The brother duo of Pavan Thatha and Rakesh Thatha have set the trail blazing with an instant recognition at Microsoft Canaan TechSparks 2010 just after a few months of launching their company—ArrayShield. YourStory hopes more honors follow ArrayShield. Pavan, the CEO of ArrayShield, shares his thoughts his journey as an entrepreneur.About Array Shield Technologies
Array Shield Technologies designs software security products in the area of multifactor authentication and software protection. ArrayShield’s method and system is patent pending. The company’s mission is to provide low cost, easy to use and highly secure software security solutions globally. The USP of the company is to provide simple and highly effective solutions to complex problems faced by enterprises and software makers today.
ArrayShield Technologies is founded by my brother Rakesh and me. Rakesh is an alumnus of IIT Madras and has extensively done research in the area of Security over last 4 years. I did my MBA from Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management, IIT Bombay and has prior experience in project management and software development.
Differentiators of Array Shield business and the business model
Differentiation of our business is the unique innovative technology behind it, which is much more secure than any of the competitor’s technology. Our flagship authentication product is sold as a product license, which can be integrated with any web or native application for stronger authentication need.
We plan to open an office in US in next one year and reach out to global market. We will be looking at VC funding in the next 6 months for our global expansion and also to build a strong IP portfolio.
Choosing to be an entrepreneur rather than stick to a regular 9-to-5 job
I always wanted to create a bigger impact on the society at large and being an entrepreneur gives an opportunity to create a difference on a larger scale. Being an entrepreneur gives a lot of freedom and gives a chance to leave a trail behind in our life and career.
Ours is a business family (retail business in a town) and I was the first one to do engineering and excel in studies. So I have taken up the Job in IT industry after my studies. But I always wanted to do something on my own. So did an MBA focusing on entrepreneurship in IIT Bombay, Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management and got an understanding of the various aspects of running a modern day technology business. Then I came back to the industry and continued working but this time at a management level to understand the nuances of running the projects and other business aspects involved in a technology business.
Once I got a good understanding of various aspects of technology business, I quit my job and started ArrayShield Technologies.
The biggest challenge so far is to translate our concept/technology to a business value proposition that has market significance. We knew from the start that our concept and technology is unique, but figuring out the market, business use-cases, competition and business model were very challenging. We had to spend over 3 months researching on the market primarily through secondary market research over Internet to arrive at a business plan and kick start our business operations.Biggest mistake as an amateur entrepreneur
We are overoptimistic about everything at starting and never had a backup plan. For example, when we met an incubator who was kind of interested in our product, we assumed that they will take us in with the best terms and did not pursue other alternatives in parallel. So we waited until the discussions with them were over, and realized that the offer they gave us was not a good deal. So we had to again start looking for other options and lost lot of time in between which could have been productively used.
We have bootstrapped from our savings and the money from our family.
We entered into a Research & Incubation Collaboration with AU-KBC Research Center, Anna University in June 2010 and set up our office there. We have taken around 10-15 student interns to help us get the proof of concepts and pilots for our products ready. Once we got the initial customer traction and lot of interest from companies to pilot our products, we have started hiring full-time employees.
We have completed our initial pilot with one of our potential customers and also in the final stages of signing our first contract. Biggest achievement will be the day we receive our first cheque, which we expect to happen in next couple of weeks.
Thanks to YourStory.in, our hard work and innovation has been recognized in TechSparks 2010. We are selected among the top 5 winners of the competition. Also we got an opportunity to be featured in CNBC-TV18 Young Turks program. We got a lot of visibility now and we have started receiving offers from other firms to partner with us and collaborate to develop unique solutions to address various business needs.
So, we at YourStory feel that we have hit the right spot by honoring technology innovations at TechSparks 2010 and we are quite excited about it as you do.