afaqs! news bureau

Adani to enter Indian E-commerce and payments market, competing with Google and Reliance: Report

The company is exploring obtaining a license to operate on India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI).

Indian multinational conglomerate, Adani Group is in discussions to expand into e-commerce and payments, individuals familiar with the matter informed Financial Times. The company aims to establish a digital business to compete with giants like Google and Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries.

Adani is looking to diversify his empire into fast-growing consumer-facing markets. He has become Asia's second-richest man by developing an extensive infrastructure and logistics network, including ports, airports, and power facilities. The company is currently considering applying for a license to operate on India’s public digital payments network, the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), and is in discussions with banks to finalise plans for a co-branded Adani credit card, according to the report.

Additionally, Adani Group is negotiating to offer online shopping through India’s rapidly expanding government-backed public e-commerce platform, the Open Network for Digital Commerce (OND), the source added. If finalised, these services will be accessible through Adani's consumer app, Adani One, which was launched in late 2022 and currently offers travel services like flight and hotel bookings.

Competitors such as Google and Walmart-backed PhonePe already operate widely-used UPI-based payment apps, while domestic companies like Paytm and Tata provide grocery and fashion shopping through ONDC. The "interoperable" networks allow companies to transact through other providers without the need to invest in their own proprietary payments or e-commerce platforms.

Adani’s consumer push aims to expand and integrate various parts of its business empire, such as NDTV, a broadcaster acquired in 2022, and the Adani Wilmar joint venture, which sells food staples like rice and wheat. The group also plans to establish a think-tank focused on climate change, energy, and politics.

As mentioned in the report, sources say that the company's e-commerce and payments offerings will initially target existing users of its businesses. For example, users could earn loyalty points through bill payments or duty-free purchases and use them for online shopping. Targeting these existing users would provide Adani "a platform to move into much larger areas," one source said.

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