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India data centres attract $396 million investment in 2020

The Indian data centre industry has attracted close to USD 977 mn in private equity and strategic investments since 2008, of which nearly 40 percent or approximately USD 396 mn were infused between Jan-Sept 2020 period alone, an ANAROCK-Mace report titled Navigating the India Data Centre Lifecycle – Trends & Perspectives has said.

India will see at least 28 large hyperscale data centres constructed over the next three years. These will span over 16 mn sq ft with at least 1,400 MW of IT power capacity, equalling nearly 0.6 mn sq. ft. and 50 MW per facility on an average per hyperscale data centre.

Upcoming supply is expected to be concentrated amongst Mumbai and Chennai, followed by NCR and Hyderabad also getting a fair share of interest. Mumbai and Chennai together will witness around 60 percent of total future capacity, with NCR and Hyderabad contributing another 33 percent, it said.

“While India has been seeing a massive digital thrust since 2014, the current government’s data localization policy has paved the way for hyperscale data centres to handle the increasing data consumption,”said Anuj Puri, Chairman – ANAROCK Group.

Hyperscale facilities have clear advantages over smaller colocation centres as they can cater to the huge domestic data warehousing demand creating operating efficiencies and thus, pass on cost benefits to their customers. Smaller colocation facilities will need to reassess their competitive position and may need to repurpose to ensure survival,” he said.

Indians’ data consumption increased from 0.3 GB/user/month in 2014 to 10 GB/user/month in 2018; per capita consumption to hit 25GB/month by 2025 – total data traffic in the country likely to touch 21 EB (exabytes) per month.

The report finds that India currently has around 126 third-party data centres (colocation or hyperscale) spanning over 7.5 mn sft, and a cumulative IT Power Capacity of more than 590 MW.

While 53 players own or operate these 126 third-party data centres, the capacity is highly concentrated among the top 12 players who operate around 95 percent of the total IT power capacity in the country, the report said.

The report also tracks investments into digital infrastructure for data storage in India from exchange and MCA filings of the top 12 data centre operators, and finds that the last decade saw this industry’s net fixed assets increase 25 percent per annum – from USD 115 mn in 2010 to USD 1.1 bn in 2019.

With the focus shifting to large hyperscale developments, the underlying property is becoming more valuable. Approximately USD 9.5 bn of capital is in various stages of being announced, committed or waiting to be committed into Indian data centres.

Benefits offered by Maharashtra, Gujarat, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana state governments range from subsidies on land, power, or other infrastructure and tax or duty waivers to granting of infrastructure or industry status and classification as essential service, and more.

Tier 1 cities will see a fair share of data centre developments, especially in light of expected 5G rollout. Data consumption in Tier 2 cities will generate demand for smaller colocation facilities, given the growing data consumption of other urban cities. MoneyControl

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