Tata group has been looking into M&A opportunities to push its e-commerce plan.

Question:
Tata group has been looking into M&A opportunities to push its e-commerce plan. A big part of this plan involves snapping up internet companies that could come in handy in scaling up its consumer retail foray. A company like Big-Basket-which is known for giving biggies like Flipkart and Amazon Fresh a run for their money, suits this plan perfectly. This push is primarily spearheaded by Tata Digital, a company arm that is used to seal M&A deals in the retail sector. According to company sources, the Big-Basket deal is also likely to be pursued through Tata Digital. Big-Basket is not the only possible acquisition on the Tata radar. Several other similar deals are currently in various stages of negotiation.

India-Mart and Snap-deal are two of the retail companies that Tata’s have sought to rope in with a view to ramping up the group’s online presence. Tata Group has several businesses in the retail domain. It has infused quite a bit of money in its retail arms which include Trent (the operator of West-side and Landmark) and Infiniti Retail (a group subsidiary that operates Croma stores). None of these arms, however, have the heft to directly take on a rival like Jio-Mart. But collaborators like the Big-Basket, which is expected to close 2020-21 with a humongous Rs 9,000 crore in gross sales — could turn the scene on its head.

As covered by various reports, the $113-billion conglomerate is also pursuing a super-app plan that will take its retail operations to the next level. All the group’s consumer businesses will be tied into one app that is likely to be launched early next year. These consumer businesses include consumer durables, ordering of food & grocery items, fashion and lifestyle, apart from insurance and financial services like bill payments. As of now, most online shoppers use separate apps to access separate services. A single super app that enables users to do things from booking travel and buying stuff to paying utility bills is expected to be a major game changer. The Tata super app is being envisaged as a direct competition to Ambani’s push for expanding Jio’s digital services. The group wants to give consumers a simple, beautiful, Omni-channel online experience connecting everything.

Question

What do you mean by planning and how would it will help Tata group to gain competitive advantage in the market? Explain the process of planning in detail with the help of relevant examples.

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