Data Streaming Boom in India: Confluent's Rubal Sahni on Real-Time Insights & Business Transformation

In this exclusive interview, Rubal Sahni, Area Vice President & Country Manager for Confluent India, sheds light on this exciting trend.

Aanchal Ghatak
New Update
Data streaming

In this exclusive interview, Rubal Sahni, Area Vice President & Country Manager for Confluent India, sheds light on this exciting trend. Sahni offers valuable insights into the data streaming landscape in India and Confluent's approach to empowering businesses with real-time data insights.

What are the key trends you're observing in India regarding data streaming platforms?

We see a lot of organizations, not just internet companies but also those with a legacy in IT, leveraging data streaming platforms. They aim to extract value from data in real-time and reintegrate it into their business operations to stay ahead of the competition. Real-time data can be used for offering end-customers real-time promotions, enhancing service quality, ensuring compliance, and improving logistics and last-mile delivery efficiency.

Are there any challenges associated with implementing Apache Kafka in India?

Fortunately, we're not seeing many challenges. India has a robust community of developers and professionals familiar with Kafka. We provide professional services and are training partners on implementation. Additionally, we focus on training fresh graduates to meet the growing demand.

How does Confluent ensure a balance between continuous innovation and maintaining stability for existing customers?

Striking this balance is crucial. Here's our two-pronged approach:

  • Cloud-agnostic innovation: We actively develop and integrate cutting-edge features across all major cloud platforms (AWS, Azure, GCP). This allows customers to leverage the latest advancements regardless of their preferred cloud environment.

  • Dedicated support and pre-sales teams: Our dedicated support team provides ongoing assistance to existing customers, ensuring their Kafka deployments remain stable and perform optimally. Additionally, our pre-sales teams work closely with customers to identify opportunities to integrate new features like stream processing with Apache Flink. This allows them to explore innovative solutions without compromising their existing infrastructure.

How does Confluent address security concerns in a data streaming environment?

Security is a top priority at Confluent. We have dedicated security teams constantly monitoring the platform for vulnerabilities and implementing robust security measures. Here are some key aspects of Confluent's security posture:

  • Securing data in motion: We take great care to ensure that data is secure while being transmitted across the network. This includes encryption protocols and other industry-standard security practices.

  • Compliance with regulations: Confluent Cloud adheres to various industry regulations, including HIPAA, GDPR, and PCI. This gives our customers peace of mind knowing their data is protected and managed according to strict compliance standards.

Confluent continues to grow, how does the company balance the need for innovation with maintaining compatibility and stability for existing customers?

We continuously innovate, particularly in our cloud offerings available across AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, as well as on-premise solutions for banks and government organizations. We have a dedicated support team for customers who are not ready to migrate to the cloud. Our support functions, including professional services based in India, ensure high customer satisfaction. For newer customers, we focus on integrating the latest stream processing technologies, like those acquired from Apache Flink.

Are you planning to be compatible with more cloud providers? How do you ensure security and compliance?

We focus on the three major cloud providers but are open to exploring new offerings. Security is a top priority. Our cloud offerings are trusted by top stock exchanges, banks, and government organizations globally. We have a dedicated security team that addresses vulnerabilities promptly and ensures compliance with standards like HIPAA, GDPR, and PCI DSS.

Who are your typical customers in India?

Our primary customer base consists of BFSI (banking, finance) and digital native companies. We're also seeing growth in government, manufacturing, airlines, and public sector units. Early adopters of Apache Flink are present in both BFSI and digital native sectors.

Are there any strategic partnerships you'd like to share?

We have partnerships with major Indian IT companies (TCS, Infosys, Accenture) and startups to expand our reach. New partnerships are coming soon, but details are under wraps for now.

How can organizations save costs with Confluent Cloud?

Confluent Cloud offers dedicated and enterprise clusters for critical and analytical workloads, respectively. Strategic use of free and dedicated clusters can lead to significant cost savings compared to dedicated deployments.

How does Confluent Cloud with Apache Flink help with AI/ML?

Real-time data is crucial for AI/ML models. Confluent enables continuous training of AI workloads with fresh, contextual and trustworthy data with AI Model Inference inApache Flink and stream processing features. Use cases include real-time offers, compliance, and cybersecurity with AI. An Indian sportswear company leverages Confluent for these benefits.

How is data governance different for streaming data?

Data governance is even more critical for managing data contracts, formats, and access controls in a streaming environment. Streaming data governance is a superset of batch data governance, requiring additional considerations for real-time data flows. Data contracts are essential for defining data exchange agreements.

 What's the deal with Confluent Tableflow?

Confluent's Tableflow allows for a seamless transition between operational and analytical data. This capability is seen as a game changer by many of our customers, providing significant cost savings and efficiency improvements.

How will you address the growing demand for data streaming expertise?

We plan to train new graduates and expand partnerships with Indian startups and service providers to address the growing demand for data streaming expertise.