How does one ensure that the strategies and new innovations that promise to be ones secret weapon does not fall prey to corporate espionage? Vishal Gupta is in the business of keeping secrets and keeping it exceedingly well.
Seclore Technology was founded in 2005 with the express purpose of protecting valuable information. Vishal says “Seclore = “Knowledge of Security”…Seclore is a high growth software product company. Seclore’s products FileSecure and InfoSource help mitigate the risk arising out of information breaches and regulatory non-compliance whilst enhancing collaboration. Seclore makes its systems easy to adopt by being non intrusive during deployment and usage and with a pay-as-you-use model of pricing. Seclore is the leading provider of information security solutions in the area of information usage control, information rights management and secure outsourcing. Companies like ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Kotak Bank, L&T & Thyssenkrupp use Seclore's technology to secure data that is used internally or is shared with business partners.”
You might be thinking you are secure and your fail safes are good enough. However, Vishal explains why that might not suffice. He says “The scope of Seclore’s technology is wherever there is private or confidential information being created or shared i.e. on every personal and enterprise computer in this world. Normally, information and its control are bound together i.e. If John sends a document to Mary ( lets says via email ) then John cannot control what Mary does with the information after he has sent it i.e. Mary can view, edit, distribute and make copies of the document without John being able to either monitor or control her actions.”
“With Seclore FileSecure people & enterprises can share information within and outside of the enterprise while retaining control of the information and thus be able to “remote control” the information that they own. Every piece of information can be restricted as to WHO ( people, groups, … ) can use the information, WHAT ( view, edit, print, forward, … ) can they do with the information, WHEN ( dates, timespans, … ) can they use the information and WHERE ( within the office, at home, … ) can they use the information.”
“With Seclore InfoSource enterprises can share data with outsourcing partners without worrying about information loss and theft from the outsourcing company’s systems or computers by retaining control of the information shared during outsourcing. As of now Seclore’s technology secures data on more than 100,000 computers and the vision is to make the technology ubiquitous.”
“The business model of Seclore is to provide security in collaboration. The method of delivering this value is as-of-now a deployed enterprise solution. Seclore is in the process of provisioning its technology along with partners through other methods also.”
The company was started with a very specific problem in mind, i.e. Intellectual Property protection for offshore equity research operations. Over a period of time the technology built for a specific problem was generalized, and Seclore is today an information security company.
Their scale up plans focus on creating largely shrink-wrapped solutions using their technology and creating an ecosystem of partners i.e. distributors, resellers, OEMs to deliver this to end customers.
For a company that works with secrets including their own, there are many challenges. Recruiting and retaining high caliber talent is a problem for them as is getting high caliber work done out of people. Creating business models which are self adjusting to the evolving needs of customers and partners are also an imperative.
Vishal says mistakes have been made primarily when it comes to employment. He says he made the mistake of “recruiting people at extremely low salaries in a downturn (in 2000) and believing that we were getting a good deal”
He also gave us the financial back-story on how his company was established; he says “Seclore started from the Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE). So for the first few years the company was incubated by IIT. This helped reduce the need for capital significantly. When we started marketing and selling the technology then we had financing as a major constraint but we were able to partially meet the requirement because of the high demand through revenues and partly by raising equity and debt capital. Friends, family, IIT Bombay alumni and ICICI bank have invested in Seclore till date.”
“Seclore’s employee base as of now is 20 and this has been steadily increasing in the last few months and will continue for the next few months. A lot of Intellectual Property is co-created with partners taking the extended technology and sales team count to ~ 60”
Seclore has also made a name for itself in recent times. Vishal reports “The company has grown revenues by 200% for the last year and we see that trend continuing for the next few years. Some of the major milestones that we have achieved in the last few years are:
Building a large format and application agnostic rights management technology which works with open source systems also
Building and deploying the only secure outsourcing solution which allows enterprises to share data freely with outsourcing vendors and still maintain control over it
Reducing the time and effort required to deploy an otherwise complex enterprise system to a minimum
Creating an environment for innovation to be productized rapidly”
He counts a “Pat on the back from customers !!” as their greatest achievement along with their continuing patronage There will be no going back to the 9 to 5 grind for them as he says “we are in the business of converting people in “regular jobs” to become entrepreneurs... we have not been tempted to get “converted” ourselves till now.”
The “need to deliver value and make a difference” is the factor that keeps Vishal going on the gamble that is entrepreneurship. His vision for 2010 is summed up neatly by three words- “Grow … grow … grow”
Vishal had a few words of motivation to upcoming entrepreneurs saying “stay hungry, stay foolish. (Reference to Steve Jobs speech)”
Yourstory wishes Vishal and Seclore Technology good luck in making our world safe from corporate espionage.