'India Will Be The 8th Largest Data Centre Market In The World By 2022' Manoj Paul, MD, Equinix

Equinix will play a major role in this happening market, enable to customers leverage digital infrastructure, so they can go digital and become more efficient not only in India but also across the world.

Describe Equinix? How does it work?

Equinix is the world’s digital infrastructure company with more than 230 highly interconnected data centres in 65 metros in 27 countries. As per Synergy Research Equinix is the world’s largest company by revenue, providing digital infra for more than ten thousand of the world’s leading businesses.

As we know the world is going digital, today, whether you are trading stocks or paying bills or hosting video calls or watching movies or doing any of these things, all these are now happening because of the technology running on some digital infrastructure and Equinix provides digital infra globally with over 230 data centres on Platform Equinix as mentioned earlier.

Equinix supports companies like Zoom, Netflix, and all the large cloud service providers, OTTs. We enable them to deliver the services and experiences to the customers securely and efficiently. Because of our worldwide presence, we also help these customers to expand into these geographies. Equinix is present in 27 countries and 65 metros, with ten thousand customers who will be able to expand into India through the data centres Equinix has acquired and those to be built in the future.

Equinix is currently present in Australia, Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan and India.

Why is Equinix expanding its footprint in India?

Many of the Equinix customers were asking to launch our services in India, So, now with these data centres, all these customers who have plans to come to India will be able to leverage our services in India.

For that matter, in the last six months, we have been engaging with GPX. We have already supported Equinix’s worldwide customers in setting up their PoPs in India. So far, four of them have already gone live and a few others are going to go live very soon. Equinix’s expansion into India makes a lot of sense for our customersas India is soon becoming the third economy in the world and is expected to be the eighth-largest data centre market in the world by 2022. All in all, it makes sense for Equinix to come to India when the market is exploding.

What will be the benefits of acquisition in terms of Digital Transformation?

Equinix is now acquiring two highly-interconnected and high-quality data centres in Mumbai. As we know Mumbai is the most happening place for data centres in the country, 42% of the total capacity of India is in Mumbai, and last year around 60 to 70% of the new data centre capacities have been created in Mumbai.

So with these two data centres, Equinix has a foothold in the most important market in Mumbai, which is also a cable landing station for cables. In addition, Equinix gets two high-quality data centres and 350 customers, including 8 of the top 10 cloud service providers, all the top OTTs, top internet companies. Also this data centre campus in Mumbai today is the only one that has five Internet exchanges, 170 ISPs. It gives Equinix a stepping stone into a very burgeoning Indian Market.

As far as Indian customers are concerned, they will now be able to leverage the power of Equinix. There are going to be new services, such as Equinix Fabrics and Network Edge, which will enable Indian organizations to interconnect with ten thousand customers of Equinix.

Your view about the future of data centres in India?

The market is growing very rapidly, reports say that market in India will grow by 15%. According to JLL’s ‘India’s data centre market is going to grow from 400 MW to 1070 MW in 4 years.’ So, the market is expected to grow in the coming years. As more and more smartphones get used, more users start navigating the internet and consuming digital services, the world is going to be all about data. Businesses need to provide services and a rich experience to customers. So, the demand for digital infrastructures is going to go up because cloud services are growing, WFH is picking up and online studies are going to continue. The market for data centres worldwide and specifically in India will grow in the next few years.

Equinix will play a major role in this happening market, enabling customers to leverage the digital infrastructure, so they can go digital and become more efficient not only in India but also across the world.

Any Government policy which helps data centres to establish and grow themselves in India?

The Government is taking steps in encouraging the establishment of data centres in India. Data is the new oil now and if a lot of data is expected to be generated, then it has to be stored and processed in data centres. While the central government is already working on the draft data centre policy, state governments on the other hand have already rolled out their data centre policies focusing on incentives. However, the most important factor to be considered now should be on the ‘Ease of Doing Business’, focusing on how state govt and other agencies can enable the data centre service providers to get necessary approvals fast and quickly build efficient data centres and enable the digital drive in India.

Why GPX acquisition?

It gives Equinix a very strong foothold in the most crucial market ‘Mumbai’. GPX brings in the customers base which is quite similar to Equinix, so there’s a huge amount of synergy. The focus of GPX India is edge services, highly interconnected services, proximity to cloud content, network and internet exchanges. Equinix also has the same philosophies and focus. Equinix is not only providing a leading platform of data centres, but also interconnections and digital infrastructure for enterprises. Equinix also gets two data centres which are India’s most interconnected data centres, with 5 internet exchanges and cloud services, such as AWS Direct Connect, Oracle Fast Connect and Google Cloud. There are so many differentiating factors which are available in GPX that become available to Equinix.

Along with its team of some 60 people, some of them have been in this business for a long time and have experience and expertise to operate data centres catering for some of the bigger customers, large cloud providers. Equinix gets all that to have a good head start in a country like India with local manpower which understands rules and regulations, what works and what does not work.

Preferred clientele in India for Equinix?

In India, along with the acquisition of GPX India’s three hundred fifty customers have now become the customers of Equinix, and many of them are distinct customers of Equinix also. As already mentioned earlier, GPX India had 8 out of the top 10 cloud service providers as customers and they also are customers of Equinix worldwide. Similarly, OTTs are part of India’s customers and if we look at the market growth in the last 2-3 years, around 50% or even more is being acquired by large cloud service providers. Most of the new data centres space is being taken up by larger service providers.

What are Equinix’s further expansion plans?

For instance, Equinix has multiple data centres across Sydney, Melbourne or other parts of Australia, we have similar expansion plans for India as well. We will expand further in Mumbai and other cities where our customers demand we should be present.

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