Amazon seems rather inspired by its name. Amazonian, in popular culture, connotes aggressive, large, and also nurturing towards its ilk. And what could be better nurtured than its cloud infrastructure offering, Amazon Web Services (AWS)? AWS, in itself, could rank as the fifth largest software company in the world after Microsoft, IBM, Oracle and SAP. That’s no small feat.

The original IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) solution, AWS revolutionised the way companies thought about computing infrastructure and the economics associated with it. Earlier, companies needed millions of dollars to set up servers of their own to deliver their services online. The introduction of AWS afforded them the luxury of “renting” computing infrastructure on demand by paying just hundreds of dollars a month. Since 2011, in India, too, AWS has been a default choice for companies, even before it formally entered the region in 2016.

The same is the case with many Indian startups who more than validate AWS’ presence in India. Nearly a dozen growing tech startups, ranging in age from two to 12 years, identified AWS as the cloud they use to host their data infrastructure. These vary from matrimony service companies to payment gateway companies to even electric scooter companies. The whole gamut. And why not. It helps firms build and launch products faster by using the cloud. It is also about 60% cheaper than if they handled data on their own.

But the rose-tint is wearing off. More and more startups are ditching AWS. Unicorns such as Ola, Hike, InMobi, and Flipkart have staged an exit. And not just them. Lingerie startups Clovia and Pretty Secrets, event ticketing company Explara, online meat retailer Brown Apron, and ad tech company Rappier have all moved out.

These businesses mark the very first wave of AWS customers moving away from the service. And Microsoft’s cloud offering, Azure and Google’s Google Cloud Platform are waiting in the wings to profit from AWS’ loss.

AWS’ India hiccups don’t stop here. Even first-time adopters of cloud are treading light on AWS. “We looked at both AWS and Azure, but went with Azure. For one, Azure got back to me a half hour after I emailed them, and AWS after a month,” says the co-founder of a B2B marketplace company with about Rs 2 crore in revenue, who didn’t want to publicly comment on this.

Even though AWS’ revenue is growing multifold, its market share in India has not kept up. An analyst from an international research agency said AWS’ market share dipped marginally between 2016 and 2017. This was a first. The firm refused to share any further numbers and didn’t want to be named. Research agencies IDC and Gartner, while claiming that they do track market share numbers for India, declined to share them; Forrester said it does not track market share for India.

AUTHOR

Arundhati Ramanathan

Arundhati is Bengaluru-based. She is interested in how people use money in the digital age and how new economies will take shape based on that interaction. She has spent over 10 years reporting and writing on various subjects. Previous stints were at Mint, Outlook Business and Reuters.

View Full Profile

Subscribe to read this story

The Ken is the only business subscription you need. Questions?

 

Premium

  • 5 original and reported longform business stories every week
  • Access to ONLY India edition
  • Close to 250 exclusive stories every year
  • Full access to over 5 years of paywalled stories
  • Pick up to 5 premium subscriber newsletters
  • 4 original and reported longform business stories each week
  • Access to ONLY Southeast Asia edition
  • Close to 200 exclusive stories every year
  • Full access to all paywalled stories since March 2020
  • Pick up to 5 premium subscriber newsletters

Rs. 2,750 /year

$ 120 /year

India Edition
Subscribe Subscribe
Most Asked For

Borderless

  • 8 original and reported longform business stories each week
  • Access to both India and Southeast Asia editions
  • Close to 400 exclusive stories every year
  • Full access to over 5 years of paywalled stories across India and Southeast Asia
  • Unlimited access to all premium subscriber newsletters
  • Visual Stories

Rs. 4,200 /year

Subscribe
 

Echelon

  • 8 original and reported longform business stories each week
  • Access to both India and Southeast Asia editions
  • Close to 400 exclusive stories every year
  • Full access to over 5 years of paywalled stories across India and Southeast Asia
  • Unlimited access to all premium subscriber newsletters
  • Visual Stories
  • Bonus annual gift subscription
  • Priority access to all new products and features

Rs. 8,474 /year

Subscribe
Or

Questions?

What kind of subscription plans do you offer?

We have three types of subscriptions
- Premium which gives you access to either the India or the Southeast Asia edition.
- Borderless which gives you complete access to The Ken across both editions
- Echelon which gives you complete access to The Ken across both editions along with a bonus gift subscription

What do I get if I subscribe?

The Premium edition gives you access to stories in that edition along with any five subscriber-only newsletters of your choice.

The Borderless and Echelon subscription gives you complete access to The Ken across editions and unlimited access to as many newsletters as you like.

What topics do you usually write about?

We publish sharp, original and reported stories on technology, business and healthcare. Our stories are forward-looking, analytical and directional — supported by data, visualisations and infographics. We use language and narrative that is accessible to even lay readers. And we optimise for quality over quantity, every single time.

Our specialised subscriber-only newsletters are written by our expert, award-winning journalists and cover a range of topics across finance, retail, clean energy, cryptocurrency, ed-tech and many more.

How many newsletters do you have?

We are constantly adding specialised subscriber-only newsletters all the time. All of these are written by our team of award-winning journalists on a specialised topic.

You can see the list of newsletters that we publish over here.

Does a Premium subscription to your Indian edition get me access to the Southeast Asia edition? Or vice-versa?

Afraid not. Each edition is separate with its own subscription plan. The India edition publishes stories focused on India. The Southeast Asia edition is focused on Southeast Asia. We may occasionally cross-publish stories from one edition to the other.

We recommend the Borderless or the Echelon Plan which will give you access to stories across both editions.

Do you have a mobile app?

Yes! We have a top-rated mobile app on both iOS and Android which allows you to read on-the-go and has some amazing features like the ability to bookmark stories, save on your device, dark mode, and much more. It’s really the best way to read The Ken.

Is there a free trial?

You can sign up for a free account to experience The Ken and understand our products better. We’ll send you some free stories and newsletters occasionally, and you can access our archive of previously published free stories. You can stay on the free account as long as you’d like.

The vast majority of our stories, articles and newsletters can be accessed only by a paid subscription.

Do you offer any discounts?

Sorry, no. Our journalism is funded completely by our subscribers. We believe that quality journalism comes at a price, and readers trust and pay us so that we can remain independent.

Do you offer refunds?

No. We allow you to sample our journalism for free before signing up, and after you do, we stand by its quality. But we do not offer refunds.

I am facing some trouble purchasing a subscription. What can I do?

Just write to us at [email protected] with details. We’ll help you out.

I have a few more questions. How can I reach out to you?

Sure. Just email us at [email protected] or follow us on Twitter.