Adani Group set to enter digital payments and e-commerce market; challenging Google and Reliance

Adani Group set to enter digital payments and e-commerce market; challenging Google and Reliance

Adani Group set to enter digital payments and e-commerce market; challenging Google and Reliance

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The Adani Group is making strategic moves to enter the e-commerce and digital payments space, aiming to rival giants like Google and Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries in India. 

The conglomerate is in discussions to secure a license to operate on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), a widely used digital payments network in India. Additionally, Adani is negotiating with banks to launch a co-branded credit card.

In a bid to further its reach, Adani plans to offer online shopping through the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), a government-supported e-commerce platform that is rapidly expanding. The digital infrastructure in India, which includes UPI and ONDC, attracts numerous organizations due to its popularity and large consumer base, drawing hundreds of millions of users each month.

If approved, these new services will be integrated into Adani One, the company’s consumer app launched in late 2022, which currently provides travel-related services such as hotel and flight bookings. The company aims to initially target its existing customer base, which includes travellers using its airports and customers of its gas and electricity services. This strategy could potentially offer loyalty points for bill payments or duty-free purchases, which could then be used for online shopping.

The move into the digital payments and e-commerce sectors aligns with founder Gautam Adani’s ambition to expand into rapidly growing consumer-facing markets. Despite facing significant challenges last year, including accusations of fraud and market manipulation by US short-seller Hindenburg Research, the Adani Group has recovered nearly all its losses, with shares in Adani Enterprises rebounding significantly.

Adani’s plans also include adding NDTV content to its app this year, further broadening its digital offerings. The group’s expansion comes amidst ongoing scrutiny and criticism from opposition figures, especially during the current election season in India. Nevertheless, Adani continues to deny any wrongdoing, and the investigation into the Hindenburg allegations by India’s securities regulator remains unresolved.

As Adani pushes forward with its digital ventures, it aims to leverage its extensive network of ports, airports, and power plants, making it a formidable competitor in India’s burgeoning consumer technology landscape.