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BW Businessworld

'GoDaddy Expands Its Footprint In India'

The only player in the small and medium businesses, GoDaddy expands its footprint in India and focuses on the needs of the Indian market by providing new innovative products

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Senior Vice President, Hosting, GoDaddy, Raghu Murthi talks about the hosting products that will be introduced to the Indian market along with the ways in which the company would build a healthy internet ecosystem in the country in an exclusive interview with BW Businessworld.

What are the products GoDaddy has been focusing on?

Go Daddy is a company that is exclusively focused on delivering solutions to small and medium business, even to individual entrepreneurs or web pro and re-seller businesses that are helping the small and medium businesses. In one perspective what we see is that we are unique in the industry and with our exclusive focus in the business category and this focus has driven us to build a company that has one of the best customer support teams in the world, that has the best products for the businesses we cater to around the world, that expands in everything providing solutions, SEO and SEM marketing capabilities and on security etc. We have built a product that is specifically targeted towards a kind of business which no other company has explored. Since the past 4 years we have expanded our global footprint and this has been a conscious effort by the company because we realize that all 450 Million small and medium businesses around the world and less than 30% of them are online. We see this as a great opportunity to bring these people online and make them successful which eventually made us expand our global footprint driving that as the core part of our strategy.

What are the challenges in growing small and medium businesses that GoDaddy generally deals with?

There are 3 challenges we face when we talk to small and medium business across the world. Small and medium businesses want solutions and they don’t want to be bothered with interference because time for them is very precious, they don’t want a technology point solution and require an online presence (technology is not a selling point with them), small and medium businesses need scalability to follow with them easily when they grow. One of the things we have learnt is that across the world the emergence of re-sellers and web pros is very important to the eco system especially with the businesses we cater to. Web pros and re-sellers act as the tech support and intermediary to people who provide education to the small and medium businesses. We find that we have to find solutions for web pros and re-sellers and that has been our strategy to bring both of those solution sets in the market and build the ecosystem.

What are the plans for GoDaddy to expand in India?

India is the first we expanded to outside the US because we saw a huge potential here. Our success here has 750,000 customers and that has grown really fast in 4 years. The real impact we see is that as the Indian market is growing and we get more businesses online the learnings in India is actually translatable to lot of other markets. Hence it has been successful for us and we continue to invest in India. Our customer support team we have in Hyderabad is one of the largest we have built in the world and its proving to be one of the fastest growing in terms of results and India has helped us understand our customers and is the largest customer base outside the United States of America for Go Daddy.

Where does GoDaddy see itself in the next 5 years in India?

Grow and become the market leader here. We support the local teams as well. We became the number 1 player in .in which is the local country CCTLD (Country Code Top Level Domain) in 4 years’ time. The strategy is built on 4 pillars: Market Awareness, Relevance, Customer care (3000 calls per day) and Enable the ecosystem. By far the strategy has helped us gain the kind of success in the country and more than providing success, the Indian market provides valuable knowledge for us in order to attend to other foreign markets.

What is your take on Business Hosting?

GoDaddy is bringing in the fastest growing product of the company and we are bringing it to India as a first step of international expansion. We are doing it with a specific focus of moving some of our customers who have expanded needs from a product services perspective and capability perspective. Business hosting plans are tailored to the Indian market. We found that the uptake of business hosting was much larger than expected in the US and we expect the same in India.

Why has the focus shifted from service oriented approach to a hosting portfolio?

In a past we sold our products on speed and size of memory and that was the differentiating factor. But I think customer needs have moved on from that and they are now interested in their website being highly available, secure and receiving best response time. They are moving beyond that and asking us for solutions in these parameters. We are actively moving our product line to solving those problems than concentrating on technology driven products. Hence now we are shifting our focus to a hosting portfolio and being the only player in the market for small and medium businesses, our focus has been driven to a much bigger need.

How is Go Daddy supporting the growth of the internet ecosystem?

GoDaddy is the largest company that supports small and medium businesses and these businesses deliver 50% of the GDP and 60% of employment in most countries. So our focus is to grow and strengthen that and make that even bigger. Our impact on getting customers online is radically changing and how people interact with those businesses. During this change we have to think about bringing in data centers, customer support, reach the customers and just by introducing these services and in order to maintain the portfolio of the company has comprised us and that is the way we are supporting the growth of the internet ecosystem.

How many businesses have gained a positive impact from GoDaddy?

Globally the impact is different in each country. We are supporting over 15 Million businesses today on our platforms and have over 70 Million domains in that same category. We transact 18 Billion requests for IP and queries per day. We are building up a very strong pedestal that’s got global presence. In India we have 750,000 customers and most of them comprise of startups.

What are the emerging trends in the hosting space?

The trends are very clear, if we look at the earlier ways of how hosting was sold, it was more dependent on selling a VPN or shared servers. The biggest evolution we see as we go forward is that we are moving from point products to solution driven products because that is the need for many consumers. Solution driven products are there to solve the three big problems that every small and medium businesses have. The three problems are: Attract new customers, transact to make money from customers and retain to grow customer base. GoDaddy can address all three solutions for the customers and that is our main focus on how we can get all our assets to address the 3 needs that the customers have.

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