The Tata Group is becoming increasingly outspoken about India’s e-commerce regulations, which threaten to stymie its ambitious mega app aspirations. Participants claimed the $106 billion behemoths, but e-commerce smalls were far more outspoken in meetings with government officials on July 3 over recommendations such as the limitation of sales of own-brand or affiliates’ products than market leader Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O). According to two attendees, Tata Vice President Poornima Sampath warned the online meeting that the laws would substantially raise the compliance cost of a conglomerate’s various businesses and interests, hurting them far more than smaller rivals.
The government had scared the business two weeks before by proposing enhanced surveillance of online marketplace operators’ ties with their partners. The proposal was largely interpreted as an attempt to counter Amazon and Walmart Inc’s (WMT.N) Flipkart’s dominance while also supporting high-street retailers. The old Tata group is everywhere on Indian high streets, so its support for e-commerce at the July 3 conference shows how far it has shifted its position. Although it produces automobiles under its own name in the United Kingdom, the business is best recognized internationally as the owner of the British luxury vehicle brand Jaguar Land Rover. The group’s businesses include steelmaking, IT outsourcing, and hotel and airline operations. Tata has a diverse offline portfolio, which includes a joint venture with Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O) and outlets it manages for Inditex (ITX.MC) fashion brand Zara.
Despite this, it is a small player online, a position it is keen to change, according to five individuals familiar with its intentions.
According to one of the sources, e-commerce is the next big thing for Tata, and as a result, it intends to purchase a lot more companies.
Because they were not allowed to speak publicly, neither of the sources wanted to be identified.