Interview with Stewart Laing, CEO and Founder at Asanti Data Centres

Tell us about the company and yourself


I have been involved in the data centre industry for many years, consulting across the public and private sector, helping them evaluate their operational and resilience requirements, in-line with business strategy. 

My experience inspired me to create a company that not only excels in its technical capabilities but also upholds something I feel can be lacking in the industry, honesty. At Asanti our company mission revolves around delighting customers, and you can only do that if you operate with honesty, integrity, and kindness.  



How did you come up with the idea of the company?


The idea for Asanti goes back to 2009 during my tenure as a consultant. After several years of experiencing and evaluating the market, I saw a change happening and realised there would be a large increase in the need for data centres, fuelled by changes in technology and software solutions that no longer needed to be on the premises of customers.

Everyone was talking about the arrival of public cloud and that this was going to be the only solution, but I knew that companies would have legacy applications and systems that were simply not suitable for the public cloud environment and that they would be nervous about putting critical applications and data into public cloud environments.



What makes this company unique?


Many data centres may look similar if judged only on their technical specifications, but our differentiation lies in our core values and how we’re using these to build a good business which is a great place to work and has delighted customers. From the outset, our commitment to customer service has been really important to me but you can only delight customers if you have the right culture.

We also take our green credentials very seriously which is a challenge in the data centre industry. Last year we announced a deal with Bryt Energy to significantly reduce our carbon footprint, eradicating an estimated 2,856 tonnes of CO2 every year. Our Regional Edge data centres are now 100% powered by renewable sources and we continue to explore ways in which we can be as sustainable as possible.


How has the company evolved over the past few years?


Asanti has grown from a vision into a tangible entity with multiple data centres. We started with conceptual plans and rigorous market analysis evolving through various industry cycles and economic challenges, including the financial crisis.

By 2022, we successfully acquired our first set of data centres and grew our team significantly. Our growth has been informed by ongoing market research, strategic acquisitions, and adapting to technological advancements like AI and high-density computing, which requires significant infrastructural flexibility.


What can we see from Asanti in the future?


 We are particularly focused on adapting our facilities to meet the requirements of high-density computing, which is becoming increasingly important with the rise of AI technologies and wider adoption by businesses. We anticipate further geographic and infrastructural expansion, particularly in under-served areas like the north of the UK, which aligns with our strategy to provide regional data centre services. 

With the UK recently ranked as fourth out of 211 countries by the Global Innovation Index 2023 and projections that the UK data centre industry will grow at a CAGR of 2.37% during 2023-2029 we are poised for exciting times ahead. I’m looking forward to being part of that growth in a sustainable, honest way.