Ahead of Satya Nadella’s India landing, Microsoft announced a new initiative aimed at empowering 100 business-to-business Indian start-ups with 100 investor companies, all roped in to commit $100,000 each to the budding firms within 18 months.
Launched under the existing “Microsoft for Start-ups” platform, the Windows-maker has named the new programme “100x100x100” and claims it will help growing Indian companies to adapt to the developing “Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)” solutions. Microsoft India President Anant Maheshwari has shared the announcement on Twitter.
Excited to announce 100X100X100, a first-of-its-kind program that brings together enterprises and B2B startups. Amazing opportunity for businesses to fast-track their digital journeys with enterprise-grade solutions from startups. https://t.co/xi18L1JrU3— Anant Maheshwari (@_MAnant) February 24, 2020
SaaS is one of the top three types of software distribution models that allows a third party provider to host and manage the availability of computer applications on the web. The other two main software distribution models include - Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS).
As part of his three-day trip to his homeland India, Nadella will visit three cities, Mumbai, Bengaluru and New Delhi, between 24 and 26 February. In Mumbai and Bengaluru, the Microsoft CEO will address the “Future Decoded CEO Summits” – which would witness industry leaders discussing technological advancements which are foreseeable in the next ten years.
Before returning to the US, Nadella is hoping to catch up with government officials and Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself.
However, Nadella’s hopes for a meeting with Prime Minister Modi could go in vain: the tech mogul has criticised India’s new Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – which opponents claim discriminates against Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
Passed in December, the controversial CAA entitles non-Muslim migrants from three of India’s neighbouring countries, who arrived in India before 2015, to citizenship. The law has continued to ignite violent protests in India.
In January, Nadella expressed his opinions on the CAA in an official statement shared by Microsoft India’s official page.
Statement from Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft pic.twitter.com/lzsqAUHu3I— Microsoft India (@MicrosoftIndia) January 13, 2020
In January, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos also visited India and announced an incremental investment of $1 billion to digitise small and medium businesses in the country. The fresh billion dollar investment added to the $5 billion that the American e-commerce giant has already infused in the country.
Bezos was also looking forward to meeting Prime Minister Modi at the time, but that did not happen because the Amazon CEO’s India trip was chased by nation-wide protests from the local traders who accused the e-commerce platform of driving engagement on its platform with unethical business practices like deep discounting and predatory pricing.
In 2019, Microsoft crossed a market capitalisation threshold of over $1 trillion and managed to churn out over $1 billion in revenue from India – which is currently going through its lowest level of economic growth in six years.
As of now, details about Nadella’s meeting with Prime Minister Modi remain undisclosed.
Prime Minister Modi is hosting US President Donald Trump on his less than 36-hour trip to India where the two leaders will inaugurate the world’s largest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad city, visit the Taj Mahal in Agra and discuss trade, defence, H-1B visa issues and bilateral relations in New Delhi.