The adoption and popularity of cloud computing services have increased tremendously over the last few years to bring advances in businesses. Snowflake’s cloud data platform equips organisations with a single, integrated platform that offers the only data warehouse built for any cloud, and a core architecture to enable many other types of data workloads, including a single platform for developing modern data applications.
Vouching by the phrase ‘data without limits’, Snowflake raised $479 million in Series G funding round in February this year with Salesforce as the co-lead investor and has since expanded the partnership with new analytics features.
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Recently, the company launched the Data Cloud – an ecosystem where thousands of Snowflake customers, partners, data providers, and data service providers can help integrate data silos, derive insights, and create value from rapidly expanding data sets in a seamless and secure manner.
Snowflake also announced the general availability of Snowflake on Amazon Web Services (AWS) in India to support its local customers with the flexibility and scalability offered by a cloud data platform. It was aimed at empowering Indian organizations to use the instant elasticity of Snowflake to grow their business by providing quick access to data insights safely and securely.
Tapping on to the growing cloud adoption rate in India, the company is fast growing its business and recently appointed Vimal Venkatram as the Country Manager for India. Analytics India Magazine got in touch with Vimal to understand Snowflake’s plans to expand in the country, roadmap, challenges and more. Here is a detailed interview.
Analytics India Magazine: Having been appointed as the Country Manager for Snowflake in India, what are your goals for the company?
Vimal Venkatram: From a global perspective, Snowflake is one of the fastest-growing companies of all time in the SaaS domain. One of our key goals in India is to increase our reach and expand our footprint into the verticals that we have been successful globally. Some of these verticals include financial services, telecommunications, retail, manufacturing and healthcare, with digital cloud-native companies forming a critical segment across these industries. Another key goal for us is to build the channel ecosystem across India because we truly believe that partners are very important for Snowflake as we get along this growth journey.
AIM: How do you foresee the growth of Snowflake in the India market?
VV: The growth takes place in three main areas, with the first being to grow champions across the key verticals that I’ve mentioned earlier. After all, customers are your best testimonials. Secondly, we are planning to create an entire data ecosystem through our unique capabilities such as the Snowflake Data Marketplace, where data consumers and data providers alike can create new market opportunities and generate more revenue for their respective businesses. This is where we see true growth potential. Thirdly, our partners are an extension of Snowflake. We are hopeful that with the support of our wonderful channel partners here in India, they will help amplify the impact of our business.
AIM: What does the launch of general availability of Snowflake on Amazon Web Services (AWS) in India mean for Snowflake?
VV: One of the big reasons we wanted to launch Snowflake locally in India was because many industries such as financial services and the public sector wanted data residency in India. We have used India as a very strategic market globally and it is going to be a big growth driver for Snowflake in the long run. As we move ahead in the growth curve, it is very important for us to choose an underlying cloud provider who has a lot of appeal in the market. Also, we found that a lot of our customers wanted Snowflake to be on AWS in India. The launch of the general availability of Snowflake on AWS also gives us the ability to work with the entire AWS ecosystem which is a huge advantage for us. We are proud to be associated with AWS.
AIM: How has Snowflake’s cloud data platform benefitted various industries? Would you like to highlight a few use cases?
VV: One of our first customers in India is Swiggy, the leading hyperlocal food ordering and delivery platform in India. With Snowflake, they are now able to process terabytes of data on a daily basis with 90% of queries executed in under 100 seconds, resulting in significant improvements in their customers’ experience. As an example, Swiggy is using Snowflake in real-time to move delivery riders from less busy areas to high traffic ones so that customers get their food faster since more orders are processed in real-time.
We are also proud to have a Chennai-based interactive marketing company Genxlead, as one of our customers. They use Snowflake to analyse the behavioural segments of their users and target specific audiences with greater precision, hence improving returns on advertising spend.
We even have a customer in the logistics sector. Freight Tiger, India’s largest end-to-end logistics network, utilises Snowflake to seamlessly integrate their data from all sources, including semi-structured data, and leverage insights with confidence for greater visibility of their business.
AIM: What is the competitive advantage of Snowflake’s cloud data platform over others?
VV: The fact that we are multi-cloud gives us a huge advantage. Snowflake is available on all the major cloud platforms. The second advantage is that it is very easy to use and has been extremely well-received by more than 3,500 customers globally. Also, our data sharing capabilities is a true differentiator and sets us apart from the competition. We allow organisations to securely share data without having to copy or move data, creating immediate insights and additional business value, while improving data governance. All these advantages give Snowflake a huge competitive edge over others.
AIM: While the world is grappling with COVID-19, how has the pandemic affected the company in terms of growth and technological innovations?
VV: The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t affected us much as Snowflake is at a rapid growth phase, both globally and in India. We are in fact working closely with the government departments and helping organisations share datasets with other organisations. Starschema, one of our key partners from Budapest, shared COVID-19 datasets with Snowflake for anyone who wants to analyse how the virus is spreading, its impact, and more. The State of California has also uploaded their COVID-19 datasets onto Snowflake Data Marketplace so that more people can access these rich datasets and make better decisions.
AIM: What are some of the measures that analytics companies can take to keep up in the unfortunate times?
VV: My advice would be to keep customers at the centre of the conversation. Be extremely focused on customer requirements and learn to adapt the way customers are changing in terms of behaviour and business models. In a nutshell, adaptability, agility and quick execution are some of the key factors I would advise any company in this space.
AIM: What is the roadmap looking like for Snowflake for the remaining 2020?
VV: Our mission is to enable the data economy. We are very focused on ensuring that both our existing customers and prospects continue to consume Snowflake effectively. We aim to grow our customer base and to expand our sales team. We also have plans to scale up our support centre that we currently have today in Bengaluru. Overall, we have planned our growth strategy well and we hope that Snowflake can scale new heights in India.