Data Center POST interview with Oliver Jones, the co-founder and Chief Executive of Chayora
By Managing Editor Ilissa Miller
Oliver Jones is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Chayora, an international infrastructure investor, developer and operator of major data centre campuses in China. Chayora is developing hyperscale data centre sites in key cities across China – in Tianjin (to serve Beijing) and Shanghai. Each campus will involve over a $1 billion USD investment when complete and have approximately 300 Megawatts of power and deliver 20,000 to 30,000 racks.
Oliver originally qualified as a chartered surveyor after graduating from Kingston University in 1983 and prior to completing his MBA at London Business School in the late 1980s.
As an active investor and entrepreneur, his previous business ventures were each grown rapidly and also sold to acquisitive competitors: Symonds sold to Vivendi in 1993; Citex sold to Carillion in 2002 at the same time as Citex Asia was acquired by EC Harris; and NB Entrust sold to NB Real Estate and then Capita in 2009.
With ITW 2019 quickly approaching, we sat down to chat with Oliver to talk about how Chayora Data Centre is solving its customer problems and what’s on the horizon for the company.
Data Center POST, Ilissa Miller (DCP-IM) Question: Tell our readers about Chayora and some of the ways that you are making a difference for your customers?
Chayora, Oliver Jones (C-OJ) Answer: Chayora is a Hong Kong-headquartered developer and operator of hyperscale data centre campuses in China. Chayora aims to be a trusted digital infrastructure partner, delivering large, scalable high performance data centre facilities in China supporting efficient, high value access to the Chinese digital economy.
DCP-IM Q: To what do you attribute to your Chayora’s success?
C-OJ A: Chayora has developed exceptional expertise and insight into doing good business in China. Tried and tested onshore and offshore corporate structures, linked to tax efficient options for customers are aligned with a demonstrable and differentiating capability to deliver international-standard design and construction quality and world class operational management standards in the world’s fastest growing digital market.
DCP-IM Q: What milestones did Chayora achieve in the past year and how will these developments help your company keep up with the demands of the quickly growing and ever-changing telecommunications industry?
C-OJ A: Chayora’s first data centre facility was completed in Q1 2019 on its 80-acre, 300MW+ and the first campus site in Tianjin to serve the wider Beijing area. The remainder of the data centres and the subsequent 8 data centres planned on the campus are now ready to be progressed on a build-to-suit basis to meet any design requirements up to and including Uptime Tier IV if required.
DCP-IM Q: What is Chayora most looking forward to accomplishing over the next year? The next 3-5 years?
C-OJ A: In the year ahead, Chayora will close on its Series C funding round (early in Q3); complete the city agreements for its second data centre campus to serve Shanghai (Q4) and launch a colocation facility through a prime partner on the Tianjin site. Over the longer term, Chayora will establish between 2 and 4 further comparable scaled campus locations in the principal economic regions of China.
DCP-IM Q: What do you think is the greatest challenge in the industry and how is Chayora working to overcome it?
C-OJ A: The data centre industry is a young and relatively immature sector in a rapidly expanding and developing world. High quality new recruits are needed by all operating participants and a means of sharing knowledge without compromising commercial confidentiality is needed. Chayora is actively supporting not-for-profit organisations like Infrastructure Masons and others who are seeking to stimulate constructive solutions to these challenges.
DCP-IM Q: Good to hear. What new developments are on the horizon for Chayora?
C-OJ A: The challenges faced in resolving the current trade dispute between the US and China are very important to ensuring the global economy continues to prosper. Ensuring that we take the medium to long term view of a successful agreement being enacted whilst dealing with the short term instability that is probable is a key part of our current business plan. The opportunity this has unearthed is exciting as Asian (Japan, Korea, Singapore and Southeast Asia), Australasian and European cloud, technology, supplier channels and operators are becoming more visible and are seizing the opportunity presented by the vast Chinese market.
DCP-IM Q: What would you like to accomplish at ITW 2019?
C-OJ A: Greater awareness of Chayora and the China opportunity and to secure long term new partners and industry contacts that will support the success of the Chayora business.
Chayora ITW attendees will be Oliver Jones, Karen Kesner and Chris Miller
DCP-IM Q: Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat, Oliver. Oliver and the Chayora Data Centre team will be attending ITW 2019 in Atlanta from June 23-26, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency and Marriott Marquis hotels. For more information about Chayora, visit www.chayora.com.
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Chayora Limited, headquartered in Hong Kong, is wholly-owned by Chayora Holdings Limited, a Cayman Island-based company. Chayora develops hyperscale, world-class designed and operated, scalable data centres and data centre campuses in China. Chayora serves global Fortune 500 companies and premium Chinese data centre operators offering cloud services, information and communication technology (ICT) services, financial services or other services offerings dependent on intensive, high quality data centre infrastructure in China. Learn more at www.chayora.com.