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Microsoft appoints ex-AWS exec Puneet Chandok to head India operations

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World’s leading company Microsoft on August 1 declared that former AWS India president Puneet Chandok will be working as the Corporate Vice President of Microsoft India and South Asia. The move comes at a time when there is stiff competition between the two global cloud services giants to acquire market share in India. The firms are trying to meet the customer demand that has been increasing for cloud services in the country.

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Effective September 1, 2023, Puneet Chandok will accept operational responsibilities from India president Anant Maheshwari, who left his position last month.

At Microsoft, Chandok will take the responsibility of looking after the integration of its businesses across South Asia, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. He will also lead the company’s focus on important sectors from a customer-centric approach with generative AI at its essence.

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Puneet comes from a background of building and growing technology businesses and leveraging technology to deliver impact and change, said Ahmed Mazhari, President of Microsoft Asia. He also mentioned how the company Microsoft aims to leverage an AI-led future and they trust Puneet’s leadership to have an impactful role in ensuring the company’s continued success in South Asia. 

Chandok responded to the appreciation of Mazhari by stating how he is inspired by Microsoft’s mission to encourage every person and every company on the earth to achieve more. As India has increased its own digital public infrastructure, this mission is more relevant in the nation than ever before and he is surprised to be a part of the One Microsoft team to make this mission a reality.

With regard to his exit from Microsoft, Maheshwari said that he is thankful for working with an extraordinarily talented team that has a strong set of leaders. The Microsoft India team has set up a strong basis of trust and entrepreneurial business standards, said Maheshwari. 

In his previous job role at AWS, Chandok led the company’s India and South Asia business. He worked in connection with enterprises, digital businesses, startups, and small and medium businesses (SMBs) in order to limit their technical debt, innovate and make them skilled. For more than a decade, Chandok has also worked as a partner at McKinsey in India and Asia and held senior regional and global positions at IBM.

Chandok’s academic qualifications include a master’s in business administration (MBA) from the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, a bachelor’s degree in commerce, and Diplomas in Computer Programming, Networking, and High-level Computer Systems.

It so happened that when Chandok exited AWS, it sent a shocking wave across the industry. It is because the company had just declared an important investment of $12.7 billion to build cloud infrastructure in India by 2030. He had also led the large-scale AWS summit in Mumbai that was conducted to make the announcement. No wonder Chandok was responsible for AWS’s rapid success and expansion strategy during his tenure from 2019 to 2023, thus giving stiff competition to Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.

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