Google sees rapid demand for cloud tech in India amid Covid: Amitabh Jacob

Amitabh Jacob, Head of Partners & Alliances, Google Cloud India
As head of Partners and Alliances at Google Cloud India, Amitabh Jacob’s role is to collaborate with strategic partners to scale up the adoption of the tech giant’s cloud technologies across the country. Jacob is seeing the demand for cloud computing is growing rapidly in India among enterprises to drive their digital transformation. This is helping them address the challenges posed by Covid-19 pandemic. The company is witnessing a huge surge for its cloud computing products and services that power video conferencing, online gaming, and streaming television.

“Covid has been the best chief digital officer that the world has ever seen,” said Jacob, in an interview. “Clearly, if you look at the cloud adoption and digital transformation as a theme, it (Covid) has catapulted us a couple of years (ahead) at least. So the things that are happening in this space today are probably two years ahead of their time on the back of Covid.”

A former head of partner channels and alliances at Amazon Web Services (AWS), Jacob joined Google last year. He said that organisations in India are adopting cloud computing, to survive the pandemic, improve their revenues and income. They are also looking at reducing costs and for understanding their customers better. 

Google competes with global rivals, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, and Alibaba, to dominate cloud computing services. In India, it is eyeing areas such as banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI), manufacturing, healthcare, public sector, media and entertainment and telecom and retail. 

In the last six months, Google has bagged several new customers including information technology giant Wipro and travel company Cleartrip. Also among them is National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), an umbrella organisation for all retail payments in India. It chose the video conferencing platform Google Meet to help its employees stay connected and collaborate remotely.

Jacob said that another recent customer, ShareChat, has fully migrated its infrastructure to Google Cloud. The move enables India’s largest regional social media platform to scale its business, improve efficiency, reduce costs and enhance the overall performance of the app that serves more than 60 million monthly active users in 15 different Indian languages.

“India stats are encouraging across every line of business. They have been really strong in the last few quarters for us,” said Jacob. “We are looking at even stronger growth going forward.”

Google has formed a vibrant partner ecosystem in India that includes players such as Deloitte, Cloudcover, Searce, PwC, Netmagic and Shivaami. It said the partners have quickly shifted to support solutions and products geared towards enabling remote collaboration. They are supporting rolling out chatbots and voice services to streamline various processes and bring new solutions to customers.

The partners are building healthy, long-term businesses around Google Cloud. According to research firm IDC, the Google Cloud partner opportunity in India will increase by more than 3.7X by 2025. In India, IDC expects Google Cloud partners to generate $6.11 in revenue for every $1 of Google Cloud products sold, increasing to $8.33 by 2025. 

The IDC study states that the overall IT market is continuing to see growth as demand for cloud infrastructure and cloud capabilities in areas like data analytics, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, and security are fast advancing. The global pandemic has further accelerated businesses’ needs for these capabilities, seeking to quickly adapt or even to take this opportunity to speed-up their digital transformation journey.

According to the study, not only is Google Cloud partner revenue growing faster than Google Cloud’s revenue, but the net margin opportunity of $121 billion through 2025 will also be well distributed across partner activities globally.

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