VMware may be a publicly traded software virtualisation company, but it continues to think like a startup. Over the years, it has over learnt that by collaborating with startups, it can build billion dollar business lines. The Palo Alto, California-based company, which closed last year at $9 billion, is looking to work with innovators and innovation outside the company. That’s why its global innovation team was in India recently to scout for innovation in the Indian startup ecosystem.
In this video interview with YourStory, VMWare VP and Managing Director for India Arun Parameswaran reveals more about the company’s journey and proffers advice on how startups can scale. Arun believes that networks will change everything in India, especially when data costs are falling so fast.
Nokia’s India Mobile Broadband Index reveals that the average consumption of data in India is 10GB per month, and is expected to grow up to 30 GB by next year. This, Arun believes, will fundamentally transform the country and its businesses.
So what should startups do?
“Startups should work with people with operational excellence. Scaling the organisation is a completely different skill set and the founder may not have that ability,” Arun says.
He adds that startups can add value to corporates by building technology valuable to them. “Our global team was in India looking at how the startup industry was shaping up. Like I said, VMWare has acquired so many startups in the past that it is always looking for cutting edge technology,” says Arun.
VMWare looks at innovation in two spectrums. It believes 50 percent innovation will be organic innovation while the rest will be through acquisitions.
The company has bought 45 companies since 2008, and has acquired nine companies since 2017. VMWare’s big acquisitions include AirWatch, Nicer, and CloudHealth, turning these companies into big businesses since then.
“We were always called a one-trick pony because of our virtualisation business. But not anymore because several of our business lines are a billion dollars in revenue,” Arun says.
The company’s businesses that have hit a billion dollars in revenues include the virtualisation piece (its main business), the cloud management business, work space business (end-user computing), networking and security, and hyperconverged infrastructure.
VMWare believes India is seeing transformation at a scale that they have never seen before. Arun says SMBs and large businesses are taking the digital transformation route.
“Banking in India is transforming faster than any other industry. Digital transformation is a cliché, but businesses have to go digital. There is no other way if one has to scale,” Arun adds.