Santhosh Viswanathan, managing director, sales and marketing, Intel India.

New laws may help India boost data center capacity: Intel

Last week, semiconductor giant Intel signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Gurugram-based contract manufacturer VVDN Technologies. The deal will see Intel supply its reference designs and chips to VVDN to locally manufacture 5G radios for the telecom sector, connected sensors for the manufacturing sector, smart surveillance cameras and more. This is the first indication of the potential India has in the enterprise segment for technology vendors like Intel, according to Santhosh Viswanathan, General Manager, Sales and Marketing, Intel India.

“Building data center capacity in India is a key aspect of enterprise business that we need to start thinking about. There are 800 million people in India who are online and this leads to a huge amount of data generated from across the market. However, India still has less than 2% of the world’s data center capacity. This presents a huge opportunity,” said Viswanathan, who replaced Prakash Mallya in January.

Demand for data centers in India is growing. According to a September 27 report by commercial real estate firm JLL India, growing data usage in financial services, entertainment and retail, along with an increase in the number of cloud service providers, is expected to increase India’s realized data center capacity to 1,318 MW (megawatts) by 2024.

According to Viswanathan, growing this capacity could be key to India playing a more important business role for companies like Intel – and adopting adequate policies in this regard could be key.

“Some legislation, such as the Data Protection Act, will help create a requirement for data localization. This creates a big opportunity for data center growth and for India to grow by more than 2% of global capacity,” he said.

India withdrew the Personal Data Protection Act in August and plans to come up with a new law soon. The new legislation is expected to offer a holistic overview of the regulation of technology use in India, including how data could be localized in the country.

Viswanathan also said that India already has a “mass” of data, a key indicator of growing demand in the data center sector. This puts India in an advantageous position compared to other countries with more data center capacity but less data density.

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