Amidst the hustle and bustle inside a plush boardroom at a luxury hotel in Bengaluru, Vivek Tyagi, Senior Director for Enterprise Sales (India and South Asia) at Western Digital was calm and smiling, sipping a cup of coffee. Speaking to Analytics India Magazine in the middle of an ongoing internal company event, Tyagi spoke about how Western Digital continues to innovate by enabling data to thrive, how India is ready to embrace the data storage changes, and how the biggest changes would soon be seen in Government entities.
Analytics India Magazine: Tell us about the state of the data hardware market in India
Vivek Tyagi: I believe that in the last couple of years we’ve seen good growth in the data centre market. The reason is in this world — whether it’s the consumer or enterprise — everybody is creating more and more data. Think of smartphones, think of videos — data has penetrated our lives.
Similarly, corporate entities are also generating more data. In the earlier days, they only used to store data which was relevant to them, at that point in time. Now with the advent of data science and analytics, they cannot throw any data.
Certain industries like banking, finance, insurance and telecom — it is mandated by the government to store the data. And that is why the data centre market has been growing at a very healthy pace.
AIM: As the Senior Director at Western Digital, tell us about your role in the bigger scheme of things
VT: Western Digital India continues to play a pivotal role. Data has the potential to solve a variety of national challenges in areas of cleantech, education, healthcare, transportation and renewable energy. Western Digital has been looking for ways to not just innovate but support talent and ideas that emanate from the country, be it through hires or the next generation of entrepreneurs in the startup ecosystem. My role here is to understand the needs of enterprise customers and cater to them.
Having worked at Sandisk before, where data rapidly evolved from a simple record, or a transaction, into insights and value, we at WD have a deep understanding on how to shape solutions as data and data infrastructure.
AIM: Can you talk about India perspective on the dynamic nature of the data storage industry and key technology, growth trends
VT: So in terms of the dynamic nature of data storage one of the most demonstrable examples is that of the government. Take the example of election campaigning and hundreds of public policies. They are now very reliant on data, or Big Data, as you may call it.
Because the data is growing so rapidly over the last few years, the storage and data centre market has also been growing consistently. Now the Cloud is a big trend.
AIM: It is interesting that you should say that. As a supplier of hardware for data storage, do you feel that the market share for you will keep going down?
VT: Every enterprise or a user has a different kind of need for data storage. Take for example SMEs or individual users. They are happy to use cloud and cloud-based services. They do not have the infrastructure or the budget for hardware. They are straightaway “born in the cloud”. But once they reach a certain stage certain size of data then it becomes very expensive to keep in the cloud. Similarly, bigger enterprises still need to use physical storage in order to make sure that their data is safe and easily accessible.
AIM: So, is where is the future of data storage?
VT: Hybrid cloud storage — that’s the solution. Most big companies now adopt this solution. They keep their long-term data, the information they need to use only sporadically, in physical centres. Backup data or archival data which is to be kept for the government regulatory purpose is stored physically. And the keep the data they need regularly on the cloud.
AIM: Do you think this will affect the business and market share for Western Digital?
VT: (Laughs) That’s a very good question. The answer is — No. Earlier we used to sell storage to companies and end-users. So instead of going to 100 companies to sell storage, now we sell storage to data centres and the Googles and Facebooks of the world. The thing is either with the help of the cloud or otherwise — data has to be stored somewhere.
AIM: What are your views on Data Localisation?
VT: Now, the Government has realised that data is a valuable resource and an asset. They think it is worth a lot and now they would like all their data to be stored in India. This move will help the Indian companies, sure but MNC will have to make some big changes.
But like I said earlier, this is not a new thing. The Government has already mandated certain sectors to store data locally. So as a data hardware provider, we are keenly watching this unfold.