India’s data centre industry has received a major fillip post the Covid-19 pandemic. Today, data centres have beco­me essential for sustaining digital operations across industries and supporting digital transformation in the coun­t­ry. This rapid growth has been fuelled by the adoption of cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and big data analytics, coupled with central and state government initiatives.

Indian market trends

The Indian data centre market has been growing rapidly driven by numerous hyperscale cloud players. In addition, rapid digitalisation, the widening of the digital customer base, technology im­prove­ment, infrastructure development and increasing internet penetration have given a strong impetus to the Indian data centre industry. The increasing number of smart devices and growing data consumption have also been key contributing factors. Given the plethora of opportunities in the data centre space, operators and infrastructure investors are increasingly pursuing expansion plans in India. In light of these developments and the immense growth potential of this segment, data centres have been accorded infrastructure status by the government. The states too are coming up with data centre policies and are creating a favourable environment for data centres by providing incentives for power, facilitating land acquisition, etc., thereby attracting huge investments.

Expanding operations

The Singapore-based CapitaLand Group, , is among the companies looking to scale up its data centre operations in India. One of Asia’s largest diversified real estate groups, it   now focuses on the design-build-operate model for data centre infrastructure.

CapitaLand has a global portfolio of 25 data centres in Asia and Europe. On a completed basis, the group’s data centre portfolio totals approximately S$6 billion in assets under management and will offer over 500 megawatts of power.

In India, CapitaLand India Trust Ma­na­gement Pte. Limited, the Trustee-Ma­na­ger of CapitaLand India Trust (CLINT), has announced its greenfield hyperscale-designed data centres at Navi Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore. The construction of the data centre in Navi Mumbai and International Tech Park Hyderabad is expected to commence in Q1 2023.  The construction of its data centre in International Tech Park Bangalore is slated to begin in Q4 2023.  When fully developed, the four state-of-the-art data centres will deliver a total of 251 MW of power.

Investment plans

CapitaLand has built core competencies in data centre design, development and operations and its vertically integrated data centre capabilities in Singapore, China, India and Europe enable it to value add at every stage of the asset’s life cycle. The Ca­pitaLand group has committed to investing Rs 110 billion in India during  over the next five to six years to create a capacity of 300 MW.

Focus on sustainability

As data centres will remain at the centre of the digital transformation initiatives of enterprises, the industry is looking at ways to make their operations sustainable. Data centres, being energy-guzzling assets, need special planning in terms of sustainability. Sustainability in the data centre space equates to energy efficiency, carbon neutra­lity and environment fri­en­d­liness. En­ergy efficiency entails improv­ed power usage effective­ness (PUE) in each component.

At CapitaLand, we place sustainability at the core of everything we do. We are com­mitted to growing in a responsible ma­nner, delivering long-term economic value, and contributing to the environme­ntal and social well-being of our commu­ni­ties. The data centre entity targets a PUE of approximately 1.4 with the inclusion of liquid immersion cooling for further reducing the PUE. The transition to a net-zero carbon industry requires a shift in the way data infrastructure is planned, designed and built. By establishing proactive, resource-efficient facilities built for ultra-efficiency from the outset, operators can ensure sustainable operations, maintenance and refurbishment.

Based on a presentation by Duke Pramanick, Associate Director, Strategic Alliance and Business Development, and Ashish Sharma, India Lead, Products and Pre-sales, CapitaLand India, Data Centre Group