Kumara Raghavan, India Head – Startup Sales Segment, AWS, Amazon Internet Services
Kumara Raghavan on how AWS’ various programmes enable start-ups to optimise their cloud spends
Start-ups like Craftsvilla, Capillary, HackerEarth and others have reported bringing down their cloud spend by about 30 per cent with the help of various Amazon Web Services solutions.
At the onset of the pandemic, many start-ups faced issues related to remote work and supply chain disruptions due to lockdowns, and cash flow challenges due to the economic upheaval. Typically, the three biggest budget line items for start-ups are people, technology and marketing. Managing one or more would allow start-ups to scale as needed.
BusinessLine spoke to Kumara Raghavan, India Head – Startup Sales Segment, Amazon Web Services, Amazon Internet Services, on how the company’s various programmes enabled start-ups to optimise their cloud spends.
How has Amazon Web Services enabled start-ups to reduce costs amidst the pandemic? Please share examples.
Every start-up needs to manage its capital to succeed and Amazon Web Services enables them to achieve higher savings on their technology and cloud spends. We offer tools our customers can use to self-manage their cloud consumption spends. As of June 2021, Amazon Web Services has reduced the prices of our products and services 109 times since Amazon Web Services launched in 2006.
Several start-ups are using Amazon Web Services solutions for cost optimisation. For example, e-commerce start-up Craftsvilla uses Amazon S3 data lake, a scalable storage infrastructure, for better durability and has optimised its Amazon Web Services bill by 30 per cent in two months. Capillary, a cloud-based customer engagement platform, reduced 30 per cent of its Amazon Web Services bill by migrating from old generations of compute instances — a virtual server running workloads in the cloud — to new instances over a span of five months. Meanwhile, HackerEarth, a software start-up, saved 35 per cent costs through rightsizing — matching instance types and sizes to workload performance and capacity requirements at the lowest possible cost.
Can you share an example case where Amazon Web Services helped start-up(s) in optimising infrastructure cost and how?
I would like to highlight an interesting example here of CreditVidya, a leading player in the alternative credit scoring space. CreditVidya enables access to affordable institutional credit to financially underserved citizens.
As a fast-growing start-up working with big data, CreditVidya needed end-to-end cloud services for storage and to host applications. Cloud services were a significant part of their infrastructure costs and one of the main cost centres they wished to tackle.
We utilised Amazon Web Services Cost Explorer to review their cost analysis by optimising their storage infrastructure usage, converting them to a savings plan, and using spot instances to take advantage of spare compute capacity at discounted prices. We also used the Amazon Web Services Trusted Advisor to catalogue and provision their resources in real-time to reduce storage. Through these initiatives, we were able to successfully reduce CreditVidya’s costs by approximately 35 per cent.
There is a significant increase in unicorns from India. However, early stage start-up numbers are also increasing. How does Amazon Web Services play a role in the early stage start-up’s journey?
With a pay-as-you-go pricing model, Amazon Web Services enables early stage start-ups to access technology services such as compute, storage, and databases on an as-needed basis. This allows them to experiment with different services until they find the ones that fit their needs. That way, start-ups finish building their product and features faster, , while keeping their costs minimal.
We also provide technical skills training for founders and run mentoring services involving both our team and experienced members of our broader start-up ecosystem. Through Amazon Web Services’s global footprint, we also enable start-ups to expand geographically and connect them to potential customers, partners and investors who are critical to their future growth and development.
What are the key AWS programmes and solutions that you offer for early stage start-ups?
Since 2006, we’ve worked alongside hundreds of thousands of founders all over the globe, supporting them in building and scaling their businesses.
At the earliest stages, programmes like AWS Activate programme provide qualified start-ups with a host of benefits including AWS credits, technical support and training. Further, through the AWS Connections programme, we introduce innovative start-ups to enterprise customers. We have also recently launched the AWS Public Sector Startup Ramp in India, a programme designed to enable early-stage technology start-ups to build innovative solutions for public sector customers worldwide using our platform.