Re-engineering Kathmandugan’s online web hosting, which is the biggest in the country, has taken off.
The country has the highest number of websites on the internet, according to data released by the World Wide Web Consortium, with around 1,400,000 websites hosted on Google.
While the city of 3.2 million is known for its digital and social media prowess, its online hosting services, including those run by NetApp and Reliance Jio, are struggling to keep pace with the rise of mobile devices and the proliferation of content.
“People used to come here for free and now they come here to buy cheap, and we are being pushed to the point where we are forced to sell to companies who want to be the dominant player in the market,” said a senior executive from a global online hosting provider.
The industry has become more competitive, as technology has improved and companies have been able to offer faster response times and a cheaper price tag.
While Reliance continues to offer the cheapest price per GB, the average speed of its customers’ websites is around 40 per cent faster than that of the next-fastest.
The company has also moved away from the expensive web hosting services like CloudFlare and GoDaddy.
In recent months, the company has made a number of investments in its own infrastructure, including building a 1,000-metre-long fibre optic network and investing $250 million in a data centre in Kathra Kheri.
Reliance said the company also has the largest data centre for the data industry in the world and employs more than 20,000 people.
While most web hosting companies in Kathapli are based in Kathali, one in the capital city of Kathmandua has moved to invest in the technology of its own.
It is a startup called Go-Fi, which has started in 2014 and is now offering its services on a larger scale.
Go-FI CEO Naveen Prakash said that since its inception, it has been looking at the market and was convinced that there was a demand for a company that could deliver quality, affordable web hosting.
The company’s first two months were successful, with its customers paying around Rs 10 per month.
Prakush said Go-fi has since invested in infrastructure, such as fibre-optic cables and an IT department, and is currently offering a variety of services to businesses and government agencies.
“We started off in 2016 with our initial product, which was the service that was offered to government agencies for the purposes of outsourcing the provision of their websites.
Now we have been looking to expand our offering and have started to sell our services through Go- Fi,” he said.
The Go-Tech, which will be the company’s official brand name, is currently selling its services for a nominal fee of Rs 15 per month on its website.
Prakush pointed out that Go-Fit, which sells its services through a third party, has a track record of providing the best price for its services.
“We have not sold our services as of yet because we are still developing our technology,” he added.
As of June this year, Go-Fit had an annual revenue of Rs 1,300 crore, according the company.
Goi, which operates out of the same building in Kathala, was founded by three engineers from Bengaluru.
Its CEO K P Sharma has said that he is looking to increase its revenue by 30 per cent in the next three years, to Rs 10 lakh crore.
“There is a huge demand for hosting services and we have seen the need for such services,” he told The Hindu.
The biggest threat to Goi’s growth, Sharma added, is the growth of rivals like Cloudflare and other companies that offer low-cost hosting services.
“There is no competition in the marketplace.
We do not have to pay any commission for our service.
It does not matter what price you pay.
We offer you an affordable price.
And you can access our servers for free, no matter what the price is.
We believe that we can compete with any company,” he explained.