Global company NTT has undertaken a huge USD 2 billion capacity-building initiative in India and is building capabilities such as six new data centre campuses and nine facilities, hiring new talent, deploying energy-efficient technologies and building renewable energy plants. One of the organisation’s most promising and ambitious projects is the MIST Submarine Cable connecting India with Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore. In fact, on a global scale, NTT invests over USD 3.6 billion in research and development, and the Indian market is also expected to benefit from its innovations.
BW Businessworld’s Rohit Chintapali got in touch with NTT India CEO Avinash Joshi to know more about the company’s presence in India and its strategy for the domestic market.
NTT is a global company. From the business perspective, why is India so important to you?
India is important to NTT for two reasons. First, India is a growing economy. We all read that India will grow 6-7 per cent all the time. In terms of absolute size of the IT services market in India, it’s the largest within the Asia-Pacific, growing at 19 per cent.
Another reason why India is very important to us is the availability of skills. Today, it’s not so much about labour arbitrage, but it’s actually about availability of skills. And that’s also the reason why NTT India has the largest workforce within the NTT world. India is not important for us just for the domestic business, but it’s also important for us in global terms.
What is your strategy for India? What are you focusing on beyond consolidating your position as one of the leading data centre players?
At a strategic level, we are a very socially responsible company. Our focus is on sustainability. NTT has all the ingredients required – from connectivity of telco to infrastructure, security, application, and industry knowledge – we can put things together as a solution. So, we are looking at actually delivering sustainability as a service. We will be net zero in our operations by 2030 and across our value chain by 2040. We have invested in our own solar farms, wind energy – and this is in India.
Our investment commitment to India is USD 2 billion, and it extends beyond our data centre business. On the data centre front, we will double our capacity in two to three years’ time. Apart from this, our ecosystem partnerships will remain area of focus. And anything to do with hybrid cloud security and connectivity will also remain as our interest. That’s where you would see that we are hiring people in India and we will continue to upgrade their skills. Industry-wise, our focus is BFSI, manufacturing & auto, and healthcare & life sciences.
Are you building data centres for banks?
Banks have definitely started looking at data centres as one of their strategic initiatives because they have realised the importance of digitisation, financial inclusion, the number of bank accounts and the way that transactions are taking place in India. As a result, data analytics and storage requirements have gone up. So, they have started thinking on data centres. But it takes time to build data centres. You need to think three years ahead. There are some banking customers who are keen on just renting rack space from us in the traditional way. But there are some clients who are looking to build their own data centres. They ask us to build these for them as we hold the expertise.
How’s the competition in India? Is it tough?
Yes. Indian clients are tough because they really do demand the best technology at the lowest possible cost and in the fastest possible time frame. The real competition comes to the fore when it comes to managing these expectations. And, of course, like us, there are other respected companies in the space. Joint innovation will help the industry grow. India is an attractive market to many players. So, it’s bound to be competitive.