India is a vital cog in AWS growth story: Navdeep Manaktala, Head Business Development, Amazon Internet Services

With a $ 30.8 billion run rate business and 41% year on year growth, AWS is the fastest growing IT vendor to reach a $10 billion run- rate.

Navdeep Manaktala, Head Business Development, Amazon Internet Services(the reseller for AWS in India) sees a huge potential for growth in compute, storage, database and other cloudrelated service offerings among the startups, enterprises, ISVs and government agencies in India.

In an interview with ETCIO.COM, Navdeep Manaktala, Head Business Development, Amazon Internet Services shares how the India growth story is unfolding for AWS.

India is an exciting market to be in. It has the second largest startup ecosystem in the world. It is emerging as a major ISV hub globally. It has the largest SME base in the world. And we have an enterprise landscape which is in the throes of major digital transformation. Come to think of it, which other market has all these elements thrown in together into one cauldron? How is AWS trying to make the most of this huge market opportunity?
India is a key market for AWS. This is demonstrated by some of the recent investments that weve made in the country. Outside of US, AWS has its largest footprint in India and this is indicative of the large scale enterprise adoption in this geography.

Amazon CloudFront, which is our content distribution network is essentially an enterprise story. Amazon CloudFront has Edge PoPS aimed at accelerating the experience for end consumers. Outside of US, India has the largest network of Amazon CloudFront Edge PoP network across the world. Today, we have 17 PoPs in India.

Lets take another example of the deployment of AWS Direct Connect in India. We have 6 AWS Direct Connect locations across 5 cities today. This is also the largest deployment of AWS Direct Connect outside the US.

We have a large global support centre in Bangalore, which supports Indian as well as global customers. So we have the follow-the-sun model where theres always one support centre functional across the world, to cater to customers depending on where the daylight hours are.

Support is probably not the right word to use for them. Theyre essentially extended teams for customers. We have a large training and certification team on the ground. They work not just to train customers, but also towards certification. It is important for the employees of our customers to be proficient with AWS.

Next, we have the academy team that works with educational institutions. There is the marketing team, business development and even a startup team.

Not many people know that we have the most active corporate startup program in the country today. We engage with startups across the life cycle, right from university e-cells to accelerators and incubators, to mid-stage and late-stage. We have everything across the length and breadth of functions present in India.

Were probably one of the few companies which are engaged with customers across the whole spectrum of customers that exist on the ground today. Our teams are organized to address diverse customer segments like large enterprises, SMEs, startups and ISVs in specific ways that they behave, consume technology and where they are in terms of their maturity with respect to adoption of cloud and other technologies.

We have the ability to fully support customers on the ground. Our team is able to execute and deliver seamlessly on the ground, without having to depend on resources being flown from across the world. We provide deep customer support. So customers in India really don't have to wait for specialist support personnel to get para-dropped in India to support them. I think we've gone well beyond that in the sense that we now have a global support center, which supports not only Indian but global customers out of India. We have the account teams, solution architects and support teams on the ground. So we have a large team now on the ground across functions in India.

Last year, the largest number of non-US partners came from India. The size of the partner set is growing, but more importantly it is evolving. It is kind of moving up the stack in terms of building specializations building specific expertise.

During the first wave of cloud adoption, organizations put their digital workloads on the platform. As cloud attained mainstream status, enterprises began to move mission critical workloads to cloud. Now, we are seeing a layer of innovation around analytics, AI/ ML are getting built on the cloud platform. Over the years, how has the cloud adoption scenario evolved in India? Additionally, can you highlight some of the customer use cases of AWS solutions?
Startups and digital native companies were the first to be built off the cloud because they didnt have a legacy or technical debt. We still work with startups across the lifecycle, right from the early stage, because they need different kind of support at different points in their lifecycle. But now even large enterprises are moving to the cloud in a meaningful way. Today, most of the ISVs are based on us and are building off us.

We have a larger number of PoPs in the country so we have more capacity to carry traffic across the country. And then we are also able to serve a larger set of customers, who in turn, provide that experience to their end customers. So today if you look at it, we play a very significant role in the media and entertainment industry in the country. Hotstar has 28.5 million concurrent users during IPL. So we are able to cater to entities like this, to be able to scale to that extent and deliver experiences seamlessly to customers. So thats where all of these things start coming into play.

Look at the breadth of our offerings. We have 165 + services today, and it spans storage, compute, databases, networking, AI/ML, analytics, IoT, security and mobility. Two years back, our discussion with customers was largely around storage, compute or databases. But today, if you look at how consumers are consuming us in India today, it is across the breadth of our offerings.

Theres a lot of traction with respect to analytics. If you look at Delhivery, one of the largest e-commerce logistics companies in the country, theyre built all in on us. Theyre a great example of how analytics is being built on AWS. They have to route packages between their various warehouses and to the end customer, there are SLAs involved, delivery times and penalties involved. is using AI/ ML through Amazon Polly. Haptik is using AWS for personalizing the experience, using AI and ML services. redBus is the largest bus ticketing platform in the country. Theyre using Amazon SageMaker, our managed platform for developers and data scientists to manage algorithms and frameworks. Theyre using it to decide which customer reviews get placed right up front, merchandising or the placement of the customer reviews and theyre doing dynamic tally.

I think whats also interesting is the enterprise movement. We are now seeing enterprises moving to AWS in a meaningful way. PayU, one of the largest payment gateways in the country, uses Amazon Aurora, which is one of the fastest growing database services in our history. They also use analytics services. Vistara has built most of its digital properties on us. Future Group, Brigade Group are using AWS on some of their mission critical business application like SAP.

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