After The Tata Acquisition Bigbasket to Launch Express Delivery Services

BigBasket will launch express deliveries, a segment that the online grocery platform has previously experimented with but abandoned, according to cofounders Hari Menon and Vipul Parekh.

Over the next two to three months, BigBasket, in which Tata Digital recently acquired a majority stake, plans to launch a quick-delivery service, a category in which well-capitalised companies such as SoftBank Vision Fund-backed Swiggy are investing heavily.

In the first interview since Tata Digital's $1.2 billion investment in BigBasket, the cofounders stated that the platform would include omnichannel elements as well as native language options as it nears the launch of express delivery. “We learned how to build this vertical in the past...and will now launch it under the Tata umbrella,”Menon said.

Menon and Parekh appeared on ETtech's The Rundown, a live weekly audio show that aired on Twitter Spaces on July 15.

They stated that these new initiatives and changes would be implemented at BigBasket over the next few months, as the salt-to-software Tata Group prepares to launch its much-anticipated super app under TataDigital later this year.

"There have been discussions in terms of how to build this whole thing together - whether it's Tata Digital or the individual brands. There is a lot of alignment in our thinking, and I am feeling very comfortable about it,"Menon said.

While negotiations with Tata continue, it is clear that BigBasket will operate as a separate entity. “That was something we felt good about. Another thing was that we were going to be part of the Tata Digital strategy and would power it in some sense. That gave us comfort and that’s something we needed,” Menon said, referring to BigBasket and Tata's synergies.

According to people familiar with the situation, Tata Digital, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Sons, has held talks with BigBasket about a possible buyout in the category.

BigBasket acquired a small express delivery startup, Delyver, in 2015, but this did not help the e-grocer scale up its hourly deliveries at the time, which was during the first wave of hyperlocal startups that attracted a lot of investor capital.