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  • Writer's pictureKRISHNENDU KUNDU

India's Potential to Fuel Digital Transformation and the Data Centre Revolution with a 5X Capacity Expansion: Cushman & Wakefield

News Desk, News Nation 360 : Cushman & Wakefield released a ground-breaking report titled "Is India Building Enough to Power its Digital Transformation?" to determine whether the country's data centre capacity will be sufficient to meet its expanding digital needs. The report conservatively estimates the potential data centre capacity that India will need to catch up to other major economies through a first-of-its-kind analysis. This report assessed India's data centre potential and found it to be underdeveloped compared to other countries. They looked at mobile data consumption per data centre capacity and internet users per data centre capacity and found that India lags behind China. To reach China's level of efficiency, India would need to add 1.7-3.6 GW of additional data centre capacity. However, India has an advantage in construction costs due to its established IT ecosystem and affordable real estate. The cost of building a data centre in India is lower than in most other Asian countries. This positions India as a potential global data centre hub, especially considering India's focus on renewable energy sources for its growing power grid. The results show that, in addition to the 2.32 GW Colo capacity that is planned to be developed, there is a potential for an additional 1.7-3.6 GW of data centre capacity, bringing the total potential data centre capacity to over 5 GW. The data indicates that the combined capacity of India's Colo data centres in the top 7 cities was 977 MW (H2 2023). Of this, about 258 MW were constructed in 2023, representing a 105% YoY increase over the installed capacity in 2022. India plans to add 1.29 GW to its current 1.03 GW of under-construction Colo capacity by 2024–2028, bringing the total projected capacity to 3.29 GW by that year. Several factors are driving this exponential growth, such as the adoption of data-intensive technologies and rising rates of digital penetration, which have led to a notable increase in data consumption. According to the report, among similar nations, Indians have been the largest monthly data consumers, consuming over 19GB. Despite this, India currently lags behind other countries in terms of smartphone and internet penetration, which illustrates the scope and direction that the data centre sector is taking. The report attempts to calculate, using a conservative estimate, the potential capacity of data centres that India will need to meet to be on par with other large economies. The severe under-penetration of data centres in India is brought to light by this report, which also emphasises the necessity of greatly increasing investments to support ongoing projects. This increase in investment is especially noteworthy in light of the growing need for artificial intelligence (AI), which is predicted to increase demand for DCs in India as a whole.

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