Netskope relies on Channels & Alliances in India: Ajay Gupta, Netskope

Recently, In an Exclusive Interaction with Ajay Gupta, Country Manager for India Netskope, shared insights on GTM strategies, expansion plans, unique solutions offering, and more.

Bharti Trehan
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Netskope relies on Channels & Alliances in India Ajay Gupta, Netskope

Ajay Gupta, Country Manager, India, Netskope

Could you provide insights into Netskope's cybersecurity offerings tailored specifically for the Indian market? How do these offerings address the unique cybersecurity challenges prevalent in India?


Indian organizations, from government agencies to large private organizations, are adopting increasingly large, complex, and often hybrid cloud infrastructures to support their modernization. A Forrester survey of Indian companies shows that 73% of cloud decision-makers using at least two cloud deployment models say they use hybrid cloud. Stats from our Threat Labs also show significant cloud usage among Indian workers, and more importantly the associated threats, with almost two-thirds (63%) of malware delivered to Indian workers coming from the cloud applications and environments they use. 

Those complex cloud infrastructures are putting cloud and data risk and security on top of many tech and cloud decision-makers' priority lists. Ensuring that cloud environments, applications, and the data they store or transiting through them are fully monitored and secured, is one of the main factors behind the strong demand for Netskope’s platform we are seeing in India.

We initially built our reputation with cloud security, and as we developed a comprehensive Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) platform over the years, it has remained one of our strongest expertise. This is backed by the recently published Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Security Service Edge (SSE), in which analysts scored Netskope highest in application discovery or SaaS Security Posture Management (SSPM) - which contributed to our overall position as ‘highest for execution, furthest for vision’. 


Beyond cloud security, the SASE model is proving to be an excellent platform for answering modern organizations’ challenges such as catering for hybrid work while delivering employees high connectivity, security, and therefore productivity. With our flexible licensing model, we are giving customers the ability to choose the security components that fit their workplace, network, cloud, and security transformation plans at the right moments. 

What is Netskope's go-to-market strategy in India for promoting its cybersecurity solutions? Are there any specific sectors or industries that Netskope is targeting?

Reflecting our global GTM strategy, Netskope is fully relying on channels and alliances in India. This partner strategy has been the foundation of our growth over the years, and we are not deviating from it. That doesn’t mean that we are not hands-on, and the Netskope team is usually involved with customers at every stage from the consideration phase to ensuring customer success in the long-term. 


But we are finding incredible value in this ecosystem, tapping local and global resellers, integrators or professional services and technology partners, and helping keep them dynamic and relevant with security and networking innovation in return.

To maximize engagement we only work with partners willing to be true Netskope experts, and we have invested heavily in building training programmes to ensure that their teams’ knowledge is comparable to Netskope’s. Last year we also launched a program dedicated to MSPs and MSSPs, who are now taking a larger place in our partner’s ecosystem. In India, we collaborate with players such as ADCL and Doyen and have key technology partnerships with larger consultancies such as Wipro.

In terms of industries, cloud and data security have really become pressing issues across all sectors, also fostered by new local regulations such as the DPDP Bill. We perform particularly well in highly regulated industries and those that handle sensitive or confidential data such as IT, banking and finance, manufacturing, healthcare, or government.


In light of the increasing cyber threats in India, what are the plans to expand its presence and market share in the country's cybersecurity landscape?

In many respects, seeing the staggering and unwavering pace at which we have been onboarding new clients in the last couple of years in India shows that we already have a relevant strategy in place. We are going to pursue our partner’s approach and keep adding and upskilling relevant players to take our market share and local footprint to the next level.

We think this momentum is sustainable also thanks to market trends. Beyond cloud security or data protection, there’s a movement towards consolidation and convergence where we are particularly relevant. After years of adding security tools to cover a maximum of risk scenarios, many organizations are now looking to consolidate their legacy IT and security stacks because it has become too cumbersome and probably expensive to manage.


The SASE model is one of those emerging models that offer significant consolidation opportunities, delivering a number of modern cybersecurity components in a cloud-hosted network that also delivers optimised connectivity to distributed workforces. 

Can you elaborate on any recent partnerships or collaborations Netskope has formed in India to enhance its cybersecurity offerings or strengthen its market position?

We have more than 90 integrations in place with our technology alliance partners, including with leaders across complementary security categories such as Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), Identity Management, Security Orchestration Automation and Response (SOAR), or Security Information and Event Management (SIEM). The idea is to deliver a platform free of security blindspots and single points of failure and add value to the investment existing customers make with us.


How does Netskope differentiate its cybersecurity solutions? What unique features or capabilities set Netskope apart?

I want to provide an unbiased answer to this and therefore I’m going to rely on what others say about Netskope instead. For a credible, impartial and in-depth overview of Netskope, I strongly recommend referring to the Gartner Magic Quadrant for SSE, and Gartner Critical Capabilities for SSE reports, which have become a competitive analysis reference in our sector. Both reports outline how our platform differentiates from the competition, and how Gartner positioned and scored Netskope. 

We also have a feedback loop with customers. Our regular interactions with them help us identify where they think our strengths are, and I’m hearing the most about:


Cloud security: we secure cloud environments, from PaaS, and IaaS, whether public, private, or hybrid, to every single instance of an employee interacting with sanctioned or unsanctioned cloud applications. It happens in real time thanks to a Cloud Confidence Index that scores more than 80,000 known cloud applications and automatically adjusts security guardrails based on their risk profiles.

It includes a Data Loss Prevention engine that warns or blocks users if they access or move what their organization deems sensitive data in the wrong places, including in cloud environments or applications.

Continuous adaptive zero trust, meaning that the network considers in real-time each user’s parameters, including location, access point (eg. dodgy airport wifi), device, and behavior to adjust protection levels and access in a matter of seconds. 

Anticipating future risks. Our teams are always looking at the next technology development that will likely bring new cyber risks as well, and how we respond to this with new features. The latest example is Generative AI, which has been giving security leaders some headaches and many of our users like that we are enabling the safe use of Generative AI within their organization.

What are Netskope's long-term expansion plans for India? Are there any specific regions or cities within India that Netskope aims to focus on for growth?

We are region-agnostic and we deliver where customers are, which is usually everywhere in this new era of distributed workplaces. We grew our Indian PoPs from five to eight data centers in less than a year, which is reflective of our local growth, and we have teams in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Chennai, which are constantly traveling around the country to meet with customers and partners.

I have already touched on our strategy, but in a nutshell, the main avenue for continuing to grow our Indian footprint is to focus on strategic partnerships and develop our channel ecosystem, with a specific focus on addressing the market through MSSP offerings.

But customer acquisition isn’t everything, and we are also looking at how we expand our collaboration with existing customers. Many choose the Netskope network activating one or two security components, and the idea is to get more of them to take advantage of a full SASE model to support their digital and cloud transformation initiatives.


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