Technology major Microsoft will establish its largest and fourth data centre in the country in Hyderabad with an investment of Rs 15,000 crore over a period of 15 years. The company already has data centres in Pune, Mumbai and Chennai.
Microsoft said the strategic investment is aligned with its commitment to help customers thrive in a cloud and AI-enabled digital economy and will become part of the world’s largest cloud infrastructure.
“I am very happy to say that Hyderabad will be the destination for Microsoft’s largest data centre investment in India with an investment of over Rs 15,000 crore over a period of 15 years. This will be one of the largest FDIs that Telangana has attracted,” Telangana minister for IT and industries KT Rama Rao told reporters at the launch event in Hyderabad.
Demand for cloud as a platform for digital transformation is increasing across India. According to IDC, Microsoft data centre regions in India contributed $9.5 billion revenue to the economy between 2016 and 2020. Beyond GDP impact, 1.5 million jobs were added to the economy, including 169,000 new skilled IT jobs, the IDC report estimated.
Microsoft said it expects to make the data centre at Hyderabad operational by 2025. It will offer the entire Microsoft portfolio across the cloud, data solutions, artificial intelligence (AI), productivity tools, and customer relationship management (CRM) with advanced data security, for enterprises, start-ups, developers, education, and government institutions.
Microsoft India president Anant Maheshwari said in the last two years, the company has more than doubled its data centres’ capacity in India.
The announcement comes on the backdrop of accelerated digitalisation of products and services over the last two years. There has been a 14% rise in the daily data consumption to an average of 308 petabytes post-lockdown from an average of 270 petabytes in the pre-lockdown period. Schools and colleges resorting to online education coupled with work-from-home regulations led to a significant increase in data consumption.
Union minister of state for electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar, who was present on the occasion, said, “India’s digital economy is expanding and driving the growth … towards the goal of $5 trillion economy.”
He said the resilience shown by India during the Covid-19 pandemic and the bouncing back of the economy as the fastest-growing economy in the world can be attributed to the investments made in technology over the last seven years under the Digital India programme.
Speaking on the rise in number of Indian start-ups and unicorns, Chandrasekhar said the country has become one of the world’s most vibrant start-up ecosystem.