For this, Tata has acquired companies — Grameen eStore, Urja, AccessBell, 1mg, BigBasket, CureFit — invested millions of dollars and made changes to its leadership to build one single portal to fit its existing businesses, including education, fashion and lifestyle, wealth management, ecommerce, DTH, retail payments, grocery, consumer durables, among others.
Tata Digital was slated to roll out the super app later this month (which it has currently put on hold) to catch up with rivals such as Amazon, Flipkart and even Reliance. While the super app has been test-launched within a closed user group in Bengaluru, the beta version is yet to see the light on PlayStore and iOS App store.
Recently, Paytm also announced its entry into the super app segment with its product WealthBasket on the Paytm Money app. In addition, conglomerate Adani’s Adani Digital Labs also has its super app underway to compete with Reliance Jio’s super application.