Cloud companies are going all-in on India

May 29, 2023

India is one of the largest and fastest-growing markets for digital consumers.

As Indians take this digital leap, companies must follow suit. Little wonder that the country's public cloud services market is poised for exponential growth. Research firm IDC predicts that by 2026, this market will surge to $13 billion.

Toronto-based writer Vikram Barhat looks at how the three global tech players are capitalizing on India's digitalisation growth story.


The dominant online retailer clocked $386 billion in sales and about $578 billion in gross merchandise volume in 2021.

Retail accounts for 80% of the revenue, with Amazon Web Services (AWS) contributing 10%-15% through cloud services. Advertising services contribute 5% while other sources make up the remaining revenue. International markets constitute 25%-30% of non-AWS sales, with Germany, the UK, and Japan as key contributors.

AWS makes the tech behemoth a clear leader in public cloud services. "Amazon was a pioneer in public cloud infrastructure as a service and platform as a service and retains a substantial lead over its closest rival, Microsoft," says a Morningstar report.

Amazon's profitability has been significantly boosted by the success of AWS, which generates 60%-65% of the total operating profit. "We also expect AWS to remain a key growth driver for the company over the next decade," says Morningstar equity analyst Dan Romanoff.

  • Amazon in India

According to this report by Dow Jones, AWS plans to invest nearly $13 billion in cloud infrastructure in India by 2030 as part of long-term efforts to enhance the global reach of its cloud services. This is in addition to the $3.7 billion the company had invested between 2016 and 2022.

The investment is estimated to contribute $23.3 billion to India’s economy by 2030, the company said.

AWS said it has hundreds of thousands of customers in India, including government entities such as the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, large companies including Axis Bank and HDFC Life, and others in public, private and nonprofit sectors.


As parent company to Google, Alphabet derives 99% of its revenue from the search engine business. Google’s primarily source of revenue is online ads, while additional revenue comes from app sales, cloud services, and hardware sales. Alphabet's other business ventures include healthcare, internet access, and autonomous vehicles.

"We were impressed by Google Search advertising revenue growth; continuing strength in the cloud business, which is making headway toward profitability, likely next year," says a Morningstar report, adding that, while competition is growing, "Alphabet has the necessary technology and talent to successfully battle" its competitors in the cloud space.

Google’s growing cloud dominance and investments in the field have been impressive. "We particularly applaud the efforts to gain a stronger foothold in the fast-growing public cloud market," says Morningstar equity analyst Ali Mogharabi. Google has efficiently utilised its technological knowledge and experience in developing and managing its private cloud platform "to increase its market share in this space, driving additional revenue growth and creating more operating leverage, which we expect will continue," he adds.

  • Google in India

Google has been expanding its cloud infrastructure in India by building clusters of local data centres and has been making strategic investments from its $10 billion fund allocated to promote digitalisation in India over the next several years.

(Three years ago, Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Google, unveiled Google for India Digitization Fund through which the company would be making investments in India.)

The firm says India remains a long-term opportunity for Google cloud.


Silicon Valley tech heavyweight Microsoft is known for its Windows operating systems and Office productivity suite. The firm operates three segments: productivity and business processes, intelligence cloud, and more personal computing. The productivity and business processes segment includes Office 365, SharePoint, Skype, and LinkedIn. The intelligence cloud segment offers Azure cloud platform and Windows Server OS.

Under the leadership of chief executive Satya Nadella, Microsoft has transformed into a dominant force in the cloud industry. It is now recognised as one of the top two public cloud providers capable of delivering a comprehensive range of cloud solutions.

The firm’s Q3 report shows a 7% increase in quarterly revenue, and 16% growth in intelligent cloud from a year ago.

"Azure is the centerpiece of the new Microsoft," says Romanoff, adding that, despite being an approximately $45 billion business, "it grew at a staggering 45% rate in fiscal 2022." As customers continue transitioning from on-premises to cloud solutions, the firm’s revenue growth will remain robust for the next several years, says Romanoff.

  • Microsoft in India

The company became the first global cloud provider to offer services from local datacenters in India in 2015. Microsoft has recently announced it plans to set up a new $2 billion datacentre in Hyderabad, in addition to its multiple Microsoft datacentres already in India.

What is Public Cloud?

A public cloud is a third-party managed platform that uses the standard cloud computing model to make resources and services available to organizations using the public internet.

Public cloud service providers offer models such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS).

In general, these services are offered by third-party service providers who deliver computing resources such as servers and storage capabilities, developing tools and frameworks as well as business applications to customers via the internet. These services are remotely managed, enabled, and distributed by third-party, large-scale data centers.

In contrast to a private cloud, a public cloud offers its services not only to individual organizations, but to many other users via the public internet. It permits scalability and resource sharing that would not otherwise be possible for a single organization to achieve.

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