Cloud computing company VMware remains upbeat about India in the mid-to-long term as the country serves as an important market and as a hotbed for talent for the US-based firm, a top company official said.
The company remains committed to its USD 2 billion investment plan for the Indian market that was announced in 2018, and is continuing to strengthen its workforce in the country. VMware India Vice-President and MD Pradeep Nair told PTI that VMware sells its solutions to customers in the Indian market but it's also an important location where it builds products.
"We deliver this capability to multiple areas and serve customers across the world. Hence, there is a lot of focus on India...The idea that we have such a wealth of engineering talent close to our most demanding customers is something that's always been very helpful," he said.
The fact that India is such a hotbed for product development across firms just plays to that convergence, he added. "We probably touch the breadth of the VMware portfolio in India...Originally when we first started, some of the work was more around testing, maintenance and support, but what we do know is interchangeable with what we might do in any other areas...India is in a position to drive innovation for the company as a whole," he emphasised.
In 2018, VMware had announced plans to invest USD 2 billion in India over a five-year period to expand operations and workforce. At that time, the company had said it had more than 5,000 employees supporting its business locally and globally. "...we are ahead of the schedule on that investment already.
India has been a market that VMware has done very well in...That investment is, as it plays even through last year, even with all of this COVID, we've continued to invest in India, we continue to add headcount in India," he said. While Nair did not disclose the current headcount in India, he said the company has been hiring entry-level staff as well as those with deeper skillsets. Notably, VMware had named Raghu Raghuram as its new CEO.
Raghuram, who had joined the company in 2003, took over the new role on June 1. He has played a major role in helping grow VMware's core virtualisation business, driven VMware's software defined data centre strategy, constructed and guided VMware's cloud computing business and SaaS transformation efforts as well as played a pivotal role in the company's M&A strategy.
Nair noted that VMware is focussed on making sure its employees and customers remain safe amid the pandemic, and that it remains "bullish" about the opportunities coming in with the acceleration in the pace of digital transformation. "...this has been an incredibly difficult time for customers, for us, our people, but the near term, longer term view on India as a market for us and as an area to serve the world, remains very upbeat and positive," he said.
Nair added that there is opportunity in various segments like healthcare. "There is a demand for technology and companies are prepared to do more...it's not that the demand is not coming but the timing might have shifted by a couple of months further (because of the pandemic). We remain bullish about what happens after we come out on the other side," he said.
VMware has taken a number of initiatives for employees in India during the deadly second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, including a "wellbeing allowance" of Rs 59,130. It has also introduced coaching, therapy, and work Life Services (ICAS) programme to cater to the mental and emotional wellbeing of employees as well as their dependents.
Besides, it had launched a 24/7 COVID-19 Helpdesk for real-time healthcare resources and critical information for employees and their family members. "As a company, we decided to focus on our people first and business will happen.
We want to focus on how we can support our people, both on our site and our customers...People stepped in to help each other, as a company and as individuals. This is part of the culture that we drive," he explained.