US-based alternative investment firm Blackstone is currently in discussions with tech giants Microsoft and Amazon to construct data centres in India, aiming to meet the increasing demand for storage and processing capabilities. This move follows recent announcements by global technology companies, including Microsoft, Google, and Amazon Web Services (AWS), about their plans to invest significantly in cloud infrastructure in India. AWS alone has stated its intention to invest approximately $12.7 million in the country by 2030.
The interest from these companies comes at a time when India is attracting attention from major global corporations and investors, highlighting the need for improved data management systems. Additionally, the Indian government is drafting a cloud and data centre policy to regulate and secure the sector.
Anil Reddy, the global CEO of Lumina CloudInfra, stated that his company would capture some of the investments pouring into India by securing Microsoft and Amazon as customers. Reddy pointed out that the pandemic has triggered a shift in data consumption patterns in the country, with remote work, increased usage of social media, streaming platforms, and e-commerce leading to a data explosion.
According to Nielsen’s India Internet Report 2023, the number of internet users in India aged two years and above exceeded 700 million by December 2022. The report also highlights a 20% year-on-year growth in internet users aged 12 years and above, with a significant portion engaging in video calling and streaming. Banking and digital payments have experienced a 43% growth, while digital news consumption stands at 20%. These areas are expected to continue growing in the future.
Given India’s population of 1.4 billion people and the extensive use of the internet, the country has become a significant market for data-related businesses.
Blackstone has been an active investor across various sectors in India and was involved in the funding round that propelled logistics startup Xpressbees to unicorn status last year, along with investments from TPG Growth and ChrysCapital.