Tuesday, March 5, 2024

In Tata Neu, I miss the Tata we know

Like most men of Gen X, I have tremendous respect for #tatagroup. When I was in school, we would often say that India runs on Tata (trucks) and Bata (shoes).

The Tata group stands for heft and strong values. From Tata Steel to Tata Hospitals to Tata backed education institutions, to Tata Motors, the Brand Tata has been an integral part of our daily lives 

And then there is that iconic company called Tata Consultancy Services or TCS. It has been one of the biggest companies in market capitalisation in India for a long, long time. It may actually be the most respected Indian brand globally. To put it simply, India respects Tata.

However the Super App launched by Tatas, theTata New hasn’t really put the market on fire. The app is supposed to an ‘app-of-apps’ but going by the response on social media, most users are not appreciative of the app. Downloads have fallen and user number has dwindled.

The Neu app just puts all online Tata products/ services on a single platform but who is looking for such an app. Does it add value?

A Chroma customer or a Tata Cliq customer would most likely check the stuff that he or she wants on Amazon and Flipkart also. Similarly a Tata 1mg customer would have no need to go to Tata Neu as the 1 mg app is self sufficient and a great platform.

Many users of Neu have complained about the app being slow. A few have complained about the payment issues. Social media also talks about limitation of sellers if they have to book air tickets on the app. 

Mainstream media (ET, Moneycontrol) mention the need for huge, huge cash infusion in the app is it needs to stay afloat.

My take is that while payment issues and other niggles can be addressed easily, the critical issue remains the business rationale behind the app and if the model profitable and sustainable.

A super app can succeed only if it is built around a Super insurance portal like Policy Bazaar that gives wide options to the user in choices that he can make in each category of goods/ services. Does Tata Neu have these features?

Would anyone want a superapp that combines just Tata’s many portals? just for some Neu coins!

I hope our favourite group company wakes up to the challenge and makes a business case out of Neu. Otherwise Tata CDMA story will play out again.

We need a hit product like the Tata Indica, Mr Natarajan Chandrasekaran.

In Tata, I trust.

(Dr Sudhir Bisht (PhD) is a long-time presence in national and international companies in oil retail sector as well as in Telecom infra sector. He has also been an author and a consummate writer in the digital world, including on rediff.com, for over two decades now)

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