We are transforming India’s IT infrastructure: Bhaskar Pramanik, Chairman, Microsoft India

2014 has been an exciting year for us at Microsoft—a year I wish had lasted longer. We are at a turning point in how technology can empower people and organisations to scale greater heights. As we step into 2015, we are committed to providing everyone with transformative tools and platforms so they can achieve their dreams.

Growth momentum: With new leadership at the helm, both India and Microsoft are marching ahead in their transformational journey.

India is on the path to becoming a digitally empowered knowledge economy and the landscape in India is evolving at a rapid pace. The optimism is palpable with the Indian government’s promising intent to promote economic growth through technology and digital avenues, as well as a significant shift in the mindset of users. This demands innovation at every step, and this is exactly what continues to anchor us.
Our performance: We have ended the year as the second most valuable company in the world, driven by strong positive growth across our commercial and consumer segments. Microsoft has delivered a global revenue of $23.20 billion for the quarter ended September 30, 2014, with 47% growth in our global devices and consumer business, and 10% growth in our global commercial business.

Productivity: At Microsoft, we have a renewed focus on empowering people and organisations to excel in this mobile-first, cloud-first world by reinventing productivity, and providing exciting new platforms to leverage. When we talk about productivity, we are not just referring to being more productive at work. We view productivity as the engine of human progress, to help people get more out of their time, whether for work or play. Our commitment to enhance productivity is centered on providing the right tools and platforms to help anyone make the most of any moment.

Cloud for everyone: Users are at the core of what we do. Our commitment to enabling companies and consumers to do what they want to do, when they need to, has led us to embrace openness. Our Azure cloud platform is more compatible and open than any other cloud platform in the world. Our strategic partnerships with SAP, Oracle and Salesforce, and most recently, the availability of Windows software
on Google Cloud, are making the cloud available to everyone and on every device.

We are transforming India’s IT infrastructure by enabling the adoption of cloud in India, and we are adding 2,000 commercial cloud customers in India every month. Through cost savings on IT infrastructure investments and flexibility to scale, we see cloud propelling the growth of start-ups and SMBs in India. Today, we have the most comprehensive cloud offering available for everyone—from private, public to hybrid—to help address the requirements of a diverse range of industry verticals and segments.

In 2015, we will extend our commercial cloud services through datacentres in India. While creating new avenues for Microsoft India’s 10,000+ partner ecosystem, and significantly furthering the government’s Digital India vision, this move will also widely enable diverse sectors such as banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) companies, state-owned enterprises and government departments to adopt the public cloud.
Lighting up screens across India: In line with the government’s vision of digital inclusion, we are committed to making computing ubiquitous and universally available to help bridge the digital divide that plagues India today.

We took one of the greatest productivity tools of all time, Microsoft Office, and made it even more widely available, extending to Android and iOS devices. This is helping enhance the mobility of people—across devices, across all of life—to create, share and collaborate from anywhere.
Along the same theme, we announced unlimited OneDrive storage for all Office365 subscribers, and entered a strategic partnership with Dropbox. This is very relevant in an era where consumers are fast moving to the adoption of smartphones and demanding services that are in sync across devices.

Last November, we launched Microsoft Lumia 535 which comes with our Office software, Skype and OneDrive, among others. We were thrilled to bring Xbox One to our broad fan base here in India in September. Xbox is more than a gaming platform—it brings movies, music and news to an integrated platform. These are two examples of making technology available to all and helping them use technology the way they want.
Endless possibilities: With issues like illiteracy and unemployment plaguing the country, the government’s focus on growing SMBs, promoting entrepreneurship and ‘Digital India’ promise endless possibilities. We are committed to India’s growth and enthused by the government’s recognition of technology’s role in bridging the digital divide.

As the industry comes together to help realise this vision with new technologies, we firmly believe that one such technology is TV White Spaces (low-frequency spectrum between TV channels). This technology can offer cost-friendly and accessible broadband to rural India, delivering the much needed last-mile connectivity.

At Microsoft, we will continue to partner with several central and state government departments, as well as NGOs to address challenges faced by our youth. We continue to work with the youth of India through our YouthSpark programmes which have already helped 50 million people.

We recently launched our ‘Women in Tech’ initiative to help attract, retain and grow women in the IT industry.

We are at a turning point in how technology can accelerate the dreams of individuals and organisations across India, and around the world. Our zeal to provide you with tools and platform that make an impact, as well as make a difference in the communities we serve, will continue to anchor us this year.
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