Adani Group to Enter UPI, Digital Payment, and Credit Card Business

Gautam Adani-led Adani Group is set to venture into the e-commerce and payments sectors, aiming to compete with industry giants Google and Reliance Industries, led by Mukesh Ambani. The conglomerate is planning to establish a digital business, leveraging India’s rapidly growing digital market.

Adani Group is considering applying for a license to operate on India’s public digital payments network, Unified Payments Interface (UPI). Additionally, the company is negotiating with banks to finalize plans for a co-branded Adani credit card.

The group is also exploring online shopping opportunities through the government-backed Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC). This approach would allow Adani to avoid investing in proprietary e-commerce platforms, utilizing ONDC’s infrastructure instead.

These services are expected to be launched through Adani One, the company’s consumer app, which debuted in 2022. Initially, Adani will target its existing customer base, which includes gas and electricity consumers, as well as travelers using its airports. Users will be able to earn loyalty points through bill payments and use them for online shopping.

By integrating these services, Adani aims to expand into broader consumer markets. For instance, loyalty points accumulated through bill payments or duty-free purchases can be used for online shopping. The company is also planning to incorporate NDTV content into its app this year.

This strategic move comes as Gautam Adani seeks to diversify and expand his business empire, following significant challenges last year. In 2023, Adani faced allegations of fraud and market manipulation by US short-seller Hindenburg Research, leading to a $150 billion drop in the company’s stock value and intensified political scrutiny. Despite these setbacks, Adani’s businesses have rebounded, recovering most of their losses.

Adani Group’s extensive network includes ports, airports, and power plants, contributing to Gautam Adani’s status as the second-richest man in Asia. As the company navigates these new ventures, it remains under investigation by India’s securities regulator, although it denies any wrongdoing related to the Hindenburg accusations.

Adani’s expansion into the digital payments and e-commerce sectors signifies a significant shift towards consumer-focused markets, potentially reshaping the landscape dominated by established players like Google and Reliance Industries.

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