AWS steps up start-up engagement in India

Sangeetha Chengappa Bengaluru | Updated on December 15, 2020

Gaurav Arora, AWS head of start-up ecosystem, Asia Pacific and Japan

Rolls out a set of cost-optimisation tools for cloud computing

Amazon Web Services has stepped up its start-up engagement in India with a set of over half a dozen tools to monitor and manage its cloud computing costs.

AWS Activate, a program for early-stage start-ups launched in October 2013, provides start-ups with free tools and resources to get started quickly on AWS and accelerate their growth and development on top of the AWS Cloud.

The five key tools that are widely adopted by start-ups including HackerEarth, Capillary, Nearbuy, Yelo, Lenskart and Craftsvilla are AWS Cost Explorer, AWS Budgets, AWS Trusted Advisor, AWS Well-Architected Tool and AWS Activate.

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“We believe that cloud is the best place to build start-ups as cloud services are extremely cost effective and give start-ups access to on-demand compute resources on a pay-as-you-go model. Typically, the three biggest budget items for start-ups are People, Technology and Marketing. Every start-up needs to manage their capital to succeed and AWS enables start-ups with highest savings potential on their tech spends. We help them build a robust, cost-optimised architecture early on, so that they can run like lean start-ups as they scale their business,” said Gaurav Arora, AWS head of start-up ecosystem, Asia Pacific and Japan.

“We provide up to $100,000 credits of AWS if the start-ups are backed by VCs, incubators, accelerators. This past year alone, AWS has issued more than $1 billion in AWS Activate credits globally and provided more than $3.5 billion in credits to more than 1.4 lakh start-ups globally,” said Arora. Indian start-ups like Cure.Fit, INDwealth, Upstox, CleverTap and HackerEarth have all benefited from Activate.

The company’s start-up focused team includes a business development team that runs multiple programs/benefits and a solution architecture team that provides technology mentorship and support. “Our customers have always asked us for more features and lower costs, and based on that feedback, we have reduced our prices 85 times since AWS launched in 2006 and over 90 per cent of our services released are based on customer feedback,” said Arora.

“To optimise cloud spend, we assist start-ups in rightsizing ― the process of matching their instance (virtual server) types and sizes to their capacity requirements at the lowest possible cost. We offer flexible pricing options ― this includes Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) reserved instances and spot instances. The latter can provide up to 90 per cent savings on on-demand pricing of Amazon EC2. AWS Managed Services help save the cost of human capital and focus on the key value proposition for the start-up,” added Arora.

HackerEarth has saved 35 per cent costs through rightsizing, Nearbuy has used Managed Services like AWS ECS to save 50 per cent costs and improved performance. Craftsvilla uses Amazon S3 data lake for better durability, optimising its AWS bill by 30 per cent in two months, and Capillary has reduced 30 per cent in its AWS bill by migrating from old gen instances to new gen instances over a span of five months.

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In mid-2020, AWS and Indus OS (regional operating system for regional language users in emerging markets) said they are collaborating to empower 1,000 start-ups in India, which will help developers with a significant amount of AWS promotional credits and benefits of the AWS platform when they choose to publish their app on the Indus OS appstore.

AWS, which competes with Google and Microsoft for its cloud computing services, has been working with Indian start-ups ahead of starting the AWS Mumbai Region (Data Centre cluster) in June 2016 and is witnessing a lot of traction from fintech, healthTech, edTech, e-commerce and logistics start-ups. Last month, AWS announced its second region in Telangana at an investment of ₹20,761 crore, that will be operational by mid-2022.

Published on December 15, 2020

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