Monday 6 July 2015

Ratan Tata's many e-commerce investments

When he retired in 2012, Ratan Tata had let it be known that he wanted to reach out to people and have them draw from the trusts' expertise to give a strong push to new businesses.
  • Tata Sons Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata File Photo dna Research & Archives

When Ratan Tata retired as the chairman of Tata Sons after being at the helm for 21 years, everyone expected him to hang his boots. That assumption couldn't have been further away from the truth. Tata, moving away from tradition, first held onto his chairmanship of Tata Trusts, a responsibility he had been assigned when he was anointed chairman in 1991. And second, in an acceptance speech at the Rockefeller Foundation when the was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award, he said that his life's work wasn't done yet. 
When he retired in 2012, Ratan Tata had let it be known that he wanted to reach out to people and have them draw from the trusts' expertise to give a strong push to new businesses. Since then, Tata has been actively working on those words. 
Soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the Digital India program this week, Tata lauded the PM's vision of a digitized India and his move to make digital India a priority, and announced a tie-up with Google and Intel to help bring the Internet to more and more women in India. 
Tata has been investing in various e-commerce portals since his retirement. The extention of his help, however, doesn't end there. He has vowed to mentor these businesses, drawing from his years' of invaluable experience, to help them set sail.  
The first company that Tata invested in after his retirement was Altaeros Energies, a US-based wind power developer. He later ventured into the e-commerce space by investing in India's e-commerce website, Snapdeal. Ratan Tata or his office haven't yet revealed the financial details of any investments that he has made. An email sent to his office was unanswered at the time of writing.
Since then, he has been redefining the meaning of “angel investors” for the e-commerce space.  
Here's a list of all the e-commerce companies that Ratan Tata has invested in: 
August 27, 2014 Snapdeal 
Ratan Tata's invested an undisclosed amount into India's e-commerce website that is backed by Kalaari Capital. The portal also has Wipro's Azim Premji as an investor. 
September 11, 2014 – Bluestone
An online jewellery portal, Bluestone was founded by Gaurav Singh Kushwaha, an IIT graduate. He is also the CEO of the company. Bluestone is also backed by Kalaari Capital. 
November 15, 2014 – Urban Ladder 
Leading furniture and home decor e-portal was started by IIM-Bangalore graduates Ashish Goel and Rajiv Srivatsa in July 2012. It soon sprang to popularity and is now one of the most wel-known online portals for furniture. 
February 8, 2014 –
Started by two IIT-Delhi graduates, Anuraj and Amit Jain, and cardekho let's users buy, sell and compare prices of various cars in the market. It also reviews cars. The same duo also run
March 13, 2015 – One97 Communications 
One97 Communications is the company that operates Paytm, an online payment solution company. Headquartered in Noida, the company also offers the option of an online wallet to its users now. The company's website said that they now have over 80 million registered users, and handles over 60 million orders per month. 
April 26, 2015 – Xiaomi
China's largest smartphone maker, Xiaomi got its first Indian investor in the form of Ratan Tata. The company's CEO Lei Jun plans to make India an important market for the phone too, after China. 

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