Amazon Web Services is really excited about the growth prospects for its cloud offerings in India. “Several startups and small and medium businesses across India have adopted AWS and our cloud business is growing at a very rapid pace,” says Shane Owenby, managing director, Asia Pacific, Amazon Web Services, in a recent interaction with Sudhir Chowdhary. Excerpts:
What is the outlook for cloud business in India?
You would have seen the announcement that Amazon Web Services will open an infrastructure region in India for its cloud computing platform in 2016. This will enable customers to run workloads in India and serve Indian end-users with even lower latency. We feel there is a huge amount of opportunity in India, it’s a fast growing cloud market for us, not only across start-ups but also the middle tier companies as well as the enterprise companies.
We are seeing not only India-based companies focus in India, but also India-based companies focus on the globe. We have been hearing from our Indian customers that they want not only the global reach, but also sets of data centres in India, which we are happy to announce are coming. Many customers have asked us to locate infrastructure in India so they can enjoy even lower latency to their end users in India and satisfy any data sovereignty requirements they may have.
What kind of traction are you seeing for your cloud offerings in India?
If you take a look at most customers on us, they start with websites, development, test, digital and analytics.
Basically, it’s a workload and it’s the same whether it’s a large company or a startup. They have realised that they are going to have to innovate to continue to maintain their market share. I have personally been delivering a number of talks on innovation; something that is on top of the mind of all the businesses.
I remember a lot of people who first looked at the cloud because of cost. What we find now is that agility is what’s absolutely driving that growth and we fully expect that to be the case for India as well. Look at the population or the economic size of India. India will be one of AWS’ largest regions over the long term.
Are SMBs and startups really excited about the cloud?
Absolutely. And, it’s funny because nine-and-a-half years ago when we started AWS, we thought it would be really applicable to startups. What we immediately found was the big companies had the same needs. They just have them on different scales, different security requirements or different compliance requirements. But yes, the same building infrastructure blocks or some of the more higher value services being now brought out, they are applicable to some of the biggest companies as well as to the smallest ones.
How important is India market for Amazon Web Services?
We are really excited about the potential for growth in India. We don’t consider India as an emerging market. We look at it as a very large market. We have found there are extremely advanced engineers and very forward thinking executives. That’s why we have been growing so quickly in the country. I find that across Asia Pacific, India is one of the best countries using the right amount of resources.
What initiatives is AWS putting in place to gain customer traction in India?
We have five offices across India. We have a sales team that goes and focuses on startups. We have a different sales team that focuses on enterprises. We also have a deep technical pre-sales team. We call them solution architects who go out and make sure customers use our products in the right way and follow our best practices. We don’t want people to learn on their own. We can teach them; here our best practices, here’s what we want you to follow. We find that these attributes differentiates us from other cloud options.
Going forward, we are going to grow the support team, pre-sales team as well as the technical engineers. We have other parts of Amazon in India too, we also have a large R&D team. All in all, India is a very important country for all of Amazon.