Although a late entrant in the cloud business, American tech giant Oracle Corp. is growing fast, both globally and in India. The company is on track to making available 36 cloud regions worldwide by mid-2021. Its data centres offer customers a variety of cloud services based on Oracle’s second-generation cloud which delivers autonomous services. India is a critical market for Oracle and it has been growing its existing customer base as well as acquiring new customers. In an interview, Shailender Kumar, senior vice president and regional managing director, Oracle India, talked about the company’s growth strategy for India, the focus verticals, and how it has benefitted from the digital transformation wave. Edited excerpts:
How has Oracle grown in India in the last few years in terms of customers and revenue?
Oracle’s growth in India has been on the rise. With frequent updates to our Cloud Applications portfolio and the availability of our second-generation cloud —Oracle Cloud Infrastructure in India (also known as cloud regions located in Mumbai and Hyderabad)— more organizations are trusting Oracle Cloud to run their businesses. Over the last few years, Oracle India has witnessed double-digit growth across each and every line of businesses. With this, our customer base has also increased manifold. We serve more than 15,000 customers in the country today, representing almost every industry— private or public, big or small including startups. Oracle technology is being used by more than 29 states and in many central government projects, India’s banking and telecom systems rely on Oracle. In the cloud applications business unit, while we focus on renewals and expansion of our existing cloud customer base, we are seeing 50% net new customer acquisitions. This is testimony that more and more companies are trusting and investing in Oracle Cloud Services.
2021 will be a big year for India, with the recent announcement of India branching out as a separate independent region within JAPAC (Japan and Asia Pacific)— joining some of our large cloud markets Australia and Japan. Becoming an independent region comes with a big responsibility to our global operations. This will be a year of bigger responsibility and an opportunity to create bigger milestones. India is ready.
What’s your strategy to tap into the growing small and medium business (SMB) market in India?
Oracle serves a multitude of customers across large and midsize firms. We don’t differentiate between them. In fact, for SMBs, we have a dedicated team of sales and technical specialists who cater 100% to midsize firms. Called Oracle Digital Prime, this team helps MSMEs digitize their businesses. Indian MSMEs are among the more progressive and early adopters of emerging technologies as compared to their counterparts in the rest of the world. They have aspirational goals to succeed. They look for simple DIY (do it yourself) solutions that can offer cloud economics or price/performance, one that is secure, scalable and one that gets upgraded as soon as new tools become available. Oracle Cloud gives them the ability to launch new services and products faster, to quickly develop native cloud applications, access to vast knowledge and experience from Oracle’s experts and customers.
What’s your strategy to ride on the digital transformation wave post pandemic?
Firstly, we believe the pandemic has actually pushed customers to think more clearly on the need to ride on digital transformation. Today, every organization is realizing the need for a strong digital foundation to run a good business. We are seeing more and more organizations turning to cloud to ensure business continuity and get back to growth. We are seeing demand for true enterprise-class cloud services that help solve real world business problems. This is what our cloud is about— offering a complete and open cloud that gives customers a choice.
Our unique dual region strategy enables customers to deploy resilient applications in multiple independent cloud regions for disaster recovery (DR) without having sensitive data leave the country, thereby complying with regulatory requirements. We rely on our partners to make sure our customers’ digital transformation is unhindered. We work with more than 600 channel partners in the country. These include IT service companies, consulting companies, ISVs (independent software vendors), platform companies and together, we invest in their skill building and joint go-to-market.
Which industry verticals are you focussing on and which are some of the emerging ones?
Traditional sectors like banking, finance, and telecommunications continue to be important for Oracle and they continue to grow. Plenty of major digital transformations are happening here. We want to make sure we are part of that. New markets are opening up and where we see opportunity include healthcare, airlines, IT/ITeS, retail, edtech, online streaming, and now even the public sector. Over the last year, we have had the privilege to support some amazing government projects and our involvement in these and the new opportunities it opens up for us will only increase.