Interview with Suhaib Logde, Asst. Vice President of Webwerks
"Data business center since 1996" reads the Webwerks website. While experience is definitely one of their strong points, Webwerks doesn't hesitate to start new business opportunities as well – like opening a new data center in Dubai to reach a new market in the Middle East. I recently had the opportunity to chat with Webwerks' Assistant Vice President, Suhaib Logde, to learn how the company plans to continue to service the industry, and what the most important thing a customer should make sure he understands before buying any web hosting product.
HostAdvice: Hi Suhaib! You're the Assistant Vice President at Webwerks. Can you share with me a little bit about your career path, and how it led you to Webwerks?
I had of lot of direct experience in the IT field, and I was always really fascinated about Google and Linux. I started working with this particular field with a couple of data companies, including SIFY in India, and then UK and US-based companies Eukhost and Bodhost. After a while I was able to add more prestigious brands such as TCS, Net4India, and ESDA. Then I came across Webwerks. I've been the Assistant Vice President for close to 3 years now.
HostAdvice: Webwerks has been around a long time, since 1996. Tell me about the history of Webwerks and how it got started.
Sure.Our company was founded in 1996, and we started as a web development company.Today we are one of the best web development companies in India. Once we earned a reputation in web development in India, we decided to enter the web hosting space.
We started with a small data center in the US, and then we gained more experience with bigger, multiple data centers. We now have over 20 years of experience with data centers.We have 3 in India, 2 in the United States, and we are now in Dubai.
HostAdvice: I heard that you just expanded your data centers to include a presence in Dubai. Why did you choose Dubai?
After our experience being in the US and India, we decided to aim for the Middle Eastern market. There’s a lot of potential growth there. We can provide our services for pretty much any type of customer in any type of industry, and Dubai also has a lot of web development companies we can reach out to.The growth potential we saw was a major factor in our decision to set up a data center in Dubai.
HostAdvice: Who is your target audience? How do your products serve them?
We have two main types of markets we focus on, one of them is small to medium enterprises (SMEs), and we also work with government and public sector units (PSUs).
We’ve got different products depending on what our customers need. But we provide cloud hosting, dedicated servers, virtual private servers (VPS) and colocation services. We’ve got a huge range of products.
Most companies prefer cloud hosting and we provide them multiple options from containers to high availability cloud services.
We have pre-priced solutions as well. We also have peering with Mumbai CH, one of the leading Internet exchange hubs in India, who directly peer with companies like Google and Akamai, while larger streaming groups, such as Netflix, are currently hosted with us. Our goal is to improve network efficiencies in India.
HostAdvice: Does the Middle Eastern market differ in any significant ways from the Indian market?
There's a big difference in how we approach customers in India and how we approach customers in the Middle East. India is a very price sensitive market. They want the best price they can get. The Middle East, on the other hand, is all about choices. It’s about global differences, meaning they have a specific idea of what they want, in their mind, which is not the case in India – for them, it's all about the price.It’s a different ball game altogether.
It's not that price doesn't matter in the Middle East, but it's less of an issue than in India. This is the main difference we see between our customers in India and the Middle East.
HostAdvice: I see that in addition to offering VPS and shared hosting, you focus on disaster recovery. Can you tell me more about that? How popular is this offering?
It’s very popular. In fact, our disaster recovery product was used by some of our client, such as Sony and Volkswagen. Our data centers for them were in Mumbai, so they knew that if anything goes wrong, they can come to us.This feature is also especially popular for banks and other clients in the financial industry.
In addition to our backup plans, we also offer an inhouse recovery plan where you can get disaster recovery on demand. That means we offerour clients the possibility for to come to our office and connect, if they need to.
The speed of the recovery depends on the customer -- the package they purchased, the amount of data they want to recover, the weather conditions. Generally, if they purchased a backup plan, it takes a few minutes, but on demand can take longer, a few hours.
HostAdvice: How do you see the hosting market evolving in the next 5 years?
Yes, the market is constantly evolving. There's a lot of consolidation happening in this market as well, a lot of web hosting acquisitions, for instance, by bigger companies. Also, many people are moving to the cloud and want to do a lot of downsizing of their hardware and spend less on their infrastructure, which would be very high if they hosted at their own premises.
HostAdvice: Tell me a bit about your staff, where you're based, how many employees you have, and where the data centers are located.
We have more than 1200 employees on board today.We’re based on Mumbai, and we have a presence in several countries. In the past 20 years, we've been building up our data centers, so now we have five.
HostAdvice: What's your advice to someone looking for a new web hosting service?
There's a lot of change happening, so they should look for a company that has a lot of experience.For example, there are a lot of newbies in the web hosting market that offer unlimited usage, but what it means is your website will crash. A hosting company with more experience in the market will understand this, and help you avoid these problems early on, which is important.
You should also learn what kind of customers a web hosting company has had in the past, their client portfolio. This is really important for new customers. So, ask about a company's experience and their types of customers when deciding on a web hosting service.
HostAdvice: Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
Yes,I think it's really important to understand the market, the new solutions being offered and also the products that are currently available. You should also know what it means to be in the cloud and the direction the cloud is moving, and why you need a solution in general.
All these enterprise solutions -- they need to understand why they need the service. If they don't need it, they shouldn't buy it. For example, sometimes companies want to move to the cloud just because it's a new technology.Once they move to the cloud, they're happy, but as soon as something goes wrong, they say "but – we're in the cloud! This shouldn't happen!"They don't understand the implications of moving to the cloud and the problems that can occur. For instance, a service provider might brand a VPS server as a cloud solution. The fact is that there were multiple solutions the customer could have bought and this problem would not have occurred.
It's really important that any customer looking for a solution should ensure that he understands what he is buying so he can decide on a solution based on what he needs.