• FirstWave Cloud Technology (ASX:FCT) to service the world’s second largest telco market
  • Shares climb 35 per cent at market open
  • Joins small cohort of ASX stocks targeting India

FirstWave Cloud Technology (ASX:FCT) has just unlocked a door to enter the lucrative Indian market.

India is the world’s second largest telco market with 1.2 billion telecom subscribers and 500 million internet subscribers.

The business sector is a particularly fast growing market for telcos with Vodafone Idea serving 50 million alone.

On top of all this, FirstWave claims India is the third most “cyber-attacked country in the world”.

The company told shareholders this morning it had signed a deal with Vodafone Idea (NSE:IDEA) to offer its cyber security services in India.

Vodafone Idea is a separate entity to the global Vodafone Group although the latter owns a 45 per cent stake.

FirstWave sells a cyber security platform for cloud content aimed at telcos and cyber-security service providers. It is sold under a subscription model and protects businesses from cybercrime attacks such as ransomware, spear phishing, data theft and fraud.

FirstWave’s regional head of sales Sundar Bhardwaj said he and his company were excited with the partnership and the opportunities it bought.

“With this new solution all Indian businesses can now reap the unique benefits of a truly enterprise grade, best-in-class SaaS-based cybersecurity delivered through the Vi Network,” he declared.

FirstWave shares rose as high as 35 per cent at market open before settling at 15 per cent higher by 11am.

FirstWave Cloud Technology (ASX:FCT) share price chart


Who else is targeting India?

FirstWave joins a growing movement for ASX listed companies. As tensions with China worsen, India has promoted itself as an alternative destination.

In recent months the Modi government has made efforts to attract companies to India from China.

The most recent small cap was fellow tech stock Netlinkz (ASX:NET) which last month signed a deal so it could leverage the Indian base of US-based Natsoft to develop a presence in India.

Last week, an Indian IT giant HCL Technologies (NSE:HCLTECH)  made a $225m bid for IT small cap DWS (ASX:DWS).


No easy feat

But just because India is a democracy it doesn’t mean it is any easier to crack than China.

A number of small caps in other industries have also tried but have had difficulties.

High-flying bacteria-killer Zoono (ASX:ZNO) took approximately two years and 12 visits by managing director Paul Hyslop to get sales started in India.

AVA Risk Group (ASX:AVA) only delivered its first security devices to India at the start of this year after months of negotiations.

Digital education stock iCollege (ASX:ICT) has had a slow-growing Indian arm for several years based in Delhi, but only produced first revenue in the June quarter last year.

Wattle Health (ASX:WHA) made a big deal in July 2018 of a 12-month deal to sell baby food there but ultimately its customers couldn’t buy the goods.

Rounding out the list is Vortiv (ASX:VOR), which was then known as Transaction Solutions International. In 2016 it was hit by Modi overnight decision to demonetise 500 and 1000 rupee notes in the name of reducing corruption and the black economy.