A data centre operator owned by Blackstone is talking to tech giants such as Microsoft and Amazon about setting up data centres in Indian cities.
Social changes spurred by the Covid-19 pandemic – such as more people working remotely and adopting e-commerce and streaming – have created greater demand for storage and data processing, according to the CEO of Lumina CloudInfra data centre platform.
Anil Reddy, global CEO of Lumina, which is owned and managed by Blackstone, said the “data explosion” created by the pandemic is the focus of the private equity giant’s next major investment in India.
Australia, India Forge Closer Ties on Minerals, Security
Plan for data centres in five cities
“It’s like you want to do everything from your laptop or your handheld device,” said Reddy, who is in talks with “hyperscalers” or large cloud service providers like Microsoft, Amazon, Google and Oracle.
About two-thirds of Blackstone’s data centre business in India will come from these companies, Reddy said, with the rest from industries like banking, healthcare and the government.
By 2030 Blackstone plans to set up data centres in five Indian cities with a total capacity of 600 MW (megawatt), Reddy said, while declining to reveal the planned investment.
Sujeet Deshpande, Lumina’s CEO for India, said during the same interview that the benchmark in India to build data centres is an investment of $6-$6.5 million per megawatt.
Push for local data storage
Blackstone’s plan comes as India steps up efforts to attract more big-ticket investments while pushing to gain stricter oversight of Big Tech firms by nudging them to store data locally.
New Delhi is also drafting a cloud and data centre policy to regulate the sector.
Microsoft and Google have ramped up cloud investments in India in recent years and Amazon’s cloud computing unit said last week it will invest $13 billion in the South Asian economic powerhouse by 2030.
“We will be one of those who are capturing some of those dollars from there because we will have them as a customer,” said Reddy, when asked about Amazon’s planned investment.
Microsoft declined to comment. Amazon, Google and Oracle did not respond to requests for comment.
Last month, property consultant JLL forecast India will add 678 MW of data centres between 2023 and 2025 which will create demand for more than 9 million square feet of real estate space at an investment of $4.8 billion.
India’s telecom boom and the proliferation of 5G has democratised the internet and broadband with almost every person having a personal connection at home, said Lumina’s Deshpande.
That is why data providers want such services closer to their customers so they can provide a seamless experience, he added.
- Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard
Amazon Cloud Unit to Spend $13 Billion in India by 2030
Cisco to Start Making Network and Internet Equipment in India
US, China Firms Vie For Slice of ASEAN Data Centre Market – ST
SC Capital Partners to Develop Asian Data Centres
Singapore’s GIC to Invest $525m in 2 Korea Data Centres
Chinese Province To Move Data Centres Under The Sea