‘Oracle Is Seeing Huge Traction With Govt, BFSI And Startups In India’

On the sidelines of Oracle Cloud Summit (Mumbai) 2023, BW Businessworld got in touch with P Saravanan (Vice-President of Cloud Engineering, Oracle India) to know about the promise of India

Oracle in its Q3 results for fiscal 2023 reported strong quarterly earnings growth which was augmented by 48 per cent constant currency growth for the total revenue of its two cloud businesses, infrastructure and applications. In fact, Oracle's cloud businesses now exceed USD 16 billion in annualised revenue. Meanwhile, the company’s technically advanced and differentiated Gen2 infrastructure business continues to be in a hypergrowth phase, up 65 per cent in Q3. 

But what does India bring to the table for Oracle at a time when artificial intelligence (AI) has clearly become the flavour of the season? On the sidelines of Oracle Cloud Summit (Mumbai) 2023, BW Businessworld’s Rohit Chintapali got in touch with P Saravanan (Vice-President of Cloud Engineering, Oracle India) to know more.

Edited Excerpts:

How is the demand for Oracle’s innovations among the Indian startups?

We are seeing good traction, especially, in 2-3 areas. We see huge traction in EdTech, which are very large, network-centric and consume a lot of egress traffic. At the same time, they also need live classes which require strong performance-oriented systems. That's our forte. We also see a lot of traction in AI/ML as a lot of startups are building solutions around AI. Additionally, we see a lot of interest coming from the area of drone management among startups.

So, a lot of AI workloads are coming to Oracle from startups?

Absolutely. These are all huge performance-centric workloads and you need raw power to handle that. They build the tools and technologies – do the engineering part. But what they need is raw power and we provide that.

But then, large corporations are partnering with you as well. What gives you the edge?

NVIDIA recently announced a multi-year partnership with Oracle to help customers solve business challenges with accelerated computing and AI. The collaboration looks to bring the full NVIDIA accelerated computing stack including GPUs to systems to even software to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI).

Also, Uber picked us for a partnership. They are completely on-prem heavy, but they are exiting the data centre space and are about to close eight data centres to move to six OCI regions. We see that large corporations are exiting the data centre and moving to the cloud. Why? For the simple reason of performance, security, manageability, and the cost.

Larry Ellison believes next spurt of growth for the company will come from AI-based workloads as the world embraces generative models. Do you see this happening in India as well?

Very much. I will give you an example to help you understand. For our SaaS customer, we have embedded AI into a digital assistant which can talk about the issues that will - in the backend - create a service request, identify who is the customer, what is the issue, what product they enter to, what is the next step on this trail. Based on a iterative process, it tells them if the problem is grave in nature or if it has to be dealt with immediately. We are getting such integrations done in 2-3 SaaS products. They require no human intervention and the work gets done much faster. 

In the next year or so, what industries does Oracle specifically expect a lot of interest to come from? 

When I look at this from a current perspective and then look a little bit with a lens for a long-term perspective – clearly the government becomes a large spender. India is adopting technologies at scale and Oracle is building for that scale. Be it in logistics, credit or even the currency part of it. That is followed by the BFSI industry. Obviously, when the government is spending, BFSI is the other element of it. So, we see traction from there as modernisation becomes the de facto theme. Everybody wants to modernise. 

Then, of course, there is the startup ecosystem which is clearly a game-changer. India is fast becoming the land of startups and many of them will move from being soonicorns to unicorns. This also holds potential for us.

But there is a bit of a lull in the startup ecosystem currently...

When there is a lull, there is always an opportunity. Because when there's a lull, people start looking at questions such as “how do I cut cost?”, “how do I optimise?” and “how do I lower down my OpEx?”. That's where Oracle comes in. On the economics side, we have always been far superior. If we are close to the customer, understand their pain points and help them address those – it helps us to do better business.

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