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Tata Group has announced the launch date for its much-awaited super app – Tata Neu. The company via a listing on the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store has announced that Tata Neu will make a debut on April 7.

“Find everything from groceries, to gadgets, to getaways on Tata Neu. Pay instantly for any of your online and in-store purchases, utility bills & more, using Tata Pay,” the Play Store listing says.

“Get rewarded every time you shop, book flights & hotels, and more…Consume cutting-edge digital content, make payments, manage your finances, plan your next holiday or perhaps just your next meal – there’s lots to explore and experience in the world of Tata Neu.”

Tata Neu is currently available only to Tata Group employees for testing who have to use their corporate email IDs for logging in the app. An attempt to log in the app results in the app asking for basic details such as name and email ID for registering and using when it becomes publicly available later this week.

Now, all this discussion about Tata Neu has also raised questions around super apps.

So, what is a super app?

A super app is an app that acts as a gateway to a wide range of apps and services. It makes it easy for users to access a host of services such as music, payments, grocery shopping and social media among others by downloading a single app.

Downloading a super app eliminates the need for a user to download a whole bunch of other apps offering a diverse set of products and services. One of the easily understandable examples of a super app is WeChat (available only in China) that bundles together a messaging platform like WhatsApp, a social media platform like Facebook, cab-hailing services like Uber and a marketplace similar to eBay all in one app.

Are there more super apps in India?

Yes, there are. Amazon, Paytm and Reliance Jio have built their own version of super apps. Amazon’s app not only enables users to shop for groceries and other products but it also gives them access to its other services such as Prime Music, Prime Video, Amazon Pay, Amazon Pharmacy, Mini TV and Prime Reading among others.

Similarly, Paytm, in addition to offering payment services and an e-mall also provides other services such as hotel booking, top-ups, games, mobile content, and bill payments. Reliance Jio on the other hand, offers music, digital content, groceries and shopping among other things.

What are the concerns around super apps?

There are several concerns around super apps. For one, they risk creating monopolies and stifling competition by preventing users from going outside a particular ecosystem. Another reason why super apps are being viewed with some apprehension is because the master apps could collect vast swathes of data from the customers which can then be used by the company for training their algorithms and predicting consumer behaviour more accurately. These improvements can then be used for microtargeting products and offers to their users.

Additionally, they also take banks another step away from their customers by creating another layer in between.

What is Tata Neu and what does it offer?

Tata Neu, as mentioned, is a super app that will act as a gateway to all other services offered by the company. The list includes services such as AirAsia India, bigbasket, Croma, Tata CLiQ, IHCL, 1mg, and Westside among others.

In addition to this, Tata Neu also offers the following benefits:

– Make payments across multiple Tata brand apps, websites and in-store using NeuCoins, cards, UPI and EMI among others.

– Scan and pay via QR code at any Tata-owned subsidiary. Users will be able to scan QR codes and transact using Tata Pay UPI.

– Track and conveniently pay your electricity, mobile, DTH, broadband bills, recharges within the app.

– Send money to a friend, family member or any of your contacts directly to their bank account from your bank account using Tata Pay UPI.

Why is Tata Group launching a super app?

For Tata Group to launch a super app the reasons are obvious. First of all, Tata Group, being the behemoth that it is, has a host of services and brands under its umbrella. From travel travel brands such as Taj Hotels and AirAsia to shopping companies such as Croma, Tata CLiQ, Tanishq, Westside and Taneira, to pharmacy service – 1mg to grocery firm – bigbasket to its DTH brand – Tata Play. It would make sense for the company to aggregate all of its products and services under one roof and give users a unified platform to access these services rather than downloading multiple apps.

In addition to this, a super app also gives Tata Group and its services more visibility among the end users. Additionally, launching a super app will also translate into increased revenue for the company owing to consolidation of services.
For users, it means downloading a single app instead of a host of apps, which in turn ends up saving precious storage space.

It also makes purchases easier as users don’t have to leave the interface in spite of using multiple services. Additionally, it helps users get discounts by earning points, or in this case Neucoins, using purchases made across the company’s other services.

For the company, launching a super app has added benefits of promoting brand loyalty by clustering their services.