This week we talked to Hriday Biyani, CEO – Diadem Technologies, India’s leading cloud service provider, providing cloud, dedicated and hybrid hosting solutions across the globe. In business since 2000, they provide state of the art hosted solutions to clients who need a secure, highly available and redundant datacenter hosting environment backed with 99.95% uptime SLA and 24×7 technical support.
Read on as he discusses how the ability to provide hybrid cloud services keeps them a step ahead of their competitors, trends that he sees in the IT industry in the next 5 years and more.
1. A summary of your business, including history, founding members- about, number of years in the industry, number of clients, service offerings, website link, etc.
It was while studying for my graduation that I realized the necessity of doing something worthwhile in my free time rather than just pursuing the regular career options like a CA or an MBA. In 2000, there was this internet boom, same as today’s cloud boom. Thus, while pursuing my college, I thought to explore the opportunities in the internet-based technology market.
Domain registration was a complicated process earlier at that time. There were only three major domain extensions then as compared to today, now there are thousands to choose from. People were looking for website development and hosting services. So, I first took it up as a hobby. I enjoyed learning new things and learnt website development skills like HTML, designing, coding, and so on.
While I was working as a freelancer, I came across a company, Pugmarks, web development and hosting company based in Chandigarh, India. Pugmarks offered me the opportunity to work as their channel partner. I worked for them for about a year and exited the company in the year 2001.
During that time, I learnt much about the fledgeling internet industry, about ethics, discipline, work-delivery on time, business etiquettes. Overall, I was able to understand both the technical aspect and the business aspects of convincing clients to opt for our services.
Inspired by the exciting changes in the IT industry, I decided to launch Diadem Technologies in Kolkata in partnership with my brother in the year 2001. The company was later incorporated as a private limited company in 2003.
Our focus was to deliver high-quality web development and hosting services to our clients. Our team worked exceptionally well with dedication and hard work and provided everything that our clients needed.
The company’s real growth happened in 3-4 years, on average, it was almost 50% growth YoY. By 2007, Diadem had more than 500 clients across the world. Our goal is to keep that success and achieve better results year over year. We are still internally funded and have been a zero-debt entity since inception. Currently, we serve over 1500+ active clients on our infrastructure.
2. What challenges or pain points you faced before tasting success?
We have faced challenging times, and I must say all that has kept the business moving forward is passion and the willingness to succeed. We directed the business from just hosting to web development too, and we were able to get on our feet within months.
Later, in 2008, we were going through a tough time. Our web development service was not working okay, as the clients were not taking on new projects. So, we decided to close this unit and focus solely on the hosting business which was growing rapidly as virtualisation had become an acceptable solution for server consolidation and the market was growing rapidly. This all went well till 2012.
In 2013, we faced difficulty when dollar appreciated by over 20% vis a vis the INR. As we were dependent on global data centers only and took servers on rent from companies abroad who accepted payments in USD our input cost increased and almost wiped out all our hosting margins. At that time, we couldn’t go for low-priced data centers too, as our clients would not accept a low-quality service nor could we increase prices as the competition was quite intense.
Around 2014, data center focused companies started coming into India, especially, in Maharashtra. So, we decided to host at GPX, an Uptime Certified TIER IV Data Center facility in Mumbai.
…luckily, things went well. We took every challenge as an opportunity. We grew rapidly compared to how we were growing earlier.
In 2014, we became a member of NASSCOM. In 2016 and 2018, we were awarded the best cloud hosting provider in East by ITPV. In 2019 we also became ISO 27001 Certified Cloud Service Provider which is another commitment towards our client data security and privacy.
3. What do you consider your strengths that helped you take your business to new heights?
Our USPs are as follows:
- Self-owned and managed datacenter network at India’s only Uptime Certified TIER IV datacenter facility in Mumbai, India with 99.999% uptime SLA.
- Redundant, multi-homed network with all leading carriers in India (VSNL, Vodafone, Bharti and BSNL).
- Enterprise-grade hardware and networking equipment from Supermicro, Brocade, CISCO, Seagate, Intel, Fortinet and other leading hardware providers.
- Partnerships with Parallels, Microsoft, Idera, Globalsign, Cloudflare, Plesk and other leading software solution providers.
- Automated full data backup and recovery solutions are included with all our hosted solutions.
Suggested Reading: Diadem Technologies joins hands with Plesk, to offer Plesk panel integrated hosting services in India
The facility that we provide in India is giving us the largest reach. And, this facility is connected to AWS, Google, and Alibaba Cloud.
For instance, I have a hybrid model on AWS or Alibaba. To provide the services, I can just connect my network to their network, and we will become part of the same network. This, I believe, no other hosting provider is delivering.
“Everyone is saying you move to the cloud, but we say you become hybrid, you will save more cost.”
We are about to launch new services like Acronis through our partnerships to deepen ties with our existing vendors. We are also planning to work with SMEs to leverage the partnerships with our partners, vendors and service providers.
Through our widest network, we will have the highest impact in the industry in the coming years.
4. What sets your business apart from your competitors?
We can provide hybrid cloud services which is a plus point when compared to our competitors.
5. What trends do you see in your industry in the next 5 years?
I feel that the bigger cloud providers and the hyperscalers are going to invest more in India in the coming years. And, we as a hosting provider need to differentiate ourselves in this environment. It is not going to be easy because there are a lot of people who are doing the same thing, and there are a lot of companies who are not hosting companies, but they are also doing cloud.
We need to shift our focus and provide multi-cloud, hybrid services to our customers in a cost-effective manner. We are also bringing in the latest technologies like DR as a service, which we think can make a great opportunity.
6. What is in your roadmap for the year 2020?
We will be offering advanced services, Acronis, DRaaS (Disaster Recovery as a Service), and multi-cloud operations and also cloud cost optimization services.
We are planning to launch hybrid cloud solutions leveraging our relationship with the public cloud providers.
Next, we are a partner of Zimbra that provides hybrid hosting solutions. So, let’s say you have 500 email IDs and you don’t want to host all IDs on G-suite or on Office365. So, here we can offer a solution by which some of the IDs can be hosted on Office365 or G-suite, and the rest can be hosted on Zimbra. So, it’s a cost-efficient solution. We can call it Hybrid Cloud for Email.
We also plan to offer an On-Prem to Offsite DR + Replication on our datacenter network which would be an increasing need for clients who have servers on-prem and need a DR and replication solution for the same.
We also have plans to increase and augment our staff strength to cater to new service lines and offerings and we believe we will be able to transform ourselves into a leading provider of Managed Cloud Services in the next couple of years.
“HostBill automates repetitive, routine tasks, that cost time and money”– Kris Pajak, Founder & CEO, HostBill