Microsoft is to supply Flipkart with cloud infrastructure and artificial intelligence services in a win over cloud rivals

Microsoft has formed what it called a long-term strategic partnership with Flipkart, the most prominent domestic e-commerce company operating in the Indian market, that is to see Flipkart initially using Microsoft Azure s cloud infrastructure and later more advanced services such as machine learning and data analytics.

The deal is a boost for Azure, which is faces intense competition from the likes of market leader Amazon Web Services AWS , Google Cloud Platform and others, and gives Microsoft a foothold in India s quickly growing e-commerce market, where Amazon has pledged to invest $5 billion £4bn to build its business.

At an event on Monday in Bangalore, the Indian high-tech hub where Flipkart is based, Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella – himself a native of Hyderabad, India – said he was an admirer of Flipkart s growth from e-commerce into other areas including logistics.

Combining Microsoft s cloud platform and AI capabilities with Flipkart s existing services and data assets will enable Flipkart to accelerate its digital transformation in e-commerce and deliver new customer experiences, Nadella said in a statement released to coincide with the event.

Flipkart Group chief executive Binny Bansal said the deal would allow his company to benefit from Microsoft s large scale and reliability in cloud services.

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