Kaspersky is a global cybersecurity company founded in 1997. Kaspersky’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into innovative security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialized security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky technologies and we help 270,000 corporate clients protect what matters to them most. In an interaction with NCN, Mr. Sachin Relwani, Channel Head, Kaspersky (South Asia), shares Kaspersky’s mission and strategy for the Indian market.
Q1. How is Kaspersky brand shaping up in the cyber security market?
Cybersecurity is one of the main challenges faced by all types of customers nowadays. Cybersecurity has become a major concern for everyone especially in today’s work from home situation, which is becoming the new normal soon. The cybersecurity market is set to increase two-fold in the near future and we are hopeful to explore the opportunities that we come across in our pursuit to secure the cyber world, in association with our partners. Kaspersky is focused on increasing its reach in the enterprise and B2B security sector and maintaining a strong position like we already hold in the B2C security market. We are looking forward to reach our cybersecurity solutions to our B2B customers with the help of our partners, whom we are training to specialize and gain expertise in their particular sectors of interest so that they can help the end customers.
Q2. What are the key priorities of Kaspersky in the year 2020?
As Kaspersky is and has always been a 100% channel-centric company, our priority for 2020-21 is to build up a strong Channel Partner Ecosystem. A well-enabled partner is capable and mature to understand and respond to the end customers’ pain points and escalations in a confident manner. Moreover, the organizations today are in search of partners who can be relied upon for their consistency, capability, know-how, technical expertise and cyber maturity in implementation, maintenance and upgradation. Hence, one of our main focuses is to train the partners to function as our extended teams and to play a major role in our growth trajectory for FY20 and the years ahead.
Q3. How will you strengthen the channel ecosystems?
A sound channel ecosystem is very important for the health of the business and Kaspersky understands this well and has introduced Kaspersky United partner program in 2019 which is one of its most popular partner programs across the globe. The reason why the United Partner program works so well with partners is because it enables the partners to take up specialized trainings and certification programs in their particular sector of interest to become experts in their areas. This not only increases the partner confidence in Kaspersky, but also boosts the confidence of customers in the partners. This leads to enhanced customer loyalty, which allows upselling of our solutions in the targeted markets and results in higher revenues in a way that benefits both the partners and Kaspersky. Locally we are also putting our efforts into connecting with specialized partners to cover and serve the top Enterprise customers and look at different industry verticals like BFSI, Healthcare, Manufacturing, IT//ITES in a bigger and broader way. We are also looking to reach out to SMBs in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities in the country via these partners. Since Digital transformation is key in sectors like Education and Government, we are striving to create this ecosystem as well. In terms of initiatives, a well-structured, multi-tier execution plan has been rolled out across the channel community that creates checks and balances for the partner when they align with our distributors and invest their resources on technology enablement and training programs. Partners get to enjoy enhanced benefits when they qualify in terms of quality parameters on their sales and tech teams. We give strong support to our partners in terms of technology & training to prepare them a 360-degree involvement.
Q. How is your brand presence in Tier II & III cities and what are your plans to expand it?
We see a huge opportunity is the cybersecurity market in India, especially in Tier 2 and 3 cities due to the push in digitalization and the availability of affordable 4G Internet data. Small and Medium Enterprises as well as start-ups are now understanding the importance of having a strong cybersecurity framework. This is where we and our partners will play an important role by becoming their cybersecurity solution partners. We are executing a strategy with our Value Added Resellers (VARS) and distributors to successfully extend our reach to Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities across the length and breadth of the country. Besides, there are other quality parameters like creating a trained tech field force backed by our modules that improve their skillsets. The partners firms get awarded for their performance. This entire process is not only rewarding to the partner but also being cyclic in nature, strengthens the bond between Kaspersky and our Tier 2 and Tier 3 partners and the end customers.
Q. Today there is a rise in remote working which will spur demand for robust security solutions. How Kaspersky taking advantage of this opportunity? What is your GTM during the Covid-19 lockdown period?
There couldn’t have been a better time to be in this business wherein there is so much digital adaptation happening across all the business verticals at the customer end. The market is hungry to adapt and align itself with new age tech vendors who have a larger cyber security portfolio and can cater and protect organizations at various levels and from various threat vectors. Given the Kaspersky’s portfolio and service offerings and the willingness of the market to explore new technologies, Kaspersky is perfectly positioned to support the partners in fulfilling the tech gap for its customers. In fact, I foresee that Kaspersky would become the ‘go to’ brand in the partner community due to its reach, partner-friendly business models, partner enablement plans and its wide and deep product portfolio and service offerings in the Cyber space. Our GTM strategy is a combination of incentivizing partner field teams (sales and pre-sales) as well as promoting our United Partner Program in remote locations so as to aggressively motivate the partner organizations as well as their field force to focus on Kaspersky solutions as their GTM strategy in the cyber security line of business. Furthermore, we are doing technology briefing webinars, awareness sessions and training campaigns for our partners so as to ensure they are able to enable the customers to adopt the right security solutions in their organizations. In these dynamic times, the critical cybersecurity needs are keeps changing. Kaspersky stands committed to meet the changing needs of the partners and customers needs.