“Few players in India offer security solutions for virtualized environments and cloud”

In an exclusive interaction with DQ Channels, Zakir Hussain Rangwala, Director, BD Software Distribution, provides insight on the future of cybersecurity solutions and Bitdefender's marketing approach in the Indian market

What are the factors driving the growth of cyber security in India?

When it comes to desktop computer penetration in India, it is still at a nascent stage and does not reach across the entire strata of society.  With recent government initiatives and emphasis on digitalization we expect a lot of PCs to be sold in India. While there may be a drop in PC sales in other countries, we expect the sales of computers in India to go up. Secondly, a lot of transactions which were earlier dependent on man to man, face to face interactions are now happening via PCs, tablets and mobiles. Today, everything is happening via apps on phones or on the laptop, including your banking, your financial transactions or anything else. This along with the rise of cyber-attacks on these devices has also impelled a need for cyber security. As technology evolves, the potential for cybersecurity is only set to increase.  In India, the market is growing at a very fast pace. Even customers are becoming increasingly aware about the need for cyber security.  So I think there is enormous potential that exists in India for cybersecurity.

How is your product strategy evolving?

As a technological company, we focus on technology, constant research and technological advancements, first of all. As for our go to market strategy, our company focuses on building strong relations with channel partners. We do not deal directly to our customers, but work through channel partner only to promote Bitdefender security products. We have a team that goes around and meets customers. When they are interested in a purchase, we get them introduced to a channel partner of their choice or a partner with whom we are working with.  We are a channel focused, channel specific company.

More than our consumer products, our enterprise and corporate products were never quite launched in their entirety in India. They were launched in bits and pieces and never as complete solutions that we are striving towards at present.  The Bitdefender engine is used today by more than 25 antivirus companies worldwide.  So the user-base that Bitdefender has stands at more than 500 million users and keeps on growing making Bitdefender one of the largest security solution providers in the world in terms of the user base that it is catering to.

For the Indian market, it is not going to be a very high priced product and the aim is to make it accessible to all users. At the same time due to initiatives like Make in India, Digital India, the segment of  small entrepreneurs and businesses is growing very fast. These kind of companies have 15 to 25 user base or little more. We are now targeting this kind of SME companies and corporate entities that require  quick solutions; a cloud based solution where they do not have a server in their premises. Our focus is going to provide security solutions via the cloud so that enterprises can save money on having a server and infrastructure. Some of such companies do not event have a permanent IT manager. So these kind of solution allow IT admins wherever perform security checks while they are travelling, this is among the key aspects of Bitdefender solutions for SMEs.

How has the market for cyber security products changed today?

As an antivirus vendor, one has to consider what a hacker shall gain if he acquires access to your data. Apart from data theft, identity theft, the biggest threat right now is ransomware. This is where a hacker gets access to your devices and locks them until you pay them a certain amount of money. Bitdefender is among the few companies to offer a robust solution to resolve the ransomware issue in the world today. It prevents ransomware from getting installed on to your system. From a cybersecurity point of view; ransomware, data theft and banking security are the most critical areas today. Our product takes care of all of these effectively

Can you shed some light on your partner channel framework in India and how you expect it to evolve?

With GST coming in it would be easier to do business across states and help us solve some major taxation issues. Secondly, as of now we are a channel specific company and we have appointed distributors that supply to local markets in a specific area. We have field teams that help the partners sell our products to retailers, stockists, etc  and to support the customer. We have a team of support engineers who can help customers on a remote basis with the aid of a toll free number. So it is a simple and effective strategy. India is a huge country and it is difficult to access the markets in a few states. Thus we are consolidating our position in markets that we already have a presence in.  It is only after our business consolidation in these regional markets that we try and access other areas in the country.

How are you poised against your competitors in terms of solutions?

Bitdefender was recently named as a visionary in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms, which is an extensive yearly evaluation of the corporate security vendor market.  We are among the top five antivirus security vendors in the world. Especially when it comes to technology, since we equip all security products with cloud and virtualization features and have a wide range of advanced consumer based products for Mac, Windows and Android platforms.

In India, we are among the few players that offer complete enterprise solutions. Very few players in India offer security solutions for virtualized environments and cloud, and hence this is our main emphasis right now. Our products are known for the cutting edge features that they offer. While it is too early to say by when we could become number one in India, we are aiming to be in the top five security solutions providers in India in the next one and a half years’ time as far as the solutions are concerned since we have solutions for every niche of cyber security segment. We offer a versatile product portfolio of more than 30 solutions for small and large businesses and consumers, which helps us moving forward very fast despite some of the major players in this market have established themselves in India years ago and objectively have a better market reach and a larger presence here.  We believe technology lead and innovations along other the huge user base will be the key growth drivers for us in India.

 

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