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Our focus on sustainability aligns with the increasing demand for green data centers in India: Surajit Chatterjee, MD, CapitaLand Data Center

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In an exclusive interview with Express Computer, Surajit Chatterjee, Managing Director of CapitaLand Data Centre, discusses the company’s plans to capitalise on India’s booming data center market. Chatterjee outlines key market trends, strategic initiatives, sustainability efforts, and unique tech features that differentiate CLDC’s offerings. He shares insights into upcoming developments in Navi Mumbai and Hyderabad, emphasising CLDC’s commitment to sustainability, operational excellence, and customer-centric solutions. Chatterjee also details CLDC’s roadmap for overcoming challenges and driving sustainable growth in India’s competitive data center landscape.

What are the key market trends shaping India’s data center landscape, and how does CapitaLand Data Centre plan to capitalise on these trends to serve its target customers effectively?

India’s data center market is rapidly expanding due to digital transformation across industries, surging internet usage, and the growing adoption of cloud-based solutions. Regulatory mandates for localised data storage and upcoming technologies like 5G, IoT, and GenAI are further driving demand for advanced data infrastructure across sectors.

CapitaLand Data Centre, a global leader with a strong track record in markets like Singapore, China, and Europe, strategically positions itself to capitalise on India’s growing data center market. We plan to achieve this through world-class hyperscale facilities tailored for medium- to large enterprises strategically located in key IT and business hubs like Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Bangalore. We strictly adhere to regulatory compliance with data localisation regulations and implement robust security measures to ensure customer trust and transparency. Additionally, sustainability and energy-efficient practices are at the core of our offerings. We continuously invest in cutting-edge facilities to support India’s growing digital transformation needs. Our teams constantly focus on closer integration with cloud services, increased automation, and a sustainable approach, aiming to capitalise on current market trends to serve our customers effectively.

 

Could you share insights into CLDC’s strategic initiatives in India, including upcoming developments in Navi Mumbai and Hyderabad, and how these expansions align with the company’s broader growth objectives?

By leveraging innovation, sustainability, and the local partner ecosystem, we at CapitaLand Data Centre are actively expanding our data center footprint in India. This comprehensive approach utilizes leading-edge technologies like AI, machine learning, and advanced cooling systems. Furthermore, strategic partnerships with various stakeholders ensure solutions cater to the specific needs of the Indian market while leveraging our global expertise. This focus on delivering reliable, future-ready solutions tailored to the Indian market positions us as a leader in this dynamic sector.

Exemplifying this commitment to expansion are our two major DC projects in Navi Mumbai, a satellite city to India’s financial capital, and Hyderabad, an IT hub. These projects underline the brand’s strategy of rapidly expanding into emerging strategic locations. Building on this momentum, CLDC is pursuing pan-India expansion with additional data center developments in Chennai and Bangalore.

These strategic initiatives directly align with CLDC’s broader growth objectives in several ways:

Market entry and expansion: Establishing a presence in major Indian cities with high data center demand allows CLDC to capitalise on market opportunities.

Meeting diverse needs: Offering a comprehensive service portfolio (colocation, build-to-suit, managed services) that caters to diverse customer needs, including hyperscale cloud providers, content delivery networks, and large enterprises across various sectors.

Future-proofing for growth: Designing data centers with scalability and adaptability ensures they can accommodate future growth and technological advancements.

 

Sustainability is a significant focus for CLDC. Could you elaborate on the innovative approaches the company is employing to develop green data centers and set new benchmarks for sustainability within the industry?

CapitaLand Data Centre (CLDC) is a recognized global leader in developing sustainable data center solutions. As a data center operator (building and operating new facilities), CLDC goes beyond core sustainability practices and sets new benchmarks for the industry. We are delighted to bring our expertise to the Indian market to support the rising demand for energy efficiency, security protocols, and exceptional customer service.

Our focus on sustainability is evident in several key initiatives:

Renewable energy integration: Aligned with our core commitment to use renewable energy sources, CLDC actively seeks opportunities to integrate solar and wind power to maximise renewable energy usage. We explore innovative solutions, like on-site solar panel installations and power purchase agreements with renewable energy providers. This reduces dependence on traditional energy sources and minimises the carbon footprint.

Energy-efficient design: Our data centers are meticulously designed with energy efficiency in mind. CLDC utilises advanced cooling techniques like liquid cooling or immersion cooling, which are significantly more efficient than traditional air-based cooling systems. Additionally, we employ AI-powered data center infrastructure management (DCIM) software to optimize energy usage in real time. This focus on efficiency translates to cost savings for both CLDC and our customers.

Continuous innovation: Our teams actively explore and implement emerging technologies to further reduce environmental impact. This ongoing commitment to innovation demonstrates our leadership in creating a sustainable data center industry.

Further, our team’s collaborative approach fosters knowledge sharing through workshops, seminars, etc. and contributes to community growth. This fosters a thriving, sustainable data center ecosystem in India, unlocking new opportunities and stimulating the data center market.

 

With a reputation for delivering high-performing, reliable data center infrastructure, what are some of the unique tech features, methodologies, and standards that differentiate CLDC’s offerings and contribute to its commitment to excellence?

Our reputation for high-performing, reliable data center infrastructure stems from a unique combination of technology, methodologies, and industry standards, all with a focus on keeping customer centricity at the forefront. Here’s what sets CLDC apart- SAFE:

Operational expertise: CLDC leverages a global team of data center specialists, ensuring excellence in planning, implementation, and ongoing maintenance. This translates to efficient, resilient, and secure data center operations.

Customer-centric approach: CLDC offers a diverse service portfolio that includes managed colocation, build-to-suit solutions, and managed services. This allows us to cater to specific client needs with SLA-driven services and preemptive support.

Focus on sustainability: Recognising growing market demands, CLDC builds green data centers with energy-efficient practices. This commitment aligns with both their environmental responsibility and customer preferences.

CLDC offers unmatched reliability and performance through a combination of advanced features and a customisable approach. Dedicated buildings, assured power, carrier-neutral facilities, and centralised management systems all contribute to superior data center operation. Additionally, CLDC’s Build-to-Suit model caters to hyperscalers and specific enterprise needs with customised data centers designed, built, and maintained by us, ensuring rapid deployment and transparent cost structures.

CLDC prioritises data integrity with a comprehensive security framework. This framework seamlessly integrates physical safeguards, like biometric access control and 24/7 surveillance, with robust digital protocols like intrusion detection systems and end-to-end encryption to ensure your data remains secure.

Establishing a dominant presence in the Indian data center market comes with its own challenges. Could you outline CLDC’s strategic roadmap for overcoming obstacles and driving sustainable growth in this competitive landscape?

Our well-defined roadmap prioritises proactive solutions and a commitment to sustainable growth, aligning with the latest industry trends. Further cultivating strong stakeholder relationships and collaborating with government entities with a strong understanding of Indian market dynamics is central to CLDC’s strategy, providing a solid foundation for expansion. Additionally, developing a skilled workforce to manage the sophisticated infrastructure of data centers is another key priority.

Most importantly, our focus on sustainability seamlessly aligns with the increasing demand for green data centers in India. This strategic alignment enables us to capture market share and cultivate brand loyalty among environmentally conscious clients.

To achieve this, we integrate advanced cooling systems tailored for India’s climate, optimising Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) for efficient power consumption. Further, we demonstrate our commitment to environmental stewardship through comprehensive water conservation measures and responsible waste management plans. Additionally, we leverage AI and machine learning for predictive maintenance and energy optimisation, ensuring ongoing operational excellence and scalability.

By prioritising sustainability across design, site selection, operational excellence, innovation, and scalability, we are well-positioned to drive sustainable growth in the years to come.

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