Economic Times: September 26, 2016
New Delhi: Amazon Web Services, which set up its cloud computing data centre in Mumbai in June this year, is betting big on the Indian market, and says the Indian business has the potential to become one of the largest businesses for the company globally, Amazon Internet Services India head Bikram Bedi told Neha Alawadhi and Surabhi Agarwal in a conversation last week. Edited excerpts:
Q: What has been the initial response after the June announcement of the India data centres?
A: Our customers have been telling us that we want you to set up data centres in India for a couple of reasons- one is regulatory, and the second is latency. Latency (time taken for data sent from one place to reach the other) from Singapore will be 120 miliseconds on a great day while from Mumbai to Delhi it will be 10 or 12 miliseconds or 15 miliseconds. With the launch of these data centres we are able to address a much larger market.
Existing customers who couldn't move some things because of regulatory issues have also moved now.
Q: What has been the rate of growth since the launch?
A: We are not giving out figures as of now.
Q: What are the industries which had regulatory issues?
A: The first were banks. Financial companies have seen the disruption, and now they are seeing fintech coming, so they are gearing up. Public sector is another one, because the rules clearly say that the public sector data cannot go outside the country. Same is with telcos, since CDR records can't go outside the country so all of those engagements have opened up.
Q: Are you working with any telcos, especially new ones?
A: We are working with a number of telcos, but we don't have authorisation yet to talk about them.
Q: Which are the sectors that are looking exciting to you?
A: Startups, media, financial sector given the fintech bubble, manufacturing which is looking at IoT in a big way, automation, connected cars, pharma, healthcare, public sector, offline retail. So its across the board, I can't think of any industry that won't be using our services.
Geographic expansion is going to continue. We are going to continue to expand in India. The business in India has the potential to be one of the largest businesses for AWS globally
Q: Are you looking at the government space closely?
A: We think there is huge amount of potential in India, if you look at our geography or our size, these numbers are only available in India or in China. For example, you cannot achieve a digital India, as envisioned by the Prime Minister, without the cloud. You need agility, innovation, and cost at scale. We are talking telemedicine, rural education at scale, and that has to come at a low cost.
There is a huge play as far as cloud is concerned, and we are looking to significantly partner with the government.
Q: The cloud space is fairly aggressive with Microsoft and Google also vying for a slice of the pie. Are there customisations, special programmes for the industries these companies are considered strong in?
A: India is a very different market. As we try to become a mobile first economy, one of the services we have customised to suit Indian needs is what we call a "device farm". When you build a mobile app, it goes through several versions and iterations and each change needs to be tested on different operating systems and phones for a uniform experience.
In the western world, testing on a few high end phones is enough, but India has so many low end phones as well. So we worked on this, included all kinds of locally available devices such as Micromax, Lava, Intex, we maintain it, and provide it as a service to our customers.
Q: You're competing against Microsoft, they have other offerings bundled with cloud. How do you counter that kind of presence?
A: I don't think market share reflects anybody else having an advantage. If you look at the market share, most analysts call us out as having a multi-year lead. We're surprised it has taken everybody so long to get started (in the cloud space). We've been here ten years, we're the pioneers. There's no compression algorithm for experience.
Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.