India has an abnormally low data centre capacity: Sunil Gupta, Yotta

Indian data center market size is likely to reach USD 4 billion by 2024 growing at a CAGR of 9%; however, supply is barely keeping up with this pace

Pradeep Chakraborty
New Update
Sunil Gupta, - Managing Partner and CEO, Yotta

The Hiranandani Group recently unveiled Yotta Infrastructure, India's first and largest hyper scale data centre parks. Sunil Gupta, managing partner and CEO at Yotta Infrastructure, tells us more. Excerpts:


DQ: What is your view of the performance, so far, of the Indian ICT industry in 2019?

Sunil Gupta: The Indian ICT industry is one of the key drivers in Government’s Digital India programme and a catalyst to the booming startup environment in the country. KPMG estimates the market size of India’s ICT industry at $180 billion which is projected to grow to $350 billion by 2025.

The ICT sector contributes over 13% to the country’s GDP. What’s interesting is that India’s domestic market for computer services is actually forecasted to grow faster than exports as per a recent UN report which validates strong domestic demand.


DQ: How is the data center market performing in 2019?

Sunil Gupta: The Indian data center market is attracting a lot of new entrants due to many favorable reasons, including, highest data consumption by our mobile population, uptake of cloud computing, data localization, growing use cases of IoT and e-governance, etc. In 2016 the Indian Data center market stood at USD 1.3 billion. According to a report by ResearchandMarkets, the market is expected to reach USD 4 billion by 2024. That's an annual growth rate of almost 26%.

However, the supply side is barely keeping up with this pace. As per datacentremap, there are 540 million active internet users in India, but the country has an abnormally low data center capacity of less than 700 MW capacity, compared to Europe’s 8,600 MW capacity for 460 million Internet users.


This huge gap between our demand and supply needs to be addressed. Hence, major companies are entering the market to offer solutions to a fast-growing data center.

DQ: What is your business outlook for FY 20, and what are the key focus areas?

Sunil Gupta: Unlike the existing data center players in India, Yotta aims to build infinitely scalable data center parks that will offer the highest quality with Tier-4 certified facilities.


Additionally, with our group entities owning the land, construction capabilities, power generation, and distribution, we have been able to leverage massive economies of scale to build a highly cost-effective proposition for our customers.

Our immediate priority is to launch our Panvel Data center park’s first building in December 2019. At 8.2 lakh sq.ft and 7,200 racks, it will be almost 45% bigger than the largest data center in India. Alongside, we shall also launch a wide suite of data center services such as managed IT services, connectivity, security, hybrid multi-cloud, and data center build services.

Another aspect of the data center, which has not seen any significant development yet, is power. Data centers consume a lot of power and the predominant source is thermal power which is not environmentally friendly and its cost keeps growing year on year.


One of our group companies is building a 279-acre solar power plant near Goa which will supply 40 MW of power to our Panvel data center. This green energy will contribute to nearly 30% of our power requirements and will also offer our customers cost efficiencies.

Our overall blueprint over the next 5-7 years is to make 3 hyper-scale data center parks across Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Chennai, with 11 DC buildings, 60,000 racks and 500 MW of power.

DQ: What is the influence of emerging technologies for data centers?


Sunil Gupta: Increasingly, companies are adopting emerging technologies like AI/ML, IoT for strategic business advantages. The implementation of these technologies is creating data in huge quantities and ultimately creating demand for data storage space for enterprises across industries.

In the coming years, both IoT and 5G networks will increase data consumption and production even amongst consumers in a massive way leading to increased demand for data center storage needs.

Apart from fuelling the demand for storage needs, these technologies are also impacting the core data center functions in a big way. AI/ML is being used to make data centers operationally and economically viable by aiding data center management with cooling, increasing energy efficiency, failure predictions as well as helping with cybersecurity.


DQ: How will they impact over the next couple of years?

Sunil Gupta: Data center providers are focusing on new ways to improve their security, speed, and capacity as the industry evolves. Massive consumer data creation is likely to make data centers, the cornerstone of digital transformation. There is a rise in digitization with sectors like fintech, eCommerce, OTT players, etc., which is further fuelled by the use of social media, Government reforms and so on. The data generated will be needed to be stored and managed.

We are expecting a surge in demand for third-party hyper-scale data centers from captive data centers to avoid the complications of building and managing their own data centers.