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With ports, airports, energy, mining and infra already conquered, what’s next on Adani’s mind?

Gautam Adani needs no introduction, here is man that started from almost nothing and now commands an individual net worth of $ 9.6 billion, making him India’s sixth richest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index.

Adani, who is 57 years of age, started as a diamond trader in Mumbai before setting up the Adani Group in 1988. Since then it’s been only a one way trajectory for him; upwards.

His conglomerate now engulfs ports, airports, energy, mining, defence and infrastructure. In an approach that has been a hallmark of his empire, he picks a hot new industry, especially one that is favoured by the government, lays the groundwork, and doesn’t look back till he hits the top.

When the Indian government pushed for gas projects in cities for cooking and transportation, his group bid for and won many licences, a move that could make it the biggest in gas retailing.

When PM Modi pledged to develop local manufacturing of defence equipment, Adani quickly built up capacity to supply the military and went on an acquisition spree to lap up defence contractors.

And most recently, when the government decided to privatise the operations of six airports under the jurisdiction of the Airports Authority of India, the aggressive bids put forward by the Adani Group all but ensured a clean sweep in his favour of all six airports. And, just like that, they are now in the business of operating airports.

The Billionaire was recently quoted in an interview as saying “our main goal is nation building through infrastructure; the group has always focused on business in line with the government’s vision”.

And with Narendra Modi’s vocal new ambition of a $ 5 Trillion economy in the next few years, who knows what new heights the Adani Group could scale.

Now, he has set his sights on what he believes could become another big money spinner; selling data storage services to companies such as Google, Amazon and Alibaba.

Not surprising is the fact that recently the government has expressed interest in this sector and is considering a new law that would require data to be stored locally within the country. A draft of India’s Personal Data Protection Bill of 2018 mandates storage of personal data on a server or data centres located in India, with a view to protect personal data and ensure that it is owned and controlled by Indians, and not global corporations.

Sensing an opportunity, the Adani Group has stated its interest, and is expected to invest around $ 10.2 billion or ₹ 70,000 crore to build data parks in a southern state, over the next two decades in a hope to capitalize on demand from foreign tech firms who’s data usage is surging, as Indian’s use more and more internet and smart phones.

Mr. Adani’s Group is betting on the new data protection law to be enacted soon and he said that if done so, “it will explode data storage requirements and that will need capacity”. He further went on to say that “this will be a multi-billion $ project that will bring in the Googles and Amazons of the world”.

The group would also have to contend with competition from other large Indian players who decide to make a big push into the industry.  One of the big supporters of data localization has been Adani’s fellow billionaire and Asia’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani. His younger brother, Anil Ambani has also built data centres in India.

We wish Mr. Adani all the very best for his foray into the world of data storage.

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