Google expects cloud revenues to triple in India

Varun Aggarwal Mumbai | Updated on June 22, 2018

Rick Harshman, MD, JAPAC, Google Cloud Platform

India could be the Google’s next big frontier for growth in the cloud business as it expects business to triple year on year for the next five years in the country.

Google, which set up its first India data centre in Mumbai just seven months ago, is already seeing a huge spike in its customer base. While several companies were using Google cloud services even before the internet giant brought its data centre to India, better data transfer speed is also helping Google grow revenues in the country.

“We had a solid base even before the launch in Mumbai region. But a lot of customers were on the G-Suite.

With Mumbai region launch, we saw that there’s a lot more that we can do with Google cloud around infrastructure as a service or platform as a service,” Rick Harshman, Managing Director, Google Cloud Platform, APAC, told BusinessLine.

Revenue growth

Harshman said Google has grown in headcount and in revenue by three times in the past seven months in its India cloud division. “We’ve grown our team 3X in the last 7 months — that’s across sales, partners, professional services, customer engineering, marketing. Each function has more than tripled in size. The more higher value customers we engage with, the higher expectations they’ll have. We are investing heavily in building these teams out,” Harshman said.

Harshman said he expects to see this 3X revenue growth year on year, to continue for the next 3-5 years.

“If you just look at the type of companies that are launching on Google cloud, they are very compute - intensive, storage intensive, so there’s a lot of data to process. I fully expect to continue to grow at the rate we are growing at for at least the next 3-5 years,” Harshman said.

Google’s cloud growth estimates may seem astronomical but the company is still a small player in a fast growing space in the country. Given the small base that Google cloud services have in India, it would be easier for the company to grow rapidly. In 2018, Gartner estimates the fastest-growing segment of the public cloud market will be infrastructure as a service (IaaS). IaaS in India is forecast to total $1 billion, an increase of 46 per cent from 2017.

Capex investment

Google has quarterly cloud revenues of about a billion dollars globally, a paltry amount compared to over $5 billion a quarter swallowed by Amazon Web Services, the leader in the space. But Google is investing heavily to reverse that trend.

Over the last three years, Google cloud has invested close to $31 billion in capital expenditure to build data centres and undersea cable networks. Google along with other cloud providers have a big opportunity in India where only about 5 per cent of compute takes place on the cloud. “We’re seeing customers from retail, financial services, manufacturing, healthcare, FMCG and telcom sectors in India. What’s interesting about India is that there are about 4,000 independent software vendors. Software companies need to run their offerings out of somewhere and we think they run best in Google cloud for agility, scale and service breadth perspective,” Harshman said.

While the company does not break out numbers by country, Harshman indicated that the number in India is substantial. “In India, land’s expensive, power’s expensive. Those are the two main requirements to build a data centre. When you’re talking about power requirements for these, it’s in megawatts. It’s substantial. It might seem really big but when you have hundreds of thousands of customers in there, you amortise per customer. But the investment is substantial,” Harshman said.

Published on June 22, 2018

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