Microsoft will offer its commercial cloud services -- Azure and Office 365 --by the end of 2015 from local data centres in India where the company sees a $2 trillion business opportunity.
Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft, announced this here Tuesday, saying that Microsoft would enable the "burgeoning entrepreneurial experience of Indians".
"We have 10,000 partners working with us in India. We have opened up a huge opportunity for those 10,000 partners. One thing you can be sure of is that for every connected smartphone you need to have cloud infrastructure. We want to enable the burgeoning entrepreneurial experience of Indians. There can be no mobile-first without cloud-first world," Nadella said.
Microsoft's cloud services in India have grown over 100 % in revenue in the past year. "Buoyed by that success we are going to make our commercial cloud services available from local data centres," he added.
"When we think of cloud opportunity in India itself, it's going to be a $2 trillion opportunity. With more than 250 million Indians using Internet connected devices today, there is an incredible demand and opportunity for India with Microsoft cloud services," Nadella said.
It is his first visit to the country of his birth after becoming the CEO of Microsoft. Hyderabad-born Nadella, 47, is only the third CEO that Bill Gates-founded Microsoft has had in its almost four-decades-long history.
He said it is the mission of the company to reinvent productivity so that every individual can get more out of their life and their time.
Asked about the investment the company will make to set up the data centres, he said: "We don't have a specific amount to talk about. Initial footprint is going to be sizeable. Initial footprint itself will be high scale."
The company said organisations in India will benefit from data sovereignty, lower latency and geo redundancy with the availability of local infrastructure.
Nadella said he found the energy, optimism and entrepreneurial spirits of Indians palpable. "What is driving India is the ingenuity of the people here and technology is the enabler."
"By offering our cloud services through local data centres, we can help make Digital India a reality," Bhaskar Pramanik, chairman, Microsoft India, said, adding that the top 20 companies in the country are Microsoft customers ranging from banking, IT and IT enabled services to manufacturing sectors.