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Super Apps Entering India

A supermarket is a place that always comes to your mind when you look to satisfy your different household needs in one place. It has a wide variety of goods, from fruits and vegetables to electronics, furniture, etc. Similarly, what if you want to fulfill all your technical needs in one place? Is there any place for that? If this question had been asked earlier, the answer would have been “No”. But with the rapidly changing technology and consumer needs, companies have now started working on apps that can satisfy the various needs of a user in one single place. Many big business houses are now developing Super Apps that will allow users to enjoy the benefits of many services in one single place. This means there will be fewer reasons for switching between apps. So basically, a single app can help fulfill all your social, economic, and financial needs that are currently being taken care of by a variety of apps. If you want to watch the news, pay your mobile bill, or chat with your peers, you use a different application. But all this will be abolished with the coming of the Super App. Thus, India is here to cope with the global pace and take a step closer towards development. Phones were created to make communication better; smartphones were created to make lives easier; and now Super Apps are being created to make human beings faster and smarter.

Super Apps have become the new big name, be it in the government sector or private companies. The government of India is yet to launch a super app as an umbrella solution to all vehicle-related problems for its users. The National Informatics Center (NIC) is creating this app to cover tax payments, transfer of ownership, change of address, among many others, to prevent the users from navigating on various websites. This thus helps in achieving the ultimate goal of saving consumers’ time and making the entire process a customer-friendly one. Adding to that, the Tata Group is yet to give competition and establish its brand value all across the country with the launch of its super app, Tata Neu, in early 2022. To make it more interesting and bring in some specialties, Tata Group presents a loyalty programme where customers can redeem points. 

Adani Group is not far behind in this line. It believes that it will assist the company to acquaint the users with its personalized offerings. Adani Digital Lab is expected to launch the super app in a few months. The company already has more than 400 million users across various services like Adani Airport, gas, electricity, etc. As the Chairman, Gautam Adani, says, they aim to be the Ferrari of the digital world. As the chairman said, WhatsApp doesn’t remind us of payment and Paytm doesn’t remind us of shopping. However, this isn’t the goal of Adani Group. The company aims to affect the lives of every consumer in some way and make it the next new normal. Talking about Reliance, Mukesh Ambani is planning to convert its MyJio mobile application into a super app by outsourcing certain services from Just Dial. It even plans to integrate JioMart with WhatsApp. This integration is associated with the Chinese super app WeChat. The company aims to build a one-stop-shop for its customers.

To conclude, Super Apps have shown terrific performance in other countries. They have become the new normal and have been widely adapted by the local population. For example, companies like WeChat had already forayed into this business in 2011, and its footsteps were followed by Alibaba shortly. These companies have made huge progress by taking the first mover advantage. On the global level, Amazon is making desperate attempts to work and improve on this new generation of technology. This concept is new to India and is evolving continuously, and its normalcy among users is not very far. The big business houses of India have already made a grand announcement regarding their super apps, and the launch of these apps is not far off. These applications are going to enjoy a wide consumer base, and it’s likely that apart from the Tata’s, the Ambani’s, and the Adani’s, many others will try to align with this trend. The investment is huge and it requires lots of mergers and acquisitions. The reason behind this is that to create one super app, many individual apps need to be brought under one single domain. It is highly possible that a monopoly or oligopoly market can be created that can backfire on consumers. However, its usefulness outweighs the cons on paper, but is it worth the hype? We will leave it to time to tell.

By Manya Mittal & Trish Gupta

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