Major registrar and web hosting company Go Daddy announced today that it is expanding into India. The new office will be out of New Delhi, and headed by a former Microsoft executive.
Rajiv Sodhi, tapped by Go Daddy to lead the new India office, served recently in the positions of director of SMB and cloud business with Microsoft India. It's Sodhi's experience with small- and medium-sized businesses that Go Daddy probably found most attractive. India boasts about eight million small businesses, and many of them don't have a website. To a company like Go Daddy, they could become a very attractive market – provided they can be sold on the need for a website.
Sodhi will be assembling his own team in India. While he is the first international executive appointed by Go Daddy, the company has been building toward this move for some time. As a registrar, Go Daddy has been offering domain names ending in .IN, India's country code, since January 2009. That may seem like a relatively short amount of time, considering that the web host and registrar has been around since 1997, but India's market may be the next logical place to go.
All of those small businesses in India represent Go Daddy's usual target market: small-to-midsize businesses in the US and other parts of the world. All told, Go Daddy boasts more than 10.3 million customers worldwide and holds more than 53 million domain names under management, which the company claims is the largest portfolio in the history of the Internet.
Sodhi is also a logical choice. “We knew we needed an experienced technologist, with a deep understanding of India’s culture and our Go Daddy brand of customer service. Rajiv’s 14 years of experience in the technology space brings all these qualities to our business, as well as his strategic view on how to help grow online businesses,” said Go Daddy CEO Warren Adelman. “Together, our vision is to expand our footprint in India, hire locally and serve customers in India with people who speak their language.”
Go Daddy has big plans for the office in India. Though the company is based in Scottsdale, Arizona, it also maintains data center facilities in Europe and Asia, and an office in Canada. Go Daddy expects that the branch in India will be the company's largest international office before the end of this year.
Go Daddy faces some stiff competition, and may find that it has some catching up to do. In November of last year, Google and Hostgator kicked off the India Get Your Business Online project. Its intention was to get small- to medium-sized businesses which may never have owned a website before to try one out for a year – for free. That's hard to compete with, but no doubt Go Daddy will give it their best shot.
For more on this item, check the Web Host Industry Review story.
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