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BW Businessworld

"We will be working with many partners in India", Bobby Gupta, Sr Vice President- Global Sales & Corporate Development Virsec Systems, Inc

"We started in India back in 2014, since which time we work with marquee customers in government and marquee sectors."

Photo Credit : PC: Suresh Gola

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Bobby Gupta, Sr Vice President- Global Sales & Corporate Development Virsec Systems, Inc

In this interaction, Bobby Gupta, Sr Vice President- Global Sales & Corporate Development Virsec Systems, Inc speaks with Urvi Shrivastav and Ruhail Amin, editorial, BW Businessworld about the nuances of cyber security, Virsec's ventures in India, and the challenges that come along with it. In addition, he also takes us through the post-pandemic investment landscape and the potential for growth.

Urvi Shrivastav: What are the plans for Virsec in India? 

Bobby Gupta: India with its huge population and 700 Million population of internet users, has its data capacity usage has shot up in the last three to four years’ time. The data usage is 14 Gigabyte (GB) per user per month which is huge, making data security paramount. What Virsec does is, we provide application protection during runtime at the server site. While there are software products for devices, no one is doing cyber security on applications, which is where Virsec comes in. While a lot of softwares do X-ray, we do MRI of the software application.  

Urvi Shrivastav: Can you tell us about your specific ventures in India? 

Bobby Gupta: In India we have a data center and a security center in Bangalore. We started in India back in 2014, since which time we work with marquee customers in government and marquee sectors. We’ve also worked with large global partners like Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, among others. We also work with a lot of India-based partners. We are hiring in Delhi, hiring in Mumbai, while looking to integrate with local partners.  As you know, the Government of India came up with the ‘Atmanirbhar’ Policy and the mandate that the data must stay in India. As a result, we are working with a lot of partners in India so that we get the flavor of ‘Make In India’. This policy goes across sectors, whether you look at banking or healthcare, cyber security will be paramount. With 5G gaining traction and improving the speed of connectivity, securing data and end points becomes even more crucial. If this is not done, our adversaries, whether it is China, North Korea or Iran will be after our life. Virsec has also worked with defense in USA and Middle East.  

Urvi Shrivastav: The number of cyberattacks has gone up in the last year. What can the government do better? 

Bobby Gupta: Government is taking good initiatives like a new policy tabled in the Parliament around cyber security. While cyber-attacks have grown 300%, the government has taken it upon themselves to curb the same. Consequently, the government has come out with multiple white papers and articles on that. Our work with US defence also helps us bring that knowledge to the Indian government. We did a hackathon with the US department, and they were not successful with the hacking attempts, making it easy to say that our platform is very secure. We also have multiple patents by Virsec solutions in this domain.  

Urvi Shrivastav: How are cyber security challenges in India different from those abroad? 

Bobby Gupta: Cyber security challenges are the same, be it healthcare, telecom, or power grid. There are two types of situations, either they are hacked, or they do not know they have been hacked, all of which happen during run time. We see similar patterns of attacks happening across the spectrum, it is a question of visibility. We are seeing a lot of investment in cyber security and rise of use-cases. We have use cases for banking, finance, and telecom, which helps us to bring knowledge to India.  

Ruhail Amin: What are your future plans in India? 

Bobby Gupta: If you look at Intel, cybersecurity, the Indian government healthcare telcos are spending a lot of money, so India is a critical market for us, especially given the nature of the quiet now with, with, with Australia, Japan, USA and India coming together, we see a lot of traction investments going in India, whether it's healthcare, banking, telco, or private sector. So we'll see a lot of investment in terms of hiring people, we have a centre in Bangalore, where we have 70 plus a strong team, our aim is to double the staff. While we grew five times last year, we're going to go 10 times this year, which is also a growth plan worldwide. We work with the global partners like Raytheon, IBM in India, Tech Mahindra Tata Group, and also work a lot of local regional partners, so expansion plan would be to have the right talent in the right markets. And for us, the right market would be obviously in west part is Mumbai, along the West Coast, and Delhi of course.  

Cyber-attacks not going to come down, you won't see those attacks and cyber security coming down anyway. In fact, India last year had 300% more attacks as of last year following which the Prime Minister came with a policy in cybersecurity. Given that we seal off investments from the government sector, health, telco, and banking sector, we see a lot of potential in cyber security. 

Ruhail Amin: You may have seen what COVID has done to the entire investor sentiment and the start-up community. When you look at India as a market for potential investments are people willing to lose in their purse strings right now? 

Bobby Gupta: Investments in India have gone up, and the stock market is all time high. Because people are not spending money in the other things that we're doing. Rather than going for a movie or a pizza party, they're putting their money into the stock market. The money has not gone anywhere from the market, especially from American investors who are pledging sums to India, Europe, and Israel. That means you will see a lot of nice stocks go to exhibition, a pattern I am seeing in India as well. in your master Walker is on the higher side. So the money's there, if you look at the light priority companies are the largest players in the marketplace. A major chunk for the investment has happened during Covid.