Red Hat, the open source software company, said its India business was growing at more than double the rate of the overall company

Red Hat, the open source software company, said its India business was growing at more than double the rate of the overall company.

Red Hat said India would be an important contributor to its target of reaching $5 billion in the next five years.

Red Hat has over $2 billion in annual revenue currently and grew over 21% in constant currency last year. Open-source software is freely available, so Red Hat’s business model depends on customers paying for the support and service it offers and not on license fees, making the company’s offerings typically cheaper than proprietary software.

“India is one of our fastest growing markets. Red Hat does really well when there is new infrastructure to be set up. And the rapid pace of development that India is seeing sets really well with our offerings,” James Whitehurst, CEO, Red Hat, told ET.

Red Hat-supported software is already being used by the Indian government’s biometric idenitification programme ­ Aadhaar. The company also has large government and public sector organisations such as the Centre for Railway Information Systems, the Life Insurance Corporation of India and SBI Insurance as customers.

The company is also betting on geographic expansion in the region to boost growth. It will look to set up small teams in India, which will focus on countries like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

“We have a couple of guys covering Sri Lanka, couple of guys covering Bangladesh but it is a shift away from what we we re doing earlier. Now we are looking to build more local partnerships, build more local solution delivery capabilities and maybe a little later, we will figure out how we can actually be there and do a lot more,” Rajesh Rege, MD of Red Hat India, said.

Rege added the company was also looking to expand to smaller Indian cities. “We are interested in smart city deals that are happening in the state capitals and in the setting up of IT infrastructure in these regions. This will be partner-led because that is the Red Hat strategy,” Rege said.

Red Hat has seen particular success with the government, which has a policy that requires the use of open-source, and in sectors such as banking, telecom and manufacturing. The company is looking at ways to bring in startups, which typically use some form of open-source, onto its offerings.

“Startups, because they have very little money, typically start out with open source architecture. But when they scale, they realise they would like the kind of support that Red Hat provides. We are looking at programmes that can identify them sooner in that process,” he said.

Receive latest electronics news and products in your inbox
Weekly alerts and exclusive articles, products and free webinars
Your email will not be shared with anyone else