India has the right environment and ecosystem to support the scale and quality of talent requirements for Equinix IT, says Milind Wagle, CIO, Equinix.
US-based digital infrastructure company Equinix announced the opening of its Global Center of Excellence (GCoE) in Bengaluru, India today. The GCoE in India will focus on the development of emerging technologies, corporate applications, data engineering and analytics, among other IT domains to improve the digital infrastructure resilience of its customers and employees.
In a recent interaction with CXOToday, Milind Wagle, Chief Information Officer, Equinix, explains the role of the new global CoE in India’s Silicon Valley and the company’s ambitious plans for the Indian market.
The company is already seeing a lot of growth potential in the India market, which is already experiencing a data revolution. The country being the fifth-largest economy in the world, with the second largest base of internet subscribers globally, Wagle believes, India has the right environment and ecosystem to support the scale and quality of talent requirements for Equinix IT.
“For Equinix Global IT, India aligns well with our growth strategy to attract the right kind of talent. Researches show India has the right environment and ecosystem to support the scale and quality of talent requirements for Equinix Global IT,” he says.
In addition, India has been a favorable investment destination for several global technology companies for its burgeoning innovation culture.
Besides supporting a robust education system focused on both technical knowledge as well as communication skills that simplifies ease of doing business with global stakeholders, the country’s favorable government policies, as well as a thriving innovation ecosystem were other critical factors for consideration for Equinix to select India as its innovation hub.
In 2019, India was ranked third globally for attracting investment for technology transactions and has been the leader for talent and capabilities.
Besides, Equinix’ platform business model makes it critical for them to be in the proximity of our customers and partners, and many of them are already present in India, informs Wagle.
“By bringing together a powerful combination of technical expertise, domain knowledge, and best practices from Equinix’s extensive global engagements, the GCoE will offer innovative solutions to accelerate the digital capabilities of enterprises across the globe, including India,” he says.
Bengaluru, a key hub in India’s digital economy, is going to play a significant role in creating world-class products. Explaining the factors behind choosing Bengaluru as a location to open the Global CoE in India, Wagle says, “We adopted a rigorous methodology by bringing in internal and external perspectives to arrive at this decision. Our external consulting firm analyzed six Indian cities across several key criteria, such as talent, ease of doing business, etc) to choose a location. We also had several virtual visits from key partners or customers to have an outside-in perspective on this.”
“As a result, Bengaluru, India’s Silicon Valley is selected. With a robust heritage of premier research and development centers and a wealth of IT talent, Bengaluru has been selected by Equinix to expand our GCoE and set up a talent hub to focus on emerging technologies, corporate applications, data engineering and analytics, among other IT domains,” he adds.
With its IT talent hubs in Dallas, Silicon Valley, Singapore and Warsaw at present, Equinix is now on a hiring spree in India. As Wagle says, “We plan to hire approximately 500 IT professionals in Bengaluru by the end of 2024. Our objective is to build independent, autonomous teams in India working in tandem with local leadership in an agile fashion to accelerate the pace of innovation. We are looking to set up a talent hub to focus on emerging technologies, corporate applications, data engineering and analytics, among other IT domains.”
The company is working on designing an optimal organizational structure to allow for local autonomy and an agile operational model while aligning with its overall Global IT structure, as Wagle explains, “Our current view is that we will have leadership for each function in India. To begin with, we will hire a local engineering leader for enterprise customer experience applications, which will play a key role in helping us, set up our operations until we finalize the rest of the org structure.”
Equinix, however, has not announced an official opening date, given the uncertainty around the current devastating pandemic situation. “Until we have an open site in India, employees will work from home,” he says.
Further, the pandemic has proved to be the spark that ignited the digital transformation journey for a lot of companies. According to an IDC report “A Blueprint for DX Success: Start with Hybrid Infrastructure and Connected Ecosystems,” while digital transformation is occurring at unprecedented levels, only 3.9% of all enterprise organizations have completed their transformation.
The company’s product-centric approach has helped its IT team demonstrate digital leadership over modern technologies such as cloud, machine learning, artificial intelligence and DevSecOps, says Wagle.
Most recently, Equinix developed machine learning (ML) technology to predict the utilization of its data centers, which allows the company to make better supply chain decisions and plan its data center and service capacity. As a result, Equinix can better optimize its power footprint to support its environmental sustainability efforts, including its commitment to becoming climate-neutral by setting science-based targets for emissions reduction across its global operations and supply chains by 2030.
In September, Equinix has expanded its presence in India with the completion of the $161-million acquisition of GPX India, the Indian operations of GPX Global Systems. The acquisition includes a fiber-connected campus in Mumbai with two data centres, dubbed MB1 and MB2.
According to Manoj Paul, Managing Director, Equinix India, the opening of the GCoE in Bengaluru underscores Equinix’s continued efforts to deliver the level of excellence and interconnection that customers expect to accelerate the growth of their digital businesses.
Paul, a veteran with more than two decades of experience who has been appointed in September to lead the company’s India operations, says, “With a strong global footprint and robust business ecosystems, Equinix is well-positioned to support the digital revolution in India, supporting businesses locally and globally.”
Equinix operates more than 230 International Business Exchange (IBX) data centers in 65 metros across 27 countries, including 49 IBX data centers in Asia-Pacific across 13 metros in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea and Singapore. With Equinix, companies can rapidly scale their infrastructure, easily adopt hybrid multi-cloud architectures, and effectively increase performance and security by interconnecting directly and privately with more than 10,000 companies, including some 1,800 networks and 3,000 cloud and IT service providers.
“We will continue to invest locally to drive innovation aligned with market requirements and nurture IT talent in India,” Paul concludes.