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Turning Amazon’s Cloud Into a Hot Trade

Sachin Duggal is buying and selling computing power like electricity.
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Sachin Duggal looks pretty chipper for a man who works in three time zones simultaneously. After arriving in London from San Francisco at dawn this December morning, the entrepreneur attended a meeting for startups at the U.K. Treasury, then he communicated over Slack with his colleagues at a cloud-computing company he manages in Delhi. Now, ensconced at his usual table in the polished marble brasserie at the Arts Club in London’s Mayfair district, he’s taking a dinner break before he has to hop on a call with investors in California.

Clad in a white T-shirt, jeans, and a hoodie, he looks out of place in a members-only establishment favored by gallery owners and international financiers. But Duggal, a British-born man of Indian descent who built and sold his first company (and made millions) before he was 30, enjoys geeking out amid the Champagne and chatter of the jet set. Sipping sparkling water as his two smartphones chirp with messages from afar, he warms to his favorite topic: the cloud, or more precisely, how on-demand computing provided by the likes of Amazon.com Inc. has become a burgeoning market in its own right.