Jeyakumar Janakaraj, CEO, AdaniConneX

Fondly known as “JJ,” Jeyakumar Janakaraj is the CEO of AdaniConneX and Country Head of the Adani Group in Singapore. A veteran leader, Janakaraj has successfully built and managed large-scale infrastructure projects and businesses worldwide. The Indian Institute of Metals awarded JJ the Gold Medal for his contribution to the non-ferrous metallurgical industry and the DEMAG Gold Medal for innovative leadership. Before AdaniConneX, Janakaraj was the CEO and Country Head of Adani Group in Australia. Prior to that, he carved an 18-year career holding various senior-level management roles with Sterlite Industries. Janakraj earned a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore. 

Please share any insights behind the formation of AdaniConneX and the combined strengths that you see with EdgeConneX?

Behind the formation of AdaniConneX is the realization that digital transformation in India won’t happen without addressing scale and the product quality offered in the data-center space. To do that, we need to implement a multi-location strategy across multiple states. However, in addition to those digital-transformation needs, we realize that the data center industry customers are large global players with a strong focus on sustainability. A large part of how synergetic our strategies are is shown through  the energy solutions we both provide.

Therefore, it was natural to weave in the EdgeConneX side and their impactful handling of sustainability, scalability and giving customers the latest technology. Through our mutual, yet, complementary strategies, we feel this already is a powerful partnership.

Adani leads in India when it comes to full-stack energy management, renewable power, real estate and large-infrastructure projects. How do you plan to leverage those strengths in this venture?

In the last five years, Adani has built renewable energy solutions that scale up to 5GW. This is expected to grow to 14GW in the next two-three years, reaching 25GW by 2025. Our goal is to leverage these strengths to become the world’s largest renewable energy player. Let’s look at this in three parts.

1 Firstly, our clients require new age carbon-neutral solutions for their platforms in India and globally. As AdaniConneX, our aim will be to provide them with best-in-class solutions.

2 Secondly, because of the regulatory regime, India requires us to have certain capital energy policies. As AdaniConneX, capital energy generation will be on the renewable side, adding to our existing energy portfolio. If we see the scale of our product growing anywhere above 10-15MW, then capital generation becomes more viable, leading to custom-built energy plants.

3 Finally, at AdaniConneX, execution and scale go hand in hand. As in, the EdgeConneX technology and engineering platform complements perfectly with the Adani data center and renewable energy space, scale, land bank and project management skills. That intersection of technology and energy play right to our strengths. AdaniConneX will serve as a gateway to our customers for global data center deals with EdgeConneX and other energy-related deals with Adani.

What locations do you plan to initially target for data centers and why? And, when do you anticipate the first ready-for-service (RFS) data center?

We have started construction on our first data center in Chennai. We are working on additional locations in Mumbai, Noida, Hyderabad, Vizag and Pune. We also plan to have Edge data centers in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.

As part of our global leadership development plan for AdaniConneX, we are building the teams by investing in training and development programmes, preparing them for the future of work in the data center business.

Adani is a formidable player in the infrastructure and energy space. We anticipate replicating that in the data center space. Adani acquires the locations, in terms of the land. Then, it is turned over to AdaniConneX for development and, subsequently, operations.

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