From uncertainties to a booming market, this entrepreneur has always been on top of the Internet game
“To build something significant, one must have a dream, the drive, and the courage,” said Nikhil Rathi from Mumbai, a man who has emerged a successful and eminent businessman over the years.
At the early age of 17 and with USD 30 from his customers, Nikhil made the most of life’s challenges and uncertainties. He now heads three companies namely Web Werks Data Centers, which runs data centers across six geographical locations around the globe, Neosoft Technologies: a software company with more than 2500 employees and NextStar Ventures: a family office initiative to fund start-ups that also founded Mumbai-IX -- India’s first commercial Internet Exchange.
An ardent lover of programming and a constant explorer of the world of marketing and the internet, Nikhil launched his first software company in October 1996. Starting with developing small-customised PC software solutions, booking domain names, website designing, and hosting web sites on shared servers in the United States, he also offered web designing, which met the requirements of all the “look good and feel good” trends of the time.
The 1990s marked the expansion of electronic services in India, and the subsequent expansion of trade and financial services generated colossal volumes of data, which led to the birth of India’s digital transformation. Nikhil recognised this upward trend in Internet services, and understood the need to manage this comprehensive data by creating suitable data architecture. At the same time, even though the capabilities of technology were shrouded in a lot of ambiguity, businesses were slowly making their move to the internet world, and awareness about the internet was growing. This led to a disruption in the business world, with big and small businesses, individuals and professionals jumping on to the internet bandwagon. With a surge in business, Nikhil then hived off the software division to Neosoft Technologies which also helped them grow internally and expand across geographies.
Eventually, the hosting business transitioned into a data center business and Web Werks’ first micro datacenter in Mumbai was set up to cater to the Indian audience. Understanding the need for telecom carrier hotels in India, Nikhil adapted the European IX model to start the first Commercial Internet Exchange in India. This did so well that it was eventually acquired by the DECIX group -- the world’s largest internet exchange. Web Werks currently has 3 data centers located across the nation viz. Mumbai, Pune, and Delhi NCR (Noida) respectively. Nikhil has been pivotal in steering all the companies he heads across their growth trajectories. Web Werks’ Mumbai data center was the only Indian data center to find its place on the Cloudscene Leaderboard for its network and carrier density while ranking 4th in Asia.
Today, data has become an indispensable part of the 21st century. With rapid developments in internet connectivity and the surge in data usage, we are generating colossal amounts of data. Rapid technological advancements has become the norm and machine learning processes, artificial intelligence, etc. have led to the rise of a data-dominated global economy.
Today, several data centers located in different parts of India provide data center services including dedicated server hosting, managed and unmanaged services, and co-location services. With Nikhil’s in-depth knowledge about the industry, his willingness to take chances, and his courage to venture into unexplored domains, Web Werks has established its position as a leader in the internet data center market.