Google Cloud India’s “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” week, which happened last November, began with a session, the substance of which was overshadowed by its symbolism. It involved Paridhi Adani, a lawyer with one of the country’s most prominent law firms, in conversation with the then head of Google Cloud’s India operations, Karan Bajwa. The two speakers represented, arguably, the biggest coup in Google Cloud’s stint on Indian soil; one that was unfolding even as Adani and Bajwa shot the breeze on everything from mental health to parenthood.

According to two executives working closely with Google Cloud Platform (GCP), the cloud services provider was in the final leg of securing a deal with Adani Group—one of India’s largest conglomerates. Paridhi Adani’s husband, Karan, is the eldest son of the group’s chairperson and founder, Gautam Adani. He also serves as the CEO of Adani Ports and Special Economic Zones.

Two months later, in January, Adani Group finally signed on the dotted line in a $20 million deal.

As part of the deal, Google will become the sole provider of cloud infrastructure to the Adani Group. Together, the two teams will build an analytics and data platform. All Adani Group’s new IT applications will be built and hosted on Google Cloud. As the group’s existing IT infrastructure retires, it will be migrated to Google’s cloud platform.

Google engineers will also work with the Group to develop a cloud-based internet of things (IoT) system. This will remotely monitor the group’s assets across its various businesses—from renewable energy to ports—from a single dashboard.

In plain monetary terms, the deal pales in comparison to GCP’s deal with social media platform Sharechat, announced last year. Executives working closely with GCP told The Ken that the Sharechat deal was worth more than $100 million. 

In terms of significance, however, the Adani Group deal is worth a lot more. The public cloud needs (and therefore, spending) of digital native companies like Sharechat far outstrip enterprises, which are gradually moving parts of the tech infra and services to cloud. However, enterprises are a more stable and assured source of business, explained an executive who works closely with professional services firm Deloitte.

More importantly, winning the business of one of India’s largest conglomerates boosts the credibility of GCP, which lags behind its older and more entrenched rivals Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.

Reliance-Microsoft pact

In 2019, Microsoft aligned with India’s largest business group Reliance Industries to host Azure Cloud in Jio’s data centres and jointly sell to small and medium enterprise customers

Google Cloud’s R&D team will work with Adani Group to co-develop and productise new cloud applications. These, in turn, will form the fodder for pitches to more such clients, say the executives working closely with GCP.

AUTHOR

Pratap Vikram Singh

Pratap is based out of Delhi and covers policy and myriad intersections with the other sectors, most notably technology. He has worked with Governance Now for seven years, reporting on technology, telecom policy, and the social sector.

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