CW: Indian CIOs generally think of Kaspersky as a consumer brand. How do you intend to correct that perception?
Mitrokhin: It isn't the right perception. We have big organizations as our customers who consider us to be a serious enterprise player. We are shifting from being purely distributor-focused to working closely with tier-2 channels. Last year, through our Green Team Partner program, we doubled the base of registered resellers. We are investing resources to educate partners on sales and technical support. Through Kaspersky Engineers club, partners can provide good support to end-customers.
CW: Hardware-centric vendors like Cisco, Juniper, niche security companies like Checkpoint, Websense, and some UTM vendors eat into the security software market. Comment
Mitrokhin: We already have OEM agreements with some of the companies that you mentioned. Our claim of having world's biggest installation base takes these partnerships into account too. Everyone can have their share of the enterprise pie as security market is growing at a good pace.
CW: Is the hardware appliances market something Kaspersky is interested in?
Mitrokhin: In the past, and now, we have strong partnerships with established vendors. Losing focus on your core business can erode market share. We are not excluding the possibility of entering the hardware market in the future. Right now, software is our focus.
CW: Customer loyalty is a big challenge for security vendors, isn't it?
Mitrokhin: Both replacement market and greenfield projects are crucial. Every project which is not a renewal of another security vendor becomes a potential green project for us. Education and government are favorite verticals globally. We also have good wins across manufacturing, IT/ITES, and BFSI in India.
CW: The cloud has not been a roller coaster ride in India. Traditional vendors are struggling against niche MDM vendors like MobileIron. What is your cloud and mobility story?
Mitrokhin:The cloud option is in-built in our product. Some concepts appear to move fast but the actual adoption takes time. For corporates, information is everything. They want to keep it close. Our customers, presently, are more comfortable with the on-premise model. MDM is part of the new product, supporting various mobility platforms. The solution has a unique containerization feature, wherein one can store data in an encrypted form in separate folders.
CW: How are you fuelling your partner ecosystem in India?
Mitrokhin: Our distributors for the enterprise business in India are Sea Infonet, Ecaps, Techmatrix and iValue. We are not attacking the large enterprises as it becomes difficult for the CIO to part with one vendor and try a new one. Nevertheless, it will take time to dominate that segment. Our potential customer-base would be mid-size organizations with 100 to 1500 users. The focus is on channels in tier-2 cities as we cater to partners in more than 56 locations in India, enabled by distributors and different teams (sales, pre-sales, and technical staff).
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