Towards the end of 2021, a top executive at cloud services provider Amazon Web Services (AWS) got a call from a recruiter. They were from the human-resource team at rival Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and were offering the executive—who had already been elevated to a senior position recently—pretty much the sky.
“We have a reputation of doubling the base pay, and [we will] surprise you on your total compensation,” the executive recounted the words of the recruiter, who had already known about the promotion. This executive and the others The Ken spoke to requested anonymity as they didn’t want to publicly comment on Google’s hiring policies.
While the recruiter didn’t get lucky with this AWS executive, Google did with others. For over a year now, the search engine giant has been carrying out a focussed poaching campaign, reeling in employees from rivals left, right, and centre. It has successfully poached so many senior and mid-level executives from AWS, you could say Google is effectively the new AWS.
A significant such hire that Google made was Bikram Singh Bedi. Bedi, who was a central leadership figure for most of his stint at the Amazon group company between 2012 and 2019, joined Google as its India head in February 2021. A former top AWS executive had hinted at what may follow post Bedi’s appointment in our 2021 piece piece The Ken Google Cloud’s India ambitions get an Adani-sized boost Read more . The same executive is now leading a sales division at GCP.
Similarly hired were Sandeep Cashyap and Abhishek Mahanty, who were with AWS for more than eight years. Known as ‘sandi cash’ by friends and colleagues, Cashyap was head of startup business at AWS and played a key role in managing the southern India business out of Bangalore, the hotbed of Indian startups. Mahanty, who led a partners and strategic alliances team at AWS till June 2022, is now head of partner engineering at GCP India.
India is an important market for GCP. The country is one of the fastest growing market fastest growing market IDC Indian public cloud services market to grow at a CAGR of 24% Read more for public cloud and SaaS companies. Going by AWS’ internal revenue forecasting, revenue from India is slated to exceed even Japan and Korea. Winning India is critical for cloud majors and it is all the more true for Google, which is heavily invested invested Google Investing in India's digital future Read more in the country.