A conversation with Mahesh Jaishankar of Arc

A conversation with Mahesh Jaishankar of Arc

20 April 2020 | Natalie Bannerman

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Capacity speaks to CEO of Arc about the opportunities in edge computing in the Middle East and how Covid-19 is driving the need for more critical infrastructure.

For those unaware, how is Arc capitalising on the opportunities of edge computing in the Middle East? 

Edge computing is growing across the Middle East and Africa, as more and more companies see the potential for lower latencies and an optimised end-user experience. The Middle East and Africa edge computing market is expected to reach $1.46 billion by 2023, representing a compound annual growth rate of 33%.

Arc has been purpose-built to optimise digital experience and provide rapid access to network and data centre infrastructure across the region.

When companies are looking at operating in the Middle East and utilising edge computing, the main thing they’re looking for is simplicity. They want an easy way to operate in the region and that’s where we really stand out in the market.

Customers can use Arc as their single provider to move faster to capture new opportunities and grow across the Middle East, with a model built to deliver agility, flexibility and speed. We remove the complexity from inter-connecting regional hubs and provide a single platform for enabling agile network ecosystems.

How is the accelerating adoption of the cloud in the Middle East impacting business activities for Arc in the region?

Cloud growth in the Middle East is growing year-on-year, so it’s more important than ever to have fast connections to the cloud that can optimise cloud-based applications and services. We’re supporting a growing number of cloud service providers with our services, as well as providing direct cloud connectivity to enterprises of all sizes.

Accelerating cloud adoption is not only great in terms of our business activities, but also for the growth and digital transformation of the Middle East as a region. We’re proud to be supporting the digital future of local and global businesses across MENA.

As a provider of connectivity solutions, do you foresee an acceleration in projects as a result of Covid-19 and the need for more critical infrastructure?

Covid-19 has really highlighted the importance of critical infrastructure for keeping everyone connected during this challenging time. Internet exchanges are seeing record-breaking surges of IP traffic as a growing number of people work from home and use tools such as video calling and other online collaboration tools to stay in contact with not only colleagues, but also friends and family.

We’re already seeing an increase in demand for our services as changing user behaviours put pressure on the global internet, and we expect this to grow further in the coming months.

Covid-19 could see a step change in the way organisations work, as more people realise that companies can actually continue to operate successfully with employees working from home. This could change connectivity as we know it and accelerate future projects even further, as demands for more critical infrastructure continue to grow.

How will the growing deployment of 5G in the Middle East contribute to transforming the region into a digital hub?

The growing deployment of 5G across the Middle East is exciting. The region is already transforming into a digital hub and 5G will accelerate this process even further. I believe 5G will be the next big step to mass innovation across the region, as the lower latencies, higher security and speeds provide a whole range of new opportunities for development.

The Internet of Things and smart city technologies will see a spike in growth as more technologies become connected through 5G, and the region should see economic growth like no other. 

You have recently been appointed CEO, what has been the focus and what are you doing for the rest of 2020?

It is an honour to have been entrusted by the board to lead this joint venture and take this unique proposition and vision to the market. The team has been busy for the last couple of months getting Arc operational. In parallel we have been engaging with customers and partners to support them in their regional ambitions.

We will continue 2020 by prioritising working with our customers and partners to ensure that they can rapidly scale their connectivity across MENA to serve new user demand in these challenging times. The team at Arc is doing everything we can to support customers and ensure end users have an optimised experience when using their applications and services.  

Looking ahead, what are Arc’s strategic priorities beyond 2020?

We believe that the current pandemic will lead to an increased and sustained dependence and confidence in ICT services globally and regionally. We think that we can play a key role for that in the region. As such, we will continue to deliver and expand our rich ecosystem of subsea cables, networks and data centres to support our customers and wider communities with simple and seamless connectivity, with some of the lowest latencies in the region.

We were born of the idea to simplify connectivity across the Middle East and deliver the services that will support the constantly changing demands of our customers and partners, and we will continue to deliver on that.