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Billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes' firm Atlassian looking to expand India ops

R&D has been key to Atlassian's growth and innovation

Peerzada Abrar  |  Bengaluru 

Mike Cannon-Brookes
Mike Cannon-Brookes

Atlassian, which provides its technology to customers such a NASA, Spotify and Lyft, has set up its global R&D Centre in Bengaluru and plans to hire 300 people.

The Australian software developer firm which provides technology to customers like NASA, Spotify and Lyft is betting big on the India market and its tech ecosystem. The company, which provides team collaboration and productivity software, on Wednesday unveiled its global research and development centre in the country.

“It (centre) is a big part of our growth plans as the company continues to grow very rapidly. We always try to build well-balanced R&D teams not just on the software side of the things but also design, product management, security and all the aspects that go into making great software products,” said Mike Cannon-Brookes, co-founder and co-chief executive of Atlassian, in an interview. “One of the big advantages Bengaluru has is (the availability) of great talent in all those areas in one spot," he added.

Cannon-Brookes founded Atlassian in 2002 with a A$10,000 in credit card debt along with his university friend Scott Farquhar. Its products such as Jira, Confluence, Bitbucket, and Trello are now used by over 144,000 customers worldwide. The company is also seeing a lot of traction from the India market. It has bagged customers including ride-hailing firm Ola, Reliance, Walmart Labs, and e-commerce giant Flipkart in the country.

“Small and large customers continue to come on board (in India) and are using a gamut of software products that we have,” said Dinesh Ajmera, site lead and head of engineering for Bengaluru, Atlassian. He said that the company relies on word-of-mouth customer recommendations for its products rather than having a dedicated sales team and those investments actually go into R&D. “Having this R&D centre here (would) help to keep building new products and solve customer pain points,” said Ajmera.

R&D has been key to Atlassian’s growth and innovation. It invested $415.8 million in R&D in FY18, up 34 per cent from the previous year, and has grown the R&D team by approximately 50 per cent since 2017.

The company plans to expand further in Bengaluru in the coming months by adding a number of engineering, design, product management, recruitment, and customer support roles. It has already hired more than 200 employees locally and would be taking the headcount to 500 over the next year . “Bengaluru has some of the brightest tech talent in the world, and within our first year in market we’ve hired incredible people whose work has had a direct impact on our global customer base,” said Sri Viswanath, chief technology officer of Atlassian. “I’m confident that the work done in this office will help Atlassian reach its long-term goal of reaching 100 million monthly active users,” he added.

First Published: Wed, July 03 2019. 20:48 IST
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