India has been on the radar of giant technology companies and after Apple CEO Tim Cook and Dell Inc’s Miachel Dell visiting the country, now its Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s turn to revisit the Indian shores to try and leverage the under-penetrated market here.
The chief executive, who will be visiting India for the third time after taking over from Steve Ballmer as CEO in February 2014, during his first trip, on the occasion of Microsoft’s completion of 25 years in India, had opened three local data centres offering its Azure cloud services. His second visit in December 2015 was a personal visit.
This time around Nadella’s trip includes a keynote speech at an event organised by Microsoft on May 30 called - ‘Tech for Good, Ideas for India’, where the CEO is expected to interact with developers, students, young achievers and entrepreneurs in presence of Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for finance, Bhaskar Pramanik, chairman of Microsoft India and Narendra Bhandari, general manager of developer experience at Microsoft India.
He is also later expected to attend a meeting with industry leaders at the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). However, there has been no confirmation on whether Nadella will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Nadella’s visit, like Cook’s, will focus on bridging the digital divide in the country and empower businesses and individuals with its technology. While on the commercial front, cloud will take up focus, low cost connectivity initiative - TV White Spaces - will take up the consumer focus.
Microsoft had launched the TV White Spaces technology in 2015. It uses unutilised low-band frequency to transmit data. The initiative has found more favour with the Indian government than rival Google’s Project Loon and Facebook’s Free Basics programme. Microsoft has already ran pilots and are involved with projects in Maharashtra and Andhra to provide internet to villages.
The company is also looking to tap the entrepreneurs of the country via its accelerator programme. The company also offers digital literacy, online safety, and computer science education programmes through its YouthSpark initiative, as well as cloud product donations and training for non-profits in communities around the world.
Nadella, who after taking over from Ballmer, had said that the company would move towards a cloud-first and mobile-first approach, will also look to drive cloud as the major growth factor. The company is expected to grow to $1 billion by 2020 and it could very well achieve that figure as 50 percent of the top 100 Indian firms listed on the BSE on Microsoft cloud.