Airtel teams up with Amazon in race for India’s $7bn cloud computing market

Bharti Airtel has teamed up with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to provide cloud computing solutions for India’s rapidly growing number of digital consumers. The deal will see India’s second-largest mobile operator offer its 300m-strong subscriber base a portfolio of products and services ranging from data migration to analytics, with a particular focus on meeting the demands of the country’s estimated 42.5 million SMEs who between them employ approximately 40% of India’s workforce.
The arrangement will both give AWS a foothold in one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing markets and help Bharti Airtel compete on more equal terms with Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio which in recent months has attracted investment from three other so-called FANGS in the form of Google, Facebook and Microsoft. Both AWS and Bharti Airtel have committed themselves to investment in the development of cloud expertise and to train up hundred of employees to sell its new product portfolio to corporates as well as SMEs, Harmeen Mehta, chief information officer at Bharti Airtel, said on Wednesday.
Harmeen Mehta Head of Bharti Airtel Cloud Computing“We’ve decided to go really deep with AWS,” said Mehta,  who also heads up Airtel’s cloud division. “This makes us a partnership to be reckoned with.” The alliance was described as a “massive opportunity” by the president of Amazon’s commercial business in India and South Asia Puneet Chandok. After coronavirus, digital transformation was simply not optional any more, he added.
Indian industrialist Mukesh Ambani and tech pioneers such as Mark Zuckerberg clearly agree. Last year, Ambani launched Jio Platforms to act as an umbrella for Reliance Industry ‘s digital operations. Since then, Jio has built up a customer base of 388 million subscribers of its own.