Mike Cannon-Brookes, Co-founder and Co-CEO, of Atlassian, sees AI as having a significant potential to improve our work lives, especially in how we search for context, plan projects, and track work.
Where would you put India as a developer nation? How does its software movement fare with the rest of the world?
India is one of the most exciting countries in technology innovation—its software talent is world-class. We’ve doubled down on India as a core region for Atlassian’s growth. As our fastest growing location, India is an essential part of our global R&D workforce and key to building great products for our customers.
Atlassian started in India in 2018 with 60 employees in Bengaluru, and now five years later, we have over 1,700 employees across India—that’s 9x growth.
Big parts of our IT Service Management market products are built out of India, as are large parts of our cloud platform and infrastructure, which are the backbone of our business.
India aims to be a tech superpower by 2047. What are the strengths and weaknesses in that regard?
More than 5 million people are employed in the technology industry in India, so this country is well on its way to leading the world in tech knowledge and skills. We know India is a powerhouse for capable and ambitious tech talent, which is why we see this region as a critical part of our long-term growth strategy.
Tapping into new geographies beyond the known tech hubs like Bengaluru and Delhi NCR is a big opportunity to strengthen India’s position as a tech superpower. In a country as vast as India, great technology talent can exist anywhere.
Take Atlassian as an example. We now hire more than half of our employees at least two hours away from Bengaluru, our main Indian office, and in 17 States across India. However this is a challenge for most technology companies. Today, most incentives for investment in India are place-based. Still, there may be opportunities to improve the share of economic investment in other areas by incentivizing investment in remote or distributed workforces.
What is Atlassian’s future AI strategy and what are the plans for the India market?
Atlassian’s mission is to ‘unleash the potential of every team’ and we see AI having a significant potential to improve our work lives, especially in how we search for context, plan projects, and track work.
We’ve had AI capabilities in Atlassian products since 2020, like intelligent search and predictive collaboration for workflow acceleration. But our biggest move in AI was earlier this year when we launched Atlassian Intelligence—a new virtual teammate that deeply understands how teams collaborate to accelerate work.
We’re excited about the value that AI will bring to developers, a growing cohort in India. Over the long term, AI will make software far easier to create, ultimately giving rise to more software development teams – as well as the accompanying sales, support, and service teams.
How can tech be used for sustainability? What more can India do in this regard?
Now is the time for the entire world to make bold, ambitious moves to get us to a decarbonized future.
Solving this problem is going to take technology, it’s going to take finance, and it’s going to take some courage and productivity. We have all of these now, so we should be ambitious in how much we can achieve in the near term.
India can be a great example to the world of what it looks like to transition an economy away from a heavy reliance on coal to one that is powered by clean, green energy. In turn, it will uplift every economy that it trades with, including my home country Australia, on this journey.