India's largest business house Tata Group aims to take advantage of its huge employee base to drive revenues by launching an e-commerce portal exclusively for its employees to sell a range of goods.
The $103-billion conglomerate is testing the online retailing initiative – mytatastore.com – on a pilot basis that will cover its five lakh employees.
"It's an internal merchandise store for Tata employees across geographies. The thought behind launching it on "tataworld", the group intranet, was to make Tata branded merchandise easily available to our internal stakeholders across Tata companies," a Tata Sons spokesperson told The Economic Times.
Besides, one of its group companies Tata Steel is rolling out 'Tata Steel eshoppe' for its stakeholders.
"There was a huge demand from vendors and distributors who wanted to be associated with the Tata Steel brand," said Viresh Oberoi, managing director and chief executive of mjunction services, a joint venture between steel giants Tata Steel and SAIL.
Initially, the online store will offer Tata Steel branded merchandise such as mugs, backpacks, handicrafts, shirts, organisers, T-shirts and books.
"We would like the initiative to stabilise in India. The first 10 days of operations have been very encouraging and has attracted close to 2,000 registrations," Tata Steel MD (India & South East Asia), TV Narendran said.
"The practice of involving employees for understanding the market will set the trend for many such corporates in future," Manisha Rao, Delhi-based retail consultant, said.
India is expected to become the second-largest digital market globally by 2030, with China being at first place, according to a report by Goldman Sachs.
The banker estimates the country's e-commerce market to grow 15 times to $300 billion by then, accounting for about 2.5% of the gross domestic product (GDP).