The West might be gripped by a painful recession — tech companies and startups are bearing the brunt of the slowdown — but Amazon Web Services (AWS) believes it has reason to keep investing in India.
Speaking exclusively to CNBC-TV18 along the sidelines of its annual ‘Re:Invent’ conference in Las Vegas, AWS India head Puneet Chandok said that the prevailing economic uncertainty only underlines the need for cloud technology.
“We are committed to India despite economic uncertainty across the world,” said Chandok, who is the president of commercial business at AWS India and South Asia.
“The economically uncertain environment has made customers realise the need for cloud technology,” he said, adding, “We are working with startups and digital businesses to help them optimise spend on AWS Cloud and get more value for their customers.”
AWS’ confidence stems from India’s significant untapped potential in cloud technology. The existing low base of cloud adoption in the country has also neatly charted out a projected growth path for Indian businesses, despite an economic slowdown across the world, especially in Western markets. It’s little surprise then that AWS doesn’t expect its India business to remain unaffected.
“Cloud penetration in India is in low single-digits, and I’m confident we will come out of the economic crisis in a bigger way,” said Chandok, “Given AWS’ momentum in India and our recent investments, business in India will not slow down,” he added.
AWS’ mammoth Indian investments
Chandok’s comments come on the back of AWS announcing a mammoth investment to set up an “infrastructure region” in Hyderabad, its second in India. The company said it would invest $4.4 billion by 2030 via its AWS Asia Pacific (Hyderabad Region), which it added would generate full-time employment of 48,000 through the AWS supply chain in Hyderabad.
“We estimate that Hyderabad will add $7.6 billion to the Indian GDP even as India remains one of the largest open markets for technology,” said Chandok. Significantly, an investment of $4.4 billion in Hyderabad comes less than a decade since AWS invested $3.7 billion in opening a similar infrastructure region in Mumbai. The company has also announced the start of a “local zone” in Delhi, and has plans to open similar zones in Chennai, Bengaluru and Kolkata.
One of the key focus areas for AWS in India will lie in skilling. On Monday, Wipro announced the start of a Cloud Guild with AWS to up-skill its developers, which in turn could help them work better on and have a deeper understanding of the AWS platform.
“The cloud guild partnership with Wipro will help their developers work better with the cloud, and help their customers,” said Chandok, “Similarly, AWS wants to make businesses in India more customer-obsessed which can help them build better.”
According to AWS India head, a recent research conducted by the company and one of its partners indicated that Indian developers needed to upskill by a factor of 9, by the year 2025. Incidentally, 3 million of the 5 million developers that AWS helped up-skill in the last five years were from India.