In an attempt to target more than 100,000 customers by March next year, Alibaba Cloud, part of Chinese technology giant Alibaba Group, is leaving no stone unturned in India. It is tapping technology start-ups, SMEs, smart city projects and even traditional industries such as steel manufacturing and agriculture.
At present, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure are the two biggest players in India. Together, the two together hold more than a 70 per cent share in the Indian market.
Alibaba is one of the top three cloud service solution providers in the world and among the top two in the Asia-Pacific region. In less than 10 months, the firm, which holds top spot in China, has launched its second Availability Zone or data centre in Mumbai.
The company said the new zone would complement the already existing data centre in Mumbai, opened in January. The new data centre will offer product lines such as elastic computing, storage, database, network, application services and big data analytics to support the requirements of local governments and enterprises in the Alibaba Cloud India Region.
In January, Alibaba Cloud set up its first India data centre in Mumbai to meet the surge in demand for cloud computing services among small and mid-size businesses.
"Dual availability zones will enhance the level of security at Alibaba Cloud's data centres in India. The new availability zone is part of Alibaba Cloud's strategy to expand its global footprint and serve a growing client base while targeting new local customers," Alex Li, General Manager, Alibaba Cloud India, said.
With the Reserve Bank of India making it mandatory for fintech service providers, banks and NBFCs to process and store user data in India, the company sees major growth potential in the financial sector. It is planning a 'fintech workshop' in Bengaluru in October, where it would showcase all its cloud services to fintech firms.
"We have seen rising interest from fintech firms. We have a lot of experience in the fintech segment, and can provide not only cloud space but also solutions, which are especially made for the segment. We believe that even traditional finance companies, major banks will be using our cloud services in future. At the workshop we will invite experts from Alibaba Cloud and government officials to talk about what the fintech business means," said Li.
The company is not only eyeing 'Internet first' companies
but also traditional segments such as steel and agriculture for the next level of growth. Alibaba Cloud has developed a number of cloud computing services for these sectors, which are already being used by industry players in China. It now hopes to sell these services to different industries in India.
"In the short term, revenue contribution would be from emerging industries based on Internet, start-ups. In the long run, however, traditional business would become major contributors. We have seen the trend in China. Traditional companies
also need digitalisation, but they do not know how to do it," said Li.
The company recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board (APEDB) to make the state's digital transformation journey seamless. The company is in talks with other state governments and is actively looking at smart city projects.