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Oracle Aims to Build a Supportive Innovation and Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Across the Globe

'With Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator, the startups can devote more time to create a world-class product. By providing special access to Oracle’s demonstration environments, expertise, and joint marketing and sales programs, we aim to build a supportive innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem across the globe.'

Sanket Atal, Group Vice President – Development, Oracle

Sanket Atal is Group Vice President, Product Development at Oracle. In this role, Sanket is responsible for leading product development at Oracle India’s Development Center in specific product areas as Fusion Middleware and Java. He re-joined Oracle in October, 2014 and is based out of Bangalore.

Prior to Oracle Sanket held senior positions at MakeMy Trip and CA Technologies as CTO & Head of Technology Center, respectively. He earlier worked with Oracle in 1997 for over 13 years. He was the founding member of the team that setup the R&D centre for Oracle in the city of Portland, Oregon, U.S.

Sujata Sangwan of BW Businessworld interacts with Sanket Atal, Group Vice President – Development, Oracle and spoke to him.

What is your view of the Tech Startup ecosystem in India? Do you think tech startup business is easier to start and flourish?

In the not too distant past, most Indian startups would have felt restricted to doing business in their own city, and at best our country. With cloud technology (being a great equalizer) coupled with remarkable advancements in digital, Indian startups can now choose to target even global markets if they see a use case for their solution. It also helps that the Central Govt is committed to create a robust innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in the country, leading from the front with initiatives like Startup India and Digital India.

Indian startups continue to make noticeable strides in technology-led innovation, with some really great companies emerging from this ecosystem. In short, it’s an exciting time for tech startups, given the scale of technology disruption underway and the opportunities ahead.

What does Oracle’s latest announcement mean for the startup ecosystem in India? Kindly share the details about these new startups?

At Oracle, we believe in a philosophy of ‘paying it forward’ to help create a global innovation ecosystem, where start-ups can thrive. We also believe startups are at the heart of innovation and will fast track India’s digitization agenda. The fact that our Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator program was first piloted successfully in Bangalore, India, and we have now scaled it globally signifies our commitment to the Indian startup ecosystem.

Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator is a first-of-its-kind global startup accelerator initiative by Oracle. It aims to help speed up a startup’s development through a combination of technical and business mentoring, engagement opportunities with our global customers and partners, free access to resources etc, without seeking any equity. Buoyed by the success of the first two cohorts in Bengaluru, we have just on-boarded an interesting mix of innovative companies across Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai.

The startups from Delhi are iNICU, RepUp, Original4sure, Digital Agents Interactive and ChatterOn. The new startups from Bengaluru are Dressire, MusicMuni, SafeHats, StatDecisionLabs and Teknospire. The new startups from Mumbai are Disprz, KiviHealth, IPHawk, doLoopTech and Moneytor.  

Can you highlight your cloud strategy in India and company’s futuristic plans with respect to startups? 

Oracle’s cloud strategy is unique. We deliver the most complete set of cloud capabilities across SaaS, PaaS and IaaS available today. We offer the most secure enterprise cloud in the world and enable a lower total cost of ownership. We drive innovation for customers, and support new and existing cloud environments, hybrid, and all workloads, developers, and data.

Oracle aims to play a significant role in the dynamic global startup ecosystem, to stay current as the business technology environment expands into areas such as artificial intelligence and IoT, and especially for us it’s an opportunity to identify and support new technologies as they emerge.

Our engagement with Indian startups has been an enlightening experience. Buoyed by the initial success of this program in Bengaluru, Oracle announced the global expansion of the program earlier this year, with a multi-million-dollar investment for startups worldwide. This is an exciting time for us and we look forward to continuing our support towards India’s startup community.

What are the most talked about technologies when it comes to startups here?  

Artificial intelligence (AI), Machine learning (ML), Internet of Things (IoT) and natural language processing (NLP) – all these are seeing greater adoption with Indian startups in recent times. In fact, our new cohorts comprise an interesting mix of companies using artificial intelligence (AI), predictive analytics, Automation, Internet of Things (IoT), Chatbots, machine learning (ML) and virtual reality (VR) technologies.

What kind of challenges/roadblocks do startups face in India? How does Oracle plan on helping them overcome these challenges?

Akin to Maslows's hierarchy of needs, I believe it’s important for every startup to have three basic elements – the 3Ts as I call it – in place. 

  • Technology – The top trending technologies like AI (artificial intelligence), ML (machine learning), VPAs (Virtual Personal Assistants), VR & AR (Virtual and Augmented Reality), Blockchain, Conversational Systems and more, when leveraged effectively, provide the firepower that a startup needs to build a great solution
  • Talent – India’s great engineering talent needs no introduction. What’s more fascinating is that young engineers are getting adventurous and are willing to establish or join a startup. This is critical for India to emerge as one of the world’s prime startup epicenters
  • Target Market – Digital tools and availability of information about various markets around the globe have enabled a startup based out of Bangalore to target a market anywhere across the world. Born digital, born global from day one – can now be a reality.

With Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator, the startups can devote more time to create a world-class product. By providing special access to Oracle’s demonstration environments, expertise, and joint marketing and sales programs, we aim to build a supportive innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem across the globe.

We are reimagining the startup and enterprise relationship to advance enterprise tech innovation -and that will benefit all - our startups, customers, partners and of course Oracle. For startups, a key highlight of our program is the engagement we facilitate with Oracle’s global customers and partners – which gives startups a path to grow their business and scale (that they might not otherwise have without this partnership with Oracle).

For instance, we hosted 15 global startups at Oracle OpenWorld, our biggest annual global conference last week, providing them exposure and interactions with customers and partners through meetings, speaking opportunities, demo stations, and lots of other networking opportunities. The icing on the cake for the traveling startups was a freewheeling meeting with Larry Ellison, Oracle’s Founder, Executive Chairman & CTO at his residence. During the 90 minutes meeting, Larry shared valuable insights based on lessons from his entrepreneurial journey, shared advice and views on emerging technologies and much more.

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