The digital arm of Tata Sons – Tata Digital – has entered wellness space and has bought majority stake in the online pharmacy startup 1MG. Tata Digital has been on a shopping spree as earlier this week on Tuesday it announced $75 million investment in CureFit, a fitness tech startup. The company also has acquired online grocery buying platform Big Basket in the past.
Salt-to-software conglomerate’s digital arm Tata Digital is on its way to shake and stir the digital landscape of the country. The company has been acquiring startups left-and-right and expanding its presence in the digital space. The latest one in its acquisitions is online pharmacy 1mg. The company has bought majority stake in the health and wellness startup for an undisclosed value.
After the investment, Tata Sons issued a statement which said –
“The investment in 1MG strengthens Tata’s ability to provide superior customer experience and high quality healthcare products and services in e-pharmacy and e-diagnostics space through a technology led platform.”
This category will form a key element of the Tata Digital ecosystem offering,”
-the statement added.
According to Tata Sons, the overall pharmacy and health market is currently estimated to be at $1 billion and is forecasted to grow at more than 50% CAGR (compounded annual growth rate) thanks to increased awareness in consumers about health & wellness related platforms and the convenience these platforms bring with themselves.
1MG was launched in 2013 as a startup which focused on the alternative medicine space and focused on AYUSH products. Back then the company operated with the name Healthkartplus.
In 2015, the company rebranded itself as 1MG. After its rebranding, the company emerged as an online pharmacy that not only gave users an option to buy medicines online, but also connected users to relevant doctor consultations.
Further, the company provides 2,000 different types of tests through its network of 120 labs across the country which caters to over 20,000 pin codes. The company also features doctors & healthcare professionals across 20 specializations. The company makes it earning from ad revenue and by offering a wide range of medicines, consultations & diagnostic services.
After shaking hands with Tata Sons, 1MG issued a statement saying-
“We are delighted to join hands with one of India’s most iconic & respected conglomerates. This marks a significant milestone in 1MG’s journey to make high-quality healthcare products and services accessible to customers across India.”
Are Tata’s Growing Arms a Warning Bell for Reliance?
Since decades Tata has been known for its offline, on-ground services and industries. From manufacturing cars, to salt to chemicals, Tata has earned titles such as salt-to-software conglomerate, cars-to-chemicals giant, and more.
However, the over 150 years company is still showing no sign of slowing down and has recently shown new hunger to venture into the digital space. Case in point: Tata Sons digital arm Tata Digital and its recent shopping spree.
In just a month’s time, Tata has struck deals with companies in completely different spaces. First came the $1.2 billion acquisition of Bigbasket, then came the $75 million investment into CureFit, a health and fitness platform. And now comes the acquisition of India’s leading online pharmacy 1mg.
Thus, in one big sweep, the company has found itself alive and thriving in important spaces in India’s startup economy like health and wellness and lifestyle. Earlier last month, Tata Sons increased the share capital of its digital arm from Rs.1,000 crores to Rs. 10,000 crores. Further, regulatory filings also showed that the company will raise Rs. 5,000 crores.
The company also has appointed Mukesh Bansal as the President of Tata Digital. The veteran entrepreneur has already heled Myntra and CureFit reach new heights. Like every weather-beaten entrepreneur, now Mukesh knows the culture and entire ordeal on how to help a brand scale up.