The Anti-Virus Kings

While Anti-Virus market is highly contested with presence of over 40 domestic and MNC vendors who have got plethora of security offerings, only few AV vendors have proven themselves in the test of the channel and end users.

While the IT industry remained flat in the last three years, the Endpoint Security business recorded consistent growth.  India is one of the top countries with the largest internet user base in the world. In the country with a high penetration of Smartphones, tablets and laptops, the need for internet security has become a need of an hour.  The exponential growth in the Smartphone segment and arising security concerns due to emerging technologies like cloud and IoT has further fuelled the growth of the industry. While AV market is highly contested with presence of over 40 domestic and MNC vendors who have got plethora of security offerings, only few AV vendors have proven themselves in the test of the channel and end users. DQ Channels took an overview of top Anti-Virus vendors in India which are lauded by the channel and end users for their cutting edge technological innovations and robust channel engagement.

Quick Heal Technologies: A Domestic Player Giving Tough Fight To MNC Brands

Quick Heal’s Success Mantra

  • World Class End Point Security Offerings
  • Robust partner network and strong partner support system
  • Customize security solution offerings and local support
Kailash Katkar, MD and CEO of Quick Heal TechnologiesKailash Katkar, MD and CEO of Quick Heal Technologies

Quick Heal Technologies Ltd is one of the few domestic companies which rightly grabbed nerves of Indian enterprises and developed security solutions that address the requirements of Indian customers. Commenced business as CAT Service in 1993, Pune based Quick Heal Technologies has come a long way and established itself as a leading IT security solution provider. Quick Heal Technologies has recorded 46 percent growth yoy for the last three years with an estimated revenue of around 500 crore during FY 2014-15. The company has already proven itself as the most preferred brand in the SOHO and SME space. Now, with its Seqrite Brand of Endpoint security offerings, Quick Heal intends to target the Enterprise segment. Customize offerings and a robust partner network are the two major drivers of Quick Heal’s success in India and the company is aggressively expanding its wings across the geographies and verticals.

Significance Brand Pull In SOHO And SME

Quick Heal enjoys a significance brand pull in India in the consumer and SOHO category. The company also generates significant business from a SME segment. Its retail business contributes a major portion of revenue that accounts nearly 70 percent whereas 30 percent revenue comes from the Corporate. Quick Heal has achieved installations in more than 25000 SMEs and brought more than 17 million active customers on board so far. Its Internet Security and Total Security solutions are well accepted in the SME space. Apart from SOHO and SME segment, the prominent Endpoint security provider has recently cracked some prestigious government deals including Pune IIT project of Maharashtra government and strengthened its position in the government vertical.

Scope Of Growth In Enterprise Space

While continued to be the number one security solution provider in the SOHO and SME space, Quick Heal Technologies is struggling to increase its brand visibility in the enterprise segment. As part of its strategy to increase foot prints in this highly potential area, the company recently introduced Seqrite Security solutions that address the new age security concerns of enterprises. The Seqrite umbrella has an extensive range of products such as Endpoint Security, Unified Threat Management (UTM), Mobile Device Management (MDM) and more, under its spectrum.

Seqrite is proving to be the major game changer for Quick Heal to create its distinct identity in the Enterprise space. With Seqrite, Quick Heal intends to solidify its burgeoning market share and presence in the enterprise security domain. At the same time, the company intends to compete with the renowned MNC AV players on a international platform.

“If one has to predict the growth of Indian security market, it is the Enterprise security segment that is going to make significant contribution in next couple of years. Our enterprise product range has been designed and developed keeping in mind that security solutions should be appliance-based and cater to the growing synthesis of business and personal life. In addition, our solutions deal with the rapidly and complicated threat environment and also cater to compliance, data leakage and privacy issues”, says Kailash Katkar, MD and CEO of Quick Heal Technologies.

Quick Heal’s constant up gradation in its range of enterprise products has been well-accepted by its partners. Vimesh Alwani, CEO of Graftronics who deals in its enterprise Security offerings says that Seqrite has helped the Security provider to increase brand visibility in the Corporate sector. “As compare to SOHO and SME, the visibility is certainly not up to the mark. However, enterprises are slowly accepting Seqrite. The brand is helping the company to establish itself in this space. We have successfully migrated two enterprises from one MNC AV brand to Quick Heal recently”, Alvani says.

However, Seqrite has to go long way to become a preferred brand among entrepreneurs in the highly contested Enterprise segment and the company will have to work hard on giving value proportion that gives it an edge over MNC AV Security players like Symantec, Trend Micro, Kaspersky etc. Manish Kapasi, director of Avion Electronics says, “Quick Heal is well-placed among the channel. However, it needs to work on earnings of its enterprise partners which are comparatively less than other players in the market.”

Robust Partner Network

Robust partner network is the major driver of huge success of Quick Heal Technologies not only in India but other geographies as well. Quick Heal stands strong to gain a lot from a healthy and productive channel relationships be it in the form of sales, reduced operating costs or extended customer reach.  The company has a strong partner network spread across India. It is present in tier 1, 2 and 3 cities through its branch offices and partners. It has over 15000 partners across the globe.

The company provides intensive training and education to all its partners. It provides aggressive profit margins and offer attractive schemes making it convenient for partners to generate more revenue.

“Building a lasting bond between partners and our organization takes a lot of thought put into new ways to motivate and reward. This primarily implies understanding things from a channel partner’s perspective. And here the factors that come into play are monetary benefit, a smooth supply chain, and quality of the product, providing marketing materials, co-operative advertising to generate brand pull”, says Abhijit Jorvekar- Vice President, Sales and Channels, Quick Heal Technologies.

Vimesh Alwani, says that due to its robust support system, partners hardly require any support from the vendor. “Quick Heal has got excellent Cross Migration Policy. It has got very good backend support. We are getting very good returns on investment and that is the reason we continue to endorse Quick Heal’s offerings”, Alwani says.

Multi-lingual support is one of the major factors responsible for its strong relationship management. “Value-added communication that includes addressing grievances and concerns and training to help the partner succeed, go a long to ensure a strong relationship. In our case, partner goodwill is also generated because of our exceptional tech support. Cumulatively, we invest in channel partners’ success by offering them above and beyond additional incentives; tools that will help ensure business success. This demonstrates a strong commitment to the partnership”, Jorvekar says.

Janak Mehtalia owner of Sujay Computers says, “Quick Heal’s local language support has helped the company to spread its reach across the regions. The company offers best training and online support along with best ROI to partners.”

Futuristic Security Offerings

Over a period of time, Quick Heal Technologies has cemented unparalleled experience, extensive competence and meticulous research in its core processes. With the advent of real time attacks and the rapidly changing security trends in the industry, Quick Heal Technologies has expanded to include solutions that incorporate cloud based security and work on multiple platforms and devices covering desktops, mobiles and networks.

The company offers simple, effective and intelligent security solutions designed to protect home and business. It is also focused on gateway with the Unified Threat Management Solution. The innovative solutions include Total Mobile Security for Android, Tablet Security for Android, Total Security for Mac for Retail and End Point Security 5 and Quick Heal TERMINATOR Unified Threat Management appliance for Enterprise. The company recently launched a Advanced DNAScan technology and an improved scan engine.

“As a company that is abreast of all the technological advancements in this industry, we continuously innovate and create solutions that not only deal with such threats but are futuristic in their approach. They prevent future attacks as well. Our cloud-based models provide up-to-the-minute updates. Security is now more business centric, therefore we are introducing new products in the corporate space. These are not restricted to integrated solutions only but are also aimed at newer delivery platforms such as appliance and SaaS models”, says Katkar.

The company has a dedicated R&D centre and Domestic, International and Regional support centres. Quick Heal already has offices in USA, Dubai, Kenya and Japan and we have partners across the globe.

The Way Ahead

Katkar says while maintaining its top position in the SOHO and SME space, Quick Heal will aggressively focus on the enterprise business and innovative security products that address the security concerns arising due to the disruptive technologies. He says the company will also shed off its image as domestic player and foray into newer markets soon.

“As far as technology is concerned, we are introducing cloud-based security services, customized security for targeted attacks, Mobile Device Management, and Data Leak Protection (DLP). We will be introducing security for the Internet of Things (IoT). In case of commercial aspects, we are targeting markets like North America, Africa, Japan, Middle East, South East Asia, South Korea, Europe, Oceania and industries like Banking and Financial Services, Education, Manufacturing, Technology”, says Katkar.

The brand will continue to emphasis on digital media promotion to attract eyeball. At the same time, Quick Heal Technologies is heavily working on public IPO and expected to make formal announcement end of the year. However, the company is not keen on commenting on the proposed idea at the stage.

“We intend to enhance our product portfolio and distribution and service network. Company has few actionable expansion plans to invest in additional capacity to satisfy growing demand. With this next plan is to increase our brand promotion activities to support our brand”, says Jorvekar.

Kaspersky Labs: From Only AV Player To Holistic Security Solution Provider

Kaspersky’s Key Thrust Areas

  • Focus on non Endpoint security solutions
  • Kaspersky Kids program
  • Threat intelligence division
Altaf Halde, Managing Director (South Asia), Kaspersky Lab, IndiaAltaf Halde, Managing Director (South Asia), Kaspersky Lab, India

Started India operations in 2010, Russian Endpoint Security provider Kaspersky Labs entered in the list of top anti-virus players within a short span of time. The security player which enjoys an edge over its competitors in terms of product offerings and robust partner network is rapidly transforming from only anti-virus player to a holistic security solution provider that aims to hit the double digit growth with more than 25 percent market share in the Indian security space.

Significant Increase in Market Share

As per the recent IDC report, Kaspersky accounts for 18 percent market share in India out of which 16 percent market share comes from the consumer space and 6 percent market share attributes to the Enterprise segment. Kaspersky’s business is divided into two parts namely consumer solutions business and licensed business. It has end point B2C products as well as B2B products. The company has a strong hold in the Consumer space and it intends to translate the same growth momentum in the Enterprise segment. The contribution of revenue to the Corporate segment is nearly 30 percent and 70 percent revenue comes from consumers business.  The company has more than 3000 partners dealing in its B2C offerings whereas 800 partners sell B2B.

“Spread is happening in a big way and our target and achievements have become double digit. We have changed strategy and focused in SMB space and today we have got good amount of space out of there. Now we want to get into Enterprise space”, says Altaf Halde, Managing Director (South Asia), Kaspersky Lab, India.

However, Halde accepts that the India contribution is to the global sales is still very less compare to other countries.

Focus On Non Endpoint Solutions

Kaspersky has come up with non end point solutions like virtualization security and mobile devise management. Kaspersky has also introduced a threat intelligence service where the company offers its expertise. Introduced in other parts of the world, the company has started talking to its customers about the threat intelligence division. The Russian security vendor is also in discussion with several Smartphone makers and telecom service providers in India to bundle its products with Smartphone software or push a subscription-based model through telecom companies.

“We feel that instead of us telling that buy these license if Telcos provide these security solutions as a broadband package then it is easier for customer to buy. We have got module called as a KSP business (Kaspersky Service Provider) business. In that we approach telecom companies along with one of our service distributor. We approach Telcos and give them Kaspersky’s solutions on monthly subscription basis. We will bill the service provide and he will bill end customers. It’s a pure commercial model”, says Halde.

With the business model, Kaspersky is also eyeing on the huge business prospect on the mobile security platform.

Betting Big On Kaspersky Kids Program

Aiming to spread cyber awareness among the school children, Kaspersky has launched ‘Kaspersky Kids’ program where the security firm has joined hands with Times NIE. Under the program, Kaspersky has collaborated with the Times Group to regularly send news letters to students. “There is a need of creating importance of cyber security among children who are embracing technology and not aware of its negative aspect, says Halde.

The company has also tied up with Ryan International School on the cyber security awareness campaign and intends to roll out the program in other schools as well.

Realignment Of Marketing And Channel Strategy

Kaspersky has recently realigned its marketing strategy and formed separate teams for Consumer and Corporate marketing. At the same time, the company has started aligning with large SIs like HCL. Kaspersky has also signed up some lead gen activity with some security solution providers. Government and BFSI are the two prominent verticals the company looking at and it is in the process of identifying around 15 SIs engaged in the government segment.

The company changed its distribution ship in 2014 from Sakri IT Solutions to V R Infotech. However, the change in the distribution business attracted displeasure from certain platinum partners and they openly castigated company’s new channel policy. However, Kaspersky maintained that the new changes were done in the interest of the business.

“We changed our distributor last year and certain partners were not happy with the changes. We tried to give them confidence and tried to convince them. We managed to convinced some of them and at the same time we managed to get new partners on board who were not working with us earlier and increased the foot prints”, says Halde,

“Earlier we were more focused in tier 1 and tier 2 cities but with the new distributor coming on board we managed to get tier 2 and tier 3 cities because of their reach. V R Infotech’s appointment proved to be the right decision for the company where we witnessed nearly 500 percent increase in the business after the new distributor taking the charge”, says Halde.

Aspires To Hit Double Digit Growth

Kaspersky is looking for a realistic growth and intends to hit a double digit growth in coming years. The company says that the mobile platform will give big boom to the industry and Kaspersky is ready with its security solutions for mobile platform to address the market need. Threat intelligence division will be focused area for Kaspersky and at the same time it will focus on adding new products in its portfolio with new and advance security features. However, services segment and non end point solutions will be the major differentiator which will give Kaspersky an edge over competitors. Apart from that Security for Storage is a new area for growth where the company has already closed major deals.

“Subscription business will be huge for us if it picks up. At the same time we are banking on the Kaspersky Kids program which will bring us potential customers in future”, Halde says.

eScan: An Indian Global End point Security player

Key Thrust Areas of eScan

  • Thrust on partner training
  • Customize offerings in Enterprise space
Govind Rammurthy, MD and CEO of MicroWorldGovind Rammurthy, MD and CEO of MicroWorld

Commenced business in 1993 and prospered under a dynamic leadership of Govind Rammurthy, MicroWorld is claimed to be the first Indian End Point Security provider to go global. Entered into product sale in 2000, its security brand eScan is rated among the top anti-virus software in India. With a growth rate of 30-40 percent yoy, eScan has strengthened its position in the Indian market and with a focus on SOHO and SMB and dedicated efforts to pull major Enterprise accounts, eScan has aggressive growth strategies to achieve the number one position in India.

From Global to Local 

Surprisingly, India was not a focused country for MicroWorld initially and its business operations were mainly catered to other geographies. The company shifted its focus in India in last 7-8 years entering with its SOHO security offerings. Similarly, the focus on the Enterprise segment evolved in last 3-4 years. However, despite of late entry in the security space, eScan has rapidly grown in all the three segments.

“India was not initially a focused country for us because piracy was high and people were not willing to pay for software purchase. The scene has changed in Last 7-8 years where people are realizing value of legal licensed software. We witnessed a drastic change in consumers’ mentality in India and that compelled us to look at this market seriously. Today eScan is one of the top three AV brands in India. We have strong hold in SOHO, SME and Enterprise segment”, says Govind Rammurthy, MD and CEO of MicroWorld.

In a short span, MicroWorld witnessed exponential growth with 30-40 percent growth yoy. The retail segment contributes more portion of revenue. Its SMB business has marked growth of around 40 percent whereas Enterprise business has grown more than 50 percent yoy. Some of its prestigious Enterprise accounts include DRDO, National Fertilizer, Karnataka State Road Transport etc. The major portion of revenue comes from SOHO segment whereas SMB and enterprise segment contributes nearly 35 percent. However, despite of the growth momentum, the India contribution to its global sale is still nearly 25 percent and rest revenue comes from other geographies like Malaysia, SAARC and other countries. However, Rammurthy says that the India business will surpass its global business soon.

Futuristic Security Offerings 

MicroWorld’s products cover the entire security spectrum making it one stop solution for protecting all information security assets. The company provides security solutions catering to all the platforms. Nearly 80 percent of its revenue comes from Windows and remaining 20 percent comes from Mac, Linux and other platforms.

Cloud computing, IoT and an increase focused on Smartphones have completely changed the scenario in the security space. Considering the huge business opportunities that are coming up with these disruptive technologies, eScan has introduced Cloud based Security solutions. “It is very clear that India will be among the countries which are cloud driven and machines are going to be control by internet IoT. If we want to extract the maximum efficiency of IoT then we will require security on these platforms”, says Rammurthy.

Keeping an eye on the booming Smartphone industry, the company has got into a slew of product offerings on Smartphone platform. It also plans to join hands with Telecom companies to push security solutions as part of subscription package.  “Smartphone has shown highest growth but as far as Smartphone security is concern the market is flat. Market is not exists for Anti-virus products on mobile devices. Therefore, we will never sell anti-virus on Smartphone but we will sell security on Smartphone. With this we think will have biggest market share in Smartphone based products”, says Rammurthy.

K R Chaube, director of Techlink says, “eScan has quickly adapted to the changes and it is quite a reachable brand. However, its products quality is at par and there is scope for improvement.”

Customization has enabled the company to win over MNC brands. eScan offers products MDM, USB control, asset management and all content security feature but that does not have AV and it will work with third party AV. So any company whose renewal is due after some years, there eScan plans to offer these products which work with third party product and that’s how the company has got breakthrough in the Enterprise space.

“Currently our positioning is as a content security provider and anti-virus is a very small part of it. Our products are strong at gateway and at client and we have wide range of products in SMB and Enterprise”, says Rammurthy.

eScan has recently fetched mega deals from Aditya Birla Group and TCS with has further helped the company to strengthen its position in the Corporate space.

Channel The Biggest Thrust Area

MicroWorld has poured in a substantial amount of time and money in the partner training and increased its partner based nearly 25 to 30 percent in recent years. The company is heavily engaged in various channel initiatives catering to nearly 3000 channel partners in India.

“Security market is complex and competitive and more and more partners are willing to sale product only when they thing that if they can deploy it own their own. Therefore, we focus on partner training and offer personalize services, value for money, trainings and 360 degree product offerings for all devices”, says Sunil Kripalani, Senior Vice President, Global Sales and Marketing.

eScan works through regional distributors and for SME segment it works closely with the state level distributors and SIs. Though it’s extended sales arm, the company is focusing more on Government, BFSI and Education domain. eScan has recently joined hands with one national distributor for a Education project.

“We are focused more on regional marketing activities. We get associated with IT associations and partners and train them and their engineers. Currently, we are present at 38 locations and we will be adding up more locations. We are also bringing our direct presence and we will add more technical manpower”, says Kripalani.

Girish Rathod, owner of Complex System who is an exclusive partner of eScan says, “Being an Indian company, eScan understands the Indian market condition and accordingly frame its policies. It is a win win situation for the vendor as well as for us.”

The company has increased its advertising and marketing budget in upto nearly 25-30 percent in last 3 years and effectively using traditional, digital and social media platforms to entered into new markets with improved marketing and channel policies.

“We are focusing more on T3 and T4 markets and penetration in B,C and D class cities. For that we are joining hands with a company which has national presence. This will help us to push products faster. We will roll out channel incentives for T3 and T4 partners soon”, says Kripalani.

Aspires To Become Number One

Banking on its major strengths of futuristic product offering and customization, eScan is betting big on the India business. However, where in SOHO and SME space, the company faces tough competition from other domestic brands like Quick Heal, K7 Computing and Net Protector, the established players like Symantec, Trend Micro and others might make its journey to the number one position quite tricky. However, Kripalani is confident of achieving a double digit growth in all the segments.

“We are comparatively newer player in India. However, we have fairly established ourselves in the Enterprise segment. Domestic brands don’t have international products expertise that we have. At the same time MNC brands do not have scope of fast decision making. Being an Indian company with a global presence, we are able to address both the scenario and therefore, we aim number one position in coming years in the Indian security market”, says Kripalani.

Symantec: Most preferred brand in Enterprise segment

Symantec’s key thrust areas

  • Strong R & D and channel support
  • Emphasis on cyber security awareness
Shrikant Shitole, Managing Director, India, Symantec

Symantec is one of the renowned security brands with a long standing presence of more than 20 years in India and Symantec is one of the leading security software providers in the country. Symantec is well-positioned in cyber security to counter the challenge to safeguard Government’s vision of ‘Digital India and Symantec Endpoint Protection has proven its huge acceptance in the country.

Contribution To India’s Security Segment

APJ region accounts for 17 percent of our total revenue and Symantec India has witnessed one of the highest percentages of growth in APJ in the past year. India has contributed significantly to the overall business of Symantec over the last 20 years of its operations in the country. Symantec has its key security intelligence installations like Security Response Center in Pune and Security Operations Center in Chennai servicing global and local customers. Understanding country’s need for skilled taskforce, Symantec recently partnered with NASSCOM to build a cyber-skilled taskforce, lending certifications and training to increase employability and cyber resilience strength.

“We are using our knowledge, skills, and resources to do bridge this gap. Being the leading security provider, Symantec has partnered with NASSCOM to build Cyber Security Skills in India and develop world-class skilled and certified professionals leading to employability, especially for youth and women, to address the skill gap. It is an extension of the Symantec Cyber Career Connection (SC3), a program launched in the U.S last year to attract and train young adults and women in the field of cyber security”, says Shrikant Shitole, Managing Director, India, Symantec.

Larger Acceptance In Enterprise Segment

Symantec has a clear advantage over competitors through its match winning products and services portfolio in the Enterprise segment in India. Its product strategy has been focused on addressing the dynamic needs of the consumers.  The company offer advanced threat protection and layered security that goes far beyond simple anti-virus and malware detection to offer predictive features as well as services to respond when an attack is detected.  With its Global Intelligent Network (GIN) – world’s largest civilian cyber intelligence threat network, Symantec’s products give an insight into how to thwart attackers.

“At Symantec, we believe it’s time to go on the offensive, leveraging the next generation of both threat and information protection technologies to fight increasingly sophisticated adversaries.  Thus, it is important for enterprises to partner with forward looking security companies who possess the proven expertise and a unified security strategy which is designed to simplify the customers’ lives and increase their security efficacy. We have built our solutions to knit their security environments together for the best possible cyber security. We are constantly innovating to protect our customers from the most sophisticated threats of today and tomorrow”, says Shitole.

Strong Channel Network

To ensure partners benefit from Symantec’s focus on cyber security, the company is intend to roll out Secure One, an enhanced program designed explicitly for security-focused channel partners to grow their businesses. The newly enhanced partner program enables partners to easily leverage its strengthened portfolio of cyber security products and services to grow their businesses. At its core, the new program provides a clear path to earning more with fewer hurdles. Secure One will formally launch in October 2015.

“With majority of Symantec’s business in India being partner-led, we see tremendous value in investing in committed, capable partners to drive deeper relationships with customers that will help them address rapidly changing market needs. With these new changing trends, we are seeing a lot of opportunity that will enable us to work closely with our channel partners to train and enable them to explore possibilities and increase their profitability. Our channel objective is to achieve sustained profitable growth, greater than market, for channel partners and leverage joint assets to deliver value to the customers”, Shitole says.

Future Roadmap

To maintain the current growth momentum in the India business, Symantec will continue to focus on providing the best of security services and solutions. With its Global Intelligence Network (GIN), the company aims to provide its businesses with intelligence regarding breaches that have happened or which may happen. Symantec is also building Unified security analytics platform which will analyze the worldwide threat telemetry and put it in a form that provides key insights and deciphers the genetics threat.

Symantec intends to create an environment primed to incubate new, innovative and disruptive startups in cyber security – especially in the realm of IoT technologies where verticals like process control, automotive, health care and energy require specialized skills. By collaborating with Frost Data Capital, Symantec aims fuel innovation in cyber security analytics, big data and Internet of Things (IoT) security and seed early-stage startups with funding, resources and expertise.

Apart from these prominent players there are many other AV vendors who such as Net Protector, K7 Computing, ESET, Trend Micro, MCafee etc. who enjoy premium position in their respective regions and verticals. The ambitious projects like Digital India and Smart Cities will further escalate the growth of the anti-virus industry in India.

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