The computer services market in India is growing by leaps and bounds. In this promising market, Google, Microsoft, IBM and Amazon are all battling head-on to attract promising tech startups to their platforms by offering Cloud credits.

India: Cloud Service Providers Looking to Entice Startups

‘Cloud credits’ first appeared in 2013. The Internet giants are all offering this new form of credit, which can be exchanged for computer services such as data analysis, cloud storage, maintenance services, setting up a mobile app and so on provided via their respective platforms – Microsoft’s Azure, Amazon Web Services and the Google Cloud Platform. Cloud credits are now very much in vogue in India, where there are thousands of IT companies. Moreover, US information technology research and advisory firm Gartner is predicting spectacular growth – as high as a 32% compound annual growth rate between 2011 and 2015 – for Cloud Computing on the Indian continent. As the market grows, opening up new needs and prospects, the Web giants are going all out to tie promising Indian startups in to their Cloud platform through special offers of this kind.

Amazon out in front

In the drive to attract promising new clients companies, Amazon is way ahead of its competitors. Gartner’s latest report reveals that Amazon’s share of the Cloud Computing market in India is five times as big as all the other leading providers put together. Moreover, Amazon’s position seems unassailable since migrating from one Cloud platform to the other is extremely difficult and expensive. In addition, points out Gartner, the huge global reach of Amazon’s operation is driving economies of scale, which puts the company in a unique position to price its services aggressively in the highly price-sensitive Indian market. With such ongoing advantages, Amazon is unlikely to change strategy, says the market research specialist. However, Amazon’s clout and strong future prospects are not deterring rival Cloud service providers from launching into the battle for long-term market share.

The rivals are fighting back

Google has just launched a programme to provide tech startups with $100,000 worth of Cloud credits plus 24/7 support, an offer which is likely to attract many Indian companies. India’s Economic Times recently quoted a young Indian entrepreneur, Arjun Zacharia, saying: “I signed up for the Google Cloud credit the day it was announced. It would be a big boost for our business.” Meanwhile Microsoft is offering up to $60,000 worth of Cloud credits to software development companies and IBM is aiming to do the same thing with its Catalyst programme on Softlayer. Now that there is a growing trend for international firms looking to acquire Indian startups, promising Indian fledgling tech firms have an even greater incentive to seize a bigger slice of the increasingly attractive local market. Cloud credits appear to be a one useful means of helping Indian startups to fulfil their potential.

By Guillaume Scifo