Google has landed a deal with Airtel for growing its cloud customer base in one of the most emerging markets, India. Deals with telecom operators are a well-known strategy in the cloud computing market since a decade. The move was taken by google for competing with other leading cloud providers mainly AWS(Amazon web services) and Microsoft’s Azure. The company hasn’t been able to pose nay significant threat in the US so far, and the fight hence moves to India.

India is an emerging overseas market for new cloud users and all the major players want to grab the opportunity. India’s cloud market is expected to be worth more than $7 billion in three years. Amazon however, already has a significant AWS presence in the Indian market, and for quite some time.

Google will offer G suite (Google’s cloud based enterprise solution) to small and medium businesses part of the telco’s ICT portfolio. Airtel currently has more than 325 million subscribers in India and currently deals with approximately 2500 large and over 500000 small and medium businesses. No details have been shared about the financial part of the deal.

This move from Google can be interpreted as a response to Reliance Jio making a similar deal with Microsoft to sell cloud services to small businesses. The duo announced this partnership in August last year which will benefit its 370 million subscribers.

“The combination of G suite’s collaboration and productivity tools with Airtel’s digital business offerings will help accelerate digital innovations for thousands of Indian businesses,” stated Thomas Kurian, Chief executive of Google cloud.

The market leader in cloud computing, AWS does not depend on telecom operators for expanding business and it holds no similar deals. All the tech giants like Amazon Microsoft and google are aiming for India to acquire a share of the lucrative market. Although most of them offer same features they are willing to give additional perks for making users switch to their service.

Amazon announced last week that it is going to make an investment worth $1 billion into its India operations. Its main objective is to empower more merchants to come online.

The decrease in internet prices last year resulted in nearly half a billion people coming in contact with internet at record time. Businesses also started to turn their operations online and it marked the beginning of use of digital tools, storage services and online payment gateways.