In his first address at a public event in India (though via webcast), Microsoft’s new chief executive officer, Satya Nadella, said the advancement in technology over recent years and the opportunity for developers in India were ‘amazing’.
Addressing an audience of a little over 1,500 participants on Thursday at Microsoft’s first Azure Conference in India in Bengaluru, Nadella said he was quite overwhelmed by speaking as CEO.
“Having grown up in India, the idea that I would have the opportunity to talk to all of you as the CEO of Microsoft was beyond my wildest dreams.
"My interests at that time were a bit more focused on cricket than on technology,” he said.
He said the US-based technology major was witnessing ‘incredible’ momentum for its cloud platform, Windows Azure, which the company claims is adding 2,000 new clients each month.
According to Microsoft, a significant portion of its growth in India over the past 12 months has come from its cloud business.
The company said it was adding clients across several sectors, including banking, manufacturing, health care and media, and across large, mid-sized and small companies.
“In cloud, we have seen probably the fastest transition from incubation to scale,” Microsoft India Managing Director Karan Bajwa told Business Standard.
“India is among the fastest growing markets for Azure.” He added while cloud was a becoming a trend about two years ago, today it was ‘the new normal’.
According to Bajwa, Windows Azure’s clients in India include three leading private banks, five leading automobile manufacturers, four leading health care organisations (including Fortis Healthcare) and three leading media houses.
Calling it a ‘pivotal time’ in the technology industry, Nadella said the focus of Microsoft currently was ‘living in and developing for a mobile first, cloud first world’.
“Azure is a powerful platform for the entire Indian ecosystem of IT professionals, developers and start-ups to bring their applications to markets worldwide,” he said.
“It helps Indian customers leapfrog to the cloud and accrue significant cost savings.
"I believe the opportunities ahead for India with the Azure cloud platform are tremendous and I encourage you to seize all of them!”
Image: Satya Nadella; Photograph courtesy: Microsoft