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Tatas, Birlas, Ambanis take discount e-tailers head on

Launch online ventures after omni-channel model falls short

Mukesh Ambani & Cyrus Mistry
Mukesh Ambani & Cyrus Mistry

Billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla is known to be obsessed with businesses that generate high free cash flow. This has stood him in good stead through the past two decades, during which he transformed the Aditya Birla Group from a $1.6-billion industrial conglomerate into a $41-billion business empire across telecommunications, financial services, branded apparel and retail. His fight with discount e-tailers was certainly not going to be the cash-burning exercise of his digital rivals to lure consumers to shop online. Transforming his brick-and-mortar business under the Madura and ...