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September 01, 2013 l Volume 2 Issue 21
Cover Story Change is the only constant in enterprise security both in terms of the threats as well as the responses. Presenting a few of the existing and emerging security trends
security landscape 16 Cover Design : Deepjyoti Bhowmik
Kaspersky wants quarter of the market
NEC eyes 40 percent growth with One-NEC
Tally eying enterprises for TS9
Netgear increases retail focus
Editorial 08 Opinion
Computer Reseller News
12 Market Focus Contrasting trends in tablets Worldwide tablet shipment growth saw a sharp decline of 9.1 percent from Q12013 to Q22013, but in India sales are actually expected to double. We find out why
14 Role Model
Gurudutt M Director, Channel Business, Schneider Electric IT Business, India, speaks about the UPS market and the companyâ€™s channel plans
No shades of gray Having proved that slow and steady can win a race even during adversity, Kamal Agrawal, CEO, Ria Computers, has become a name to reckon with in Gujarat
Tech Focus Google Nexus 7 vs Apple iPad Mini The 7-inch battle between Nexus and iPad rages on. CRN breaks down a spec-for-spec comparison of the smaller product versions from giant companies
edit opinion Understanding the security landscape dhaval valia
he ever-increasing cyber attacks, the growing number of malwares, and the consumerization of IT led by social media, cloud computing and mobility (SoCloMo) are transforming the security landscape. Over the past 3-4 years, we have seen stakes involved in cyber attacks increasing drastically. Cyber crime has become a well-orchestrated multi-billion dollar business, executed by global operators who have access to better resources in terms of man and machine than any company. Additionally, the adoption of SoCloMo is breaking open the rigid boundaries of enterprise IT from a controlled, in-house environment (where CIOs have control over corporate data) to a situation where CIOs now have to secure the data which is distributed across the cloud, mobile and social platforms, where they have neither visibility nor control. So far, the security policies of organizations revolved around securing and controlling the endpoints, but now the policies need to shift from the control of the device to control of the data. Co-location of data with other cloud tenants, the inability to enforce enterprise security controls, and the difficulty in securing applications and interfaces are some of the key concerns CIOs perceive in relation to public cloud services. The challenge with enterprise mobility and BYOD is that the organizational data flows into a variety of mobile devices and applications, many of which cannot meet enterprise standards. The biggest risk with social media is that confidential corporate information can be made public on social media by negligent or unaware employees. The availability of private information in the public domain is helping cyber attackers who leverage such data to craft personalized emails to target specific individuals within an organization. In addition, there is also the big danger of an employee clicking on a malicious link on a social networking site which could lead to his system and credentials getting compromised with malware stealing information using log keystrokes and screenshots. With so many factors converging, the information security threat landscape will only get more dynamic and complex. CIOs will require a completely new approach to security policies and strategies, and will therefore need to focus on designing the next-generation security architecture built on top of a multi function platform with deep network integration. In the current edition, we present the various opportunities that will emerge for solution providers going forward, what CIOs expect from partners and how partners can build a successful security services practice. n E-mail CRN Executive Editor Dhaval Valia at firstname.lastname@example.org 8
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Volume 2, Issue 21
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starting line Kaspersky wants quarter of the market n SONAL DESAI
aspersky Lab is eying a 25 percent share in the consumer market this year. “We grew at a decent pace in the last six months on the back of streamlined partner policies, new products and an expanded partner base, hence the target is not too steep,” reasoned Jagannath Patnaik, Director, Kaspersky Lab. The company added the new versions of its antivirus, Internet security and total security solutions for Apple Macs. Besides, it launched the Kaspersky Internet Security for Android for phones and tablets with features such as anti theft, data wipe, parental control, sophisticated malware protection and cloud. It also increased the number of its platinum partners from 22 to 36 last year. Informed Patnaik, “We added more silver partners in Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab in the north, and the smaller towns of Andhra Pradesh in the south. Besides, we increased the number of gold and platinum partners in Pune, Kolhapur, Satara, etc.” Having burnt its fingers with Prima—its partner portal run through its retail distributor Sakri—the company has changed its incentive structure. Explained Patnaik, “Last year some platinum partners misused the provisions of Prima and directed the incentives to their sister concerns. Genuine partners who were deprived of their incentives brought the malpractice to our notice, as a result of which we suspended all activities on the portal since October-November 2012.” Besides paying the dues of the partners through its distributor, Kaspersky also punished the erring platinum partners and suspended them. Patnaik conceded. “Henceforth we will pay only in kind, not cash. In fact
“Some partners misused the provisions of Prima. Genuine partners deprived of their incentives brought the malpractice to our notice” Jagannath Patnaik Director Kaspersky Lab
we have expanded our schemes to include partners at all levels. For example, in our latest scheme, valid from August 15-October 15, 2013, small partners who sell Kaspersky products up to `2 lakh`4 lakh will be taken to Tashkent, gold partners who sell up to `7 lakh will be taken to Singapore, and those who sell up to `15 lakh to Switzerland. We will distribute merchandise and gifts to others even if they meet small targets. Overall we are looking at a sell-out of `22 crore through the schemes.” In a bid to boost its sales further Kaspersky is offering its antivirus and Internet security products for three years at the price of two years. “We have also introduced three CDs and three codes for our Pure Total Internet Security packs since April. These have done well, and we have already seen a three-fold rise in sales per month in the last one quarter,” Patnaik informed. The company has also started partner enablement, and is training resellers in tier-2, -3 and -4 cities on the precautions to be taken while configuring a computer; it is also providing them information about new viruses. Said Patnaik, “Our endeavor is to make these partners the first line of security specialists.” n
NEC eyes 40 percent growth with One-NEC NEC is targeting 40 percent growth in the current fiscal and has framed a two-pronged strategy for its One-NEC vision. First, it is streamlining its internal organization, and has formed a separate distribution team which will work exclusively with partners. Secondly, and in sync with its One-NEC vision, it has opened its entire product portfolio to its partners who can pitch end-to-end solutions to their customers. NEC’s product portfolio includes servers, storage, display panels, projectors, telephony, PoS and security. Said Zubair Alam, Country Head, NEC India, “The One-NEC approach will help partners to address customer expectations and to expand business by adding new solutions. We have appointed three channel managers in the distribution team who will work exclusively with our tier-2 partners. They will act as a single interface for assistance for customer acquisition, POC, product knowledge and roadmap.” He added that Zubair Alam the distribution team will channelize the account managers for cross-domain opportunity. To make it fruitful for the account managers, NEC has created a cross-sell credit-sharing mechanism for account managers who support partners in cross-domain opportunities in an existing or new account. “We have launched a new partner program, the Tier-2 Engagement Program for our tier-2 partners, with added benefits such as sales enablement, product training and certification. Also for the first time, we have started providing MDF to partners for their marketing events.” The company is aggressively targeting opportunities in government projects, especially those being tendered in tier-2 and -3 cities. “Bearing such opportunities in mind we are looking at increasing our presence in cities like Ujjain, Udaipur, Tirunelveli, Amravati, Gorakhpur and Kakinada. In the process we will increase our presence to the top 80 cities by adding 300 more partners in the current fiscal,” Alam stated. n — Amit Singh Computer Reseller News
edit opinion Why should I do business with you? Robert Faletra
hy should I do business with you?’ is a question solution providers have been asking suppliers for many years. The reverse has also been the case. But times are changing. In future, partners need to think more about what they bring to the table. I address this because as we move more toward managed services, off-premise private clouds, and, ultimately, public clouds, the criteria vendors will use to choose partners will change. The vendor community has traditionally looked for partners who have a host of characteristics, including a customer base that fits the target market, technical expertise, certifications, dedicated engineers, and so on. The old world largely centered around technical capabilities, and the ability to build out and deliver the technology. While those criteria remain important for the time being, and, to some degree, will so remain for the future, it’s not enough. Suppliers will be looking for channel partners who have the means to invest in and build out in ways that are different from those in the past. Historically, when a vendor announced it was in recruitment mode, it typically meant signing up any partner who had a business. But many of those new partners wouldn’t perform, and before long there was a need to purge many of them and find better ones. The problem this created for vendors was they had to build a corresponding infrastructure to support the partners they recruited, and with non-performing partners eating up resources nobody won, including the performing partners. It also created animosity toward the channel among executives inside the vendor organization who questioned the investment being made for the return that was delivered. It’s a self-generated problem because had the supplier done a better job of finding the right partners the returns would have been higher. Instead, bonuses were set for individuals inside the organization to recruit a certain number of partners. The end result was that not all of them were good. This practice was okay when every vendor took this approach, but it’s not going to work well now when some suppliers look for other assets. Ultimately, partners need to do what we’ve been advocating for years: invest in marketing capabilities and new sales structures, and push an understanding throughout the organization that there is a new sales and delivery model. If you do this you will not only remain relevant but also become a highly sought-after partner, and that means margin. n Email Robert Faletra at firstname.lastname@example.org 10
Computer Reseller News
CMDA Pune ties up with ICICI Bank It’s indeed a very good initiative by CMDA Pune to tie up with ICICI Bank. Because LFRs are already offering EMIs to their customers, small IT retailers are really finding it difficult to attract customers. In an already slow IT retail market, customers are looking for EMI options to spread their expenses over a period of time. With ICICI Bank extending EMIs to these small retailers they will be able to counter competition from LFRs effectively. I believe CMDA must also include other banks in the net so that customers will have options for EMIs. Other associations must take a cue from this initiative and collaborate with banks. It’s a great service to the IT channel. Congrats CMDA Pune!
IBM: STG sales force must include partners in all deals Although the rationale behind the step is appreciable, I think the IT channel is not in a position to sell complex solutions from any OEM to large enterprises. The gaps may be because the large enterprises do not trust the tier-2 system integrators and solution providers, as they believe that the solution providers do not have the requisite skill sets to implement a complex solution. In any case, the involvement of the OEM though indirect, will degrade the margins of the partners. A smart partner is one who can build his own solutions, devise a smart marketing strategy and then go to the market. His branding would enable him to create a niche. Satyavir Singh via email
Yogesh Godbole via email
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starting line Tally eying enterprises for TS9 n SONAL DESAI
ally Solutions, which has launched Tally Server 9 (TS9), is eying the enterprise segment with the new product that supports up to 150 concurrent users. “The earlier version of Tally could support only 10-15 concurrent users, and that was an issue,” admitted Shoaib Ahmed, President, Tally Solutions. “The new product was developed to meet the market’s requirements as customers started telling us that if Tally could not scale up they would choose competing products when they scaled up.” TS9 is the first in a series of products from Tally which is in the classic client-server mold, unlike previous versions which were client editions where users accessed a common database. Priced at `2.8 lakh, TS9 provides advanced features over Tally ERP 9 including an updated excise and warehousing module. Disclosed Ahmed, “We have signed 589 customers in eight months including MRF, AachiMasala, Campco Chocolate, Mahindra Spare Business, Mercedes-Benz, Hero Finance and Tata DoCoMo. Our target is to add 1,000 more customers by the end of the year. Our funnel is equally strong as we have 50,000 of our existing customers potentially ready to opt for TS9.” Conceding that the company faced initial hurdles because of the sharp hike in its pricing as well as competition from the larger ERP vendors, Ahmed said, “Compared to before we are now talking about our technology, the ease of use, and are approaching CIOs and CXOs who were never on our radar. Secondly, we are developing specific solutions to target different verticals. It has not been an easy journey, and there were times when we were doing 150-
“We have signed 589 customers in eight months. Our funnel is equally strong as 50,000 of our existing customers ready to opt for TS9” Shoaib Ahmed President Tally Solutions
200 POCs per day. Considering the value-add and the features, organizations slowly realized that Tally solutions are still at the bottomend of the spectrum as far as pricing is concerned.” Tally’s sales team played a vital role in driving sales, and getting testimonials from the CXOs about their improved operational efficiencies with Tally. “We saw demand coming from CXOs who wanted access to consolidated information—including lastmile info about stocks across branches—and also wanted an interface with their enterprise CRM. We are seeing traction from the manufacturing segment, but the product can be deployed across verticals,” Ahmed said. On the partner front the company is preparing its Master Tally Partners for opportunities in the enterprise space. Ahmed explained, “We are working with select partners who have trained their executives and have a strong vertical presence. They are learning the techniques of how to develop a wow factor, how to engage with customers, and also how to make the discussion more interesting and the product more attractive.” Tally’s initial targets are enterprises with a vast dealer network or multi-brand outlets. n
Netgear increases retail focus Netgear, which was so far focused on the large enterprise, mid-market and SMB segments, has increased focus on retail. According to industry estimates, the company has a 10 percent share in the `800 crore retail networking market comprising routers and range expanders. Said Subhodeep Bhattacharya, Regional Director, India & Saarc, Netgear, “Our retail business grew 53 percent in 2012. Quarterly sales of wireless routers and NAS boxes contributed 60 percent of our revenue. The rest came from expanders and modems.” In 2013 the company is targeting 80 percent growth. “We sold significant number of routers and NAS boxes per quarter in H12013. We also improved product quality and reduced ASP by 35 percent.” For high growth Netgear will leverage on products like its recently launched Centria, an AIO wireless media storage router which has an upgradeable internal hard drive of 2 TB that will also act as a private cloud. Besides, it has launched its new R 6300 router, which it says is the S Bhattacharya world’s fastest router with transfer rates of up to 1,300 Mbps. With its product portfolio in place, the company is looking at geo-expansion. Informed Bhattacharya, “We want to increase our presence from the present 25 cities to 30 by 2013-end.” For its retail portfolio the company will continue to work with its three distributors—Rashi, Ingram and Redington—and 40 sub-distributors. “With geo-expansion we will increase the number of active retailers from the current 1,200 and train them,” Bhattacharya said. “In fact our distributors have already started the enablement process, and has trained technical and sales executives of partner organizations in many cities.” Netgear has beefed up investments in postsales support. It started a call center and started a dedicated hotline for India. Besides, it doubled the number of its service centers to 30. “We now have dedicated executives for Indian customers. All these investments will help us to maintain our present TAT,” added Bhattacharya. n — Abhijeet Mukherjee Computer Reseller News
channel chief “Channels must invest in skilling their teams” Gurudutt M, Director, Channel Business, Schneider Electric IT Business, India, spoke to Ramdas S about the UPS market and the company’s channel plans Despite spikes in the cost of components used to manufacture a UPS, we have seen a drop in the average selling price. How is the industry able to manage ? The observation is correct if you consider entry-level UPS prices over the past 7-8 years. While there have been major fluctuations in input costs such as copper, we have seen fairly aggressive prices from all vendors. This is because there has been considerable innovation in creating the bill of materials that can be used to create cheaper entry-level UPS products—and the innovation continues. Having said that, I am afraid that the prices are bound to go up with the recent softening of the rupee against the dollar. If you consider the average price of enterprise-class UPS products in the past few months, most manufacturers have gone in for price hikes.
The entry-level UPS business has been dependent on the consumer desktop PC market, which has been shrinking. How are you planning to grow in such a scenario? The desktop market has been shrinking over the past few quarters, and while we are hoping that the rate of decline will be arrested soon, the PC market will see more notebooks and newer form-factors such as tablets. The attach rate of a UPS in the desktop market is close to 70 percent. In 2010 and 2011 this market was heavily fragmented with a large number of players importing products manufactured in China and selling them. However, not many of these importers have survived. This is primarily because Indian power conditions are very different, and it needs a lot of R&D to perfect a product. You will need local manufacturing facilities to leverage and build products for this market. That is why today, while the overall market is dipping, the market for the entry-level UPS has consolidated between 2-3 leading brands which have manufacturing bases in India. At the same time, we are seeing a new market emerging with a large number of consumers buying UPS for their home theater systems which are
“We are seeing a new market emerging with a number of consumers buying UPS for their home theater systems which are very sensitive to power fluctuations” 12
Computer Reseller News
very sensitive to power fluctuations and power cuts. Thus, overall, we are expecting to grow.
You have embarked on geoexpansion in the past two years. What has been the agenda? In 2011 we had a direct presence in nine cities. Over the past few quarters we have increased the branch strength to 21, and we will have around 24 offices by this year end. We believe that the real growth is coming from smaller towns and cities which are still buying desktops and investing in IT. Hence, whether it’s our entry-level UPS products or our mid-range UPSs for the SMB segment, we are seeing bigger growth from these segments. We are hoping to cover the rest of the country through our three distributors.
Could you tell us something about your channel structure? We have three distributors—Ingram Micro, Rashi and Redington—catering to the transaction market, which means UPS products ranging from 600 VA to 20 KVA. We have Iris instead of Rashi, along with Ingram and Redington, catering to the enterprise channels. The transaction business has three partnership tiers— Registered, Select and Premium. We have close to 7,000 Registered partners who transact at least once a year with Schneider authorized distribution sources. Then we have roughly 3,000 Select partners who have access to a Schneider representative, with many of them actively taking part in various schemes and programs. Finally, we have close to 70 Premium partners. Only half of these Premium partners are into sub-distribution, with most of them being in large cities. The rest of the Premium partners are actually large desktop or PC resellers who sell UPS as an attach product.
What about your enterprise channels? How are you growing that business? We have primarily two programs for enterprise channels. First, we have the Elite Data Center Partner Program where there are 29 partners mostly from the top 10-11 cities. Then we have the High Power Partner Program which has around 36 partners; their prime focus is to sell our high-end 3 phase UPS line. Both the programs require certifications which take 3-6 months. Right now we are not eager to add more High Power partners, but we definitely want to add more Data Center partners. At present in India, there is an annual demand for 60,000 server rooms, and there are several
channel chief “The market for power solutions is not limited to computers, hence partners must explore opportunities beyond providing power backup and cooling for IT products”
thousand rooms getting added every year. We need more partners in the smaller cities who can pursue these opportunities.
You launched your Infrastruxure (ISX) in April. Are you betting heavily on the modular data center market? Yes. Not every customer requires a dedicated server room or micro data center with raised floors and across-the-room cooling. All they require is a few racks. With in-row cooling—where within the rack you have cooling equipment and UPS systems—you have a contained solution which serves just about anyone. With ISX we have racks of all sizes which can even be camouflaged within your office environment.
A cross-section of enterprise channels have been complaining that Schneider is increasingly going direct. I think it’s a perception that has been developed because we have invested heavily in sales teams to work closely with customers. We work with very limited accounts where billing is direct; in most cases they are either global accounts or require dollar billing, which makes it difficult to involve a partner.
But partners complain that you provide all services directly to enterprise customers. They feel that their potential services revenue is affected. In the case of large enterprise accounts we do offer deployment, consulting and maintenance services, but again this is because these customers demand these services directly from Schneider. Even so, there are select partners who have the capabilities, and some customers avail services from them. We are working on developing a program to further skill our enterprise partners to increasingly gain revenue from
services around our products, and we will make some announcements very soon.
How are you ensuring channel profitability, especially in the SMB and enterprise space? We have been careful while expanding the number of partners we would like to engage with. As I mentioned, the total number is less than 100. When we add numbers we want to ensure that conflicts are minimum, and that there’s enough room for everyone to grow. We do have a deal registration system, and we are going to launch a Partner Relationship Management system which will further empower our specialist partner program members.
There’s a lot of interest in alternative energy solutions. Schneider has a separate business unit (BU) which handles it, and we have connected several IT partners with that BU. Similarly, building automation solutions are of interest to several channel partners, and we have a separate BU which handles that business.
What are the key steps which partners need to take? The market for power solutions is not limited to computers, hence partners must explore opportunities beyond providing power backup and cooling for IT products. Enterprises are betting heavily on several other digital technologies such as surveillance and sensors which also require sensitive power conditioning. Channels must invest in skilling and re-skilling their teams. n
Consistent Credible Clear Competent Compassionate Communicative CRN Creative CRN – the 8th C of Channel Marketing
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market focus Contrasting trends in tablets Worldwide tablet shipment growth saw a sharp decline of 9.1 percent from Q12013 to Q22013, but in India sales are actually expected to double. We find out why n Abhijeet Mukherjee
hile global tablet shipments have slowed down, in India the hype surrounding tablets is still high and this should keep the absolute numbers growing. While consumers continue to be enthusiastic about the new form factor, the biggest growth drivers in the commercial sector are education and government purchases for the education segment. According to IDC, worldwide tablet shipment growth saw a decline in Q22013 of around 9.1 percent compared to Q12013. Though the numbers grew 59.6 percent compared to Q22012, industry pundits predict that the days of heady growth for the tablet market are over. However, in India, IDC is predicting a six million tablet market in the current fiscal, up from the 2.66 million of FY2012-13. MAIT puts the FY2012-13 figure at a more conservative 1.9 million, and is forecasting 3.84 million units for the current fiscal. Many say that the numbers could swell considerably if certain state government tenders get executed. “It’s really difficult to come up with a figure considering that there are several tenders being planned, and we have no guarantee how many are likely to be executed within the current fiscal,” says Saji Kumar, Director, Product Marketing, Acer India.
Consolidation ahead According to a report from Cyber Media Research (CMR), during FY2012-13 88 brands competed for
Computer Reseller News
marketshare. Reports from both CMR and IDC state that Apple, Samsung and Micromax are the leading brands in the country. Over the past 6-9 months major PC OEMs such as Lenovo, Acer and Dell, and IT accessory and peripherals brands such as iBall, AOC and Intex have entered the market. “We see huge potential for tablets in India, and aim to sell around one lakh units by 2013-end and three lakh units by 2014,” reveals Saurabh Grover, Director, Monitors & Tablets Business, AOC India. Smartlink Network Systems is another vendor with plans to launch branded tablets. In addition to PC brands, even LFRs such as Croma and Reliance Digital have come up with their own brands of tablets. The majority of vendors in the country are plying their Android tablets which are mostly imported from China with street prices ranging from `5,000 to `15,000. IDC says this accounted for about 89 percent of the market in Q12013 with Apple accounting for less than 10 percent and Microsoft Windows the rest. Most PC vendors are expecting Microsoft tablets to do better, and have readied tablets based on Windows 8 and sporting Atom processors from Intel, but these are typically priced above `30,000. One of the trends forecast over the next few months is a massive consolidation in the number of players in
market focus “The tablet market is undergoing consolidation where established brands with means to invest in marketing and quality control will survive in the long run”
“Tablets increase footfalls in retail stores. Partners can convert this into selling tablet accessories such as external storage, wireless routers and bluetooth keyboards”
Principal Analyst, Gartner
Director, Monitor & Tablets Business, AOC India
the tablet market. With leading brands such as Lenovo, Acer and Asus launching tablets at `8,000 or less, there is pressure on the smaller brands. Many of the smaller brands have also have struggled on the quality front, with partners reporting RMA cases which are as high as 10 percent within the first six months. “The tablet market is undergoing a consolidation phase where only established brands having the means to invest in marketing and quality control will survive in the long run. Consumers will soon realize that it is not a viable option to invest in non-branded products,” remarks Vishal Tripathi, Principal Analyst, Gartner. This has forced most partners to move on, and most importers and distributors to relook at their investments to promote lesser-known brands from China. Companies such as Aldous Glare, which was earlier heavily into selling imported brands like Eken, has started seeing profit in selling branded products of Samsung, Lenovo and Asus. “We have taken a multi-brand approach to address customer needs. We are seeing customer segments growing at every price-point,” informs George Thomas, CEO, Aldous Glare Trade & Exports.
Consumption vs creation One of the most interesting trends in the tablet market has been the change in usage patterns. “Tablets do have their limitations compared to PCs when it comes to the creation of content, and most PC users using tablets have been using them (the tablets) more for consumption of information than creation of information,” explains Rajesh Dixit, Director, Product Marketing, Lenovo India. However, many feel that with touch becoming more pervasive and with more touch-enabled, user-friendly applications emerging in tablets, it’s only a matter of time before tablets are used for more content creation. Still, there could be trade-offs on both the price and power consumption front as vendors create tablets that can be used as PC replacements. Comments Rahul Agarwal, Executive Director, Commercial Business, Lenovo India, “We are yet to see any real cases where customers are buying a tablet to replace a PC completely. There are some highend tablet models with attached keyboards which are being used to create content. However, their price points are much higher than average PC prices, and it’s difficult to differentiate such tablets from touch-enabled notebooks.” This is why vendors are betting on the Wintel platform doing well especially in the enterprise
segment. “We hope that Windows 8 tablets will do well considering the large ecosystem which both the enterprise and SMB market run on the Microsoft platform. The numbers may be small today, but the interest levels are certainly high,” says S Rajendran, CMO, Acer India.
Vast opportunities The education segment, especially schools, is emerging as the biggest opportunity for tablet makers. With 12.8 lakh schools in the country and over 25 crore schoolgoing children, vendors feel the potential is substantial. Many vendors have come out with tablets for students with a dedicated curriculum built into the device. While Micromax has its Funbooks ranging from `3,999 to `7,999, HCL has come out with its education tablets like the MyEdu tab priced at `10,499. The iBall Edu-Slide priced at `12,999, comes with the eTeach curriculum based on NCERT’s curriculum. Other state governments such as those of UP, Goa and Chhattisgarh have announced tenders to procure tablets for students. The retail, hospitality and distribution segments are also piloting projects to use tablets. “Many restaurants and pubs have waiters taking orders on tablets,” points out Thomas. The attach ratio for tablet accessories is 12-15 percent, and can provide good opportunities for retailers. “Tablets increase footfalls in retail stores. Partners can convert this into selling tablet accessories such as external storage, wireless routers and Bluetooth keyboards,” says Grover. Seeing the growing potential, distributors like the Mumbai-based TAG have joined hands with smartphone and tablet accessory vendor AviiQ. TAG has also started its own tablet and smartphone accessories brand. Explains Vikas Gupta, MD, TAG, “We will add `2 crore to our overall revenue in the current fiscal after adding AviiQ and our flagship accessories brand to our portfolio.” The concept of Bring Your Own Device is still in its infancy in India, though many partners report customer interest in running pilots. However, in the minds of many CIOs, security risks outweigh potential benefits. Explains Shishir Singh, Director, Product Marketing, Dell India, “Enabling successful tablet adoption in an enterprise requires the highest levels of data security in the device itself, hence customers are still in the exploratory stages of allowing users to bring their own tablets to access, consume and create corporate data.” n — With inputs from Ramdas S
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security landscape Change is the only constant in enterprise security both in terms of the threats as well as the responses. Presenting a few of the existing and emerging security trends n SONAL DESAI & AMIT SINGH
nterprise security is a solutions-driven business offering channels almost assured double-digit growth and margins. This fact is evident from the increasing spend on security across segments. As per a PwC survey, large businesses (those with revenue of over `5,000 crore) and government MARKET SIZEâ€”ENTERPRISE SECURITY (INDIA) CAGR 14.76% 3925.87
3000 2000 1000 0 2012
Source: RS Market Research Solutions
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organizations saw a 11 percent and 8 percent increase respectively in security spending in FY2011-12. Medium businesses (with revenue from `500 crore to `5,000 crore) saw a 17 percent increase in security spending followed by small businesses (with revenue less than `500 crore) where the spending increased by 14 percent. The monetary value of the enterprise security market in India was estimated at `3,423 crore in 2012 and is likely to grow at 14.76 percent to reach `4,508 crore in 2014 according to RS Market Research Solutions. The increasing use of the Internet is a potential driver for the enterprise security market. The higher adoption of smart devices by employees also calls for greater security measures at companies. Another factor explaining the rise in enterprise security is the regulatory mandates and compliance measures. According to one estimate, most organizations spend 11-15 percent of their revenue on IT of which 2-3 percent goes toward security. Here are some trends which partners can leverage to strengthen their security practice.
cover story Mobile security emerging as top priority How do you protect corporate data when employees leave the office at the end of the day with corporate data on their smartphones?
nterprise mobility and BYOD are emerging as the top priorities and key investment areas for CIOs. As mobile devices become ubiquitous and store more personal and corporate data, new tools to secure the information will drive the mobile-security market. The increased risk to personal and corporate data is an opportunity for the security partners as the global market for mobile security is expected to reach $14.4 billion by 2017, according to research firm Global Industry Analysts. Many of the organizations also opt for it to reduce their Capex, says Sudarsan Ranganathan, CEO, Veeras Infotek, Chennai. “Some of the areas to focus on, include, mobile device management, mobile application management, data loss prevention and encryption.” About 50 percent of the organizations in India would adopt BYOD as a strategy by 2017, asserts Sajan Paul, Director, Systems Engineering, Juniper Networks. According to the latest Symantec State of Mobility Survey 2013, organizations proactive in mobile adoption are experiencing nearly 50 percent higher revenue growth than those restricting mobility. All things considered, businesses perceive net positive results with mobility,” shares Anand Naik, Managing Director, Sales, India and Saarc, Symantec. However, the biggest nightmare associated with mobility is company data that flows into a wide variety of mobile devices and applications, many of which were not built to meet enterprise standards. IT administrators are losing control of what tools and applications are used inside the enterprise and business users are becoming their own system administrators. Also, this would shrink traditional perimeter to server and data centers, anything out of DC should be considered as external entity, says Pinakin Dave, National Manager, Channels & Alliances, McAfee India. “With 72 percent of Indian businesses facing mobility incidents in the past 12 months and 37 percent facing revenue loss due to mishaps, this trend introduces significant opportunities for partners,” says Naik. It is important to develop a balance between the security and privacy demands from an organizational, as well as employee standpoint. “CIOs are deploying solutions that offer a holistic security policy, where the controls can be applied securely to a device and location
highlights The global market for mobile security is expected to reach $14.4 billion by 2017. About 50 percent of the organizations in India will adopt BYOD as a strategy by 2017. Organizations adopting mobility and mobile security are experiencing 50 percent higher revenue growth than those opposing it. Mobile device management, mobile application management, data loss prevention and encryption are a few areas to focus on. agnostic network. This can be addressed by adopting an integrated, adaptive, and collaborative security approach,” shares Diwakar Dayal, Head, Sales, Security Business, Borderless Networks, India & Saarc, Cisco Systems. The CIO should also focus on designing a next generation security architecture built on top of a multi function platform with deep network integration. Due to the evolving threat landscape, he requires a new approach to deal with the `any to any’ challenges which arise, suggests Vishal Bindra, CEO, ACPL Systems, Delhi. Many organizations expect one single solution to help secure BYOD on an end to end basis which is practically not possible. BYOD needs to be looked at from different dimensions like data loss prevention, network access control, authentication system, internal intrusion prevention systems, internal firewalls, securing Wi-Fi etc. On top of all, is the internal IT policy which should be detailed and fool-proof to drive the initiative and guide effectively and prevent failure of specific tools, says Srinivasa Boggaram, SE Team Lead, McAfee India. While MDM is an integral part of mobile security, Vishak Raman, Senior Regional Director, India and Saarc, Fortinet, warns not to confuse MDM with total mobile security. “MDM does provide an expanded level of policy enforcement and offers remote location/lock/wiping capabilities to protect against loss or theft. However, MDM solutions enforce different policies based on the mobile device they are supporting, resulting in inconsistent security coverage. n
“CIOs are deploying solutions which offer a holistic security policy where the controls can be applied securely to a device- and location-agnostic network”
“MDM provides an expanded level of policy enforcement. MDM solutions enforce policies based on the mobile devices, resulting in inconsistent security coverage”
Diwakar Dayal, Lead, Security, Borderless
Networks Sales, India & Saarc, Cisco Systems
Senior Regional Director, India & Saarc, Fortinet
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cover story Security moving from endpoint to network The security policies of organizations hitherto revolved around controlling endpoints. That is now changing in favor of controlling the data on the network
rganizations are now turning their focus from endpoint security to network security. The adoption of SoCloMo (social media, cloud computing and mobility) is breaking open the rigid boundaries of enterprise IT from a controlled environment to a situation where CIOs have to secure the data distributed across cloud, mobile and social platforms. So far, the security policies of organizations revolved around securing and controlling endpoints, but now the policies need to shift to control the data on the network, informs Jitendra Gupta, Director, Channel and Alliances, India and South Asia, Juniper Networks. “Network security has become a boardroom issue for most organizations and CISOs and CSOs are charged with ensuring security of mission critical data traversing the networks,” states Sunil Sharma, VP Sales & Operations, India & Saarc, Cyberoam. The network security market in India stood at `1,406 crore in FY2012-13, and is expected to be `1,638 crore in FY2013-14. According to RS Market Research Solutions, large enterprises contributed 44.3 percent, the midmarket 8.2 percent, small businesses 15 percent, and the government and education segments 32.5 percent. Enterprises across the board, especially sectors such as BFSI, government and telecom are investing in network security solutions. Data from Cisco’s Annual Security report 2013 indicates that contrary to the global spam volumes which have reduced by 18 percent during the last year, India has seen an escalation in the level of malicious spam. According to CERT-In, an estimated 14,392 websites were hacked in 2012 till October. Ashok Prabhu, CEO, ValuePoint TechSol, Bengaluru, says, “Many enterprise customers have allowed employees to use social media, but they are unable to track the origin and persistence of zero-day attacks. We are deploying context-aware intelligent solutions for them.” According to Vishal Bindra, CEO, ACPL Systems, Delhi, “Data privacy and the need to adhere to regulations by customers in the pharma and manufacturing segments, or multi group companies which have adopted SaaS, are forcing cloud service providers to look at network security in a holistic manner.” “Money and spying are the two motivators for cyber attacks targeting Web servers. IAM acts as a gateway
The Indian network security market is expected to be worth `1,638 crore in FY2013-14. BFSI and government are continuously investing in network security. Companies which have adopted SaaS are forcing cloud service providers to offer holistic network security. IAM is being used by enterprises for Web application and server protection. The exhaustion of IPv4 addresses, and the government push to IPv6, will boost network security. between the user and the applications,” says Durganadh Venkata, Senior VP, Business Development & Operations, Locuz Enterprise Solutions, Hyderabad. Moreover, the Indian government recently updated its IPv6 roadmap which details some pilot projects and a new set of deliverables to transition to IPv6 by 2017. Since IPv6 requires upgradation of the network infrastructure, security is a major concern. “The exhaustion of IPv4 addresses, evolution of IPv6-oriented technologies, government initiatives to push transition to IPv6, YoY explosive growth of mobile devices, and the emergence of the Internet of Things will boost network security in a big way,” forecasts Diwakar Dayal, Lead, Security, Borderless Networks Sales, India & Saarc, Cisco Systems. Current security solutions are taking network and Web application protection to the next level by providing definitive intelligence about attackers. It uses intrusion deception technology against Web-based threats. “These solutions use deception to create detection points or tar traps to identify malicious actors in real-time as they attempt to hack their desired target. Once attackers are identified, it prevents them from compromising critical information, wastes their time by presenting false vulnerabilities and provides valuable intelligence to thwart future attacks. This is transforming the security industry and changing the ROI of hacking by making it costly, time consuming and tedious for attackers to chase after false data.” Informs Ashish Dhawan, Managing Director, Asia, Juniper Networks. n
“Network security has become a board-room issue, and CISOs and CSOs are charged with ensuring the security of mission-critical data traversing the network”
“Multi group companies which have adopted SaaS, are forcing cloud service providers to look at network security in a holistic manner”
Sunil Sharma, VP, Sales & Operations,
India & Saarc, Cyberoam
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cover story Next generation firewall hotting up Next generation firewalls provide advanced protection through complete visibility and reporting till layer 7
trend toward the next generation firewall (NGFW) is gradually hotting up. The demand is coming from large enterprises which cannot afford to have disruptions from newer attacks because downtime can kill millions of dollars. NGFW provides advanced protection through complete visibility and reporting till layer 7, and also does not hamper the current work, says Kalyan Banga of RS Market Research Solutions. Srikant Vissamsetti, VP, Network Security, McAfee India, states that the worldwide NGFW market is expected to grow from $500 million in 2012 to $4.6 billion by 2016. “NGFW as a concept that completely meets the requirements of large enterprises. They are looking for solutions for IP fragmentation, TCP stream segmentation, RPC fragmentation, URL obfuscation, HTML evasion and FTP evasion, so this is a large opportunity for partners.” Concurs Rahul Meher, MD, Leon Computers, Pune, “The change in the threat landscape and the ever-growing use of Web 2.0 technologies are increasingly challenging traditional firewalls to evolve. Secondly, organizations in the BFSI, manufacturing, IT-ITeS and PSU segments, as well as MSPs, are seeking clarity on scanning, application intelligence, performance, manageability and reporting.
A counter point There is currently a lot of hype in security circles surrounding the term ‘next generation firewall’ (NGFW). The hype is creating slight market confusion and leaving CISOs wondering how this technology differs from unified threat management (UTM). If you buy into the NGFW buzz, you may believe that it is an entirely new, innovative technology which has emerged. In reality an NGFW is a sub-set of the existing UTM market or even the evolution of the old firewall market. NGFW is generally described as a product which tightly integrates firewall, intrusion prevention systems (IPSs), VPN technologies and robust application control capabilities. All these features have historically been offered by many security products. In contrast, UTM appliances typically scale with a broad feature-set that can encompass most or all of the features required to protect networks from today’s blended threats. These features include an IPS, application control, network antivirus and VPN but are not limited to them; they often also include Web filtering, data leakage prevention and a host of other security capabilities. In other words, a UTM appliance can be deployed as a next-generation firewall, but a next generation firewall is limited in its abilities. Fortinet’s definition of NGFW is different. Our higherend UTM solutions are marketed as NGFWs, so they have the full breadth of security functionalities targeted at large enterprises, telcos and financial services institutions.
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highlights The worldwide NGFW market is expected to grow to $4.6 billion by 2016. BFSI, IT-ITeS and manufacturing are high-growth areas for NGFW. NGFW offers advanced protection through complete visibility and reporting till layer 7. NGFW offers solutions for IP fragmentation, TCP stream segmentation, RPC fragmentation, URL obfuscation, and HTML and FTP evasion. These are definite opportunities for partners.” Agrees Vibhore Shrivastava, Business Head, IT Infrastructure, Meta Infotech, “We are seeing demand for NGFW from the retail, education, e-commerce and hospitality segments. Enterprises are providing their employees access to social networking, but have blocked the chat and games features. Also, industries which have high-availability as an important criterion are looking at NGFW.” Meta Infotech has deployed NGFW for HDFC Bank and AICT, and recently bagged a large contract from ICICI Bank. Enterprises are moving toward NGFW as traditional firewalls primarily focus on limiting access based on ports and protocols. With more applications using few ports and protocols like HTTP and SSL, the traditional firewalls are providing limited value. Says Vissamsetti, “NGFW addresses this by providing application visibility and adding user context. The threat landscape changed from exploiting servers to exploiting desktop-based applications when employees visit malicious sites and open infected documents that come via email. NGFW addresses this by adding IPS which does deep packet inspection.” Sunil Pillai, Co-founder & MD, iValue InfoSolutions, Bengaluru, concludes that the security need is moving from protocol-based protection to application layer/ functionality-specific needs along with protection from new threat vectors like APT. NGFW offers the perfect proposition for this. n
“Customers want clarity on scanning, application intelligence, performance, manageability and reporting. These are opportunities for partners” Rahul meher
Managing Director, Leon Computers
cover story Virtualization security on path to maturity With virtualization having gained ground, can virtualization security be far behind? There’s been uptake from the BFSI, telecom and government verticals
hile virtualization brings in significant benefits for organizations, there are security challenges to be addressed in storage virtualization, server virtualization and the like. “Identity is becoming the new perimeter, therefore it needs more clarity on information access management,” says Vic Mankotia, VP, Solution Strategy, APAC, CA Technologies. Any organization which has more than 40 instances is considering virtualization security. Also, according to Sudarsan Ranganathan, CEO, Veeras Infotek, Chennai, companies which have a roadmap to private, public or hybrid clouds are opting for virtualization security. Informs Nityanand Shetty, MD, Essen Vision, Mumbai, there has been strong uptake of virtualization security from verticals such as BFSI, telecom and government which are high adopters of the cloud. Ashok Prabhu, CEO, ValuePoint Techsol, Bengaluru, adds that since it is a niche technology the demand is coming from large enterprises. “Because it secures virtual machines and the traffic between VMs, there is significant traction in virtualization security.” Besides, virtualization security offers great scope for services. “The technology works on virtual IP, which means that the application has to bypass compute traffic to meet high-availability requirements. Protecting such
“Protecting applications is a great opportunity, and the services revenue can be anywhere between `6 lakh-10 lakh for three years” Vibhore Shrivastava, Business Head IT Infrastructure, Meta Infotech
applications is a great opportunity, and the services revenue can be anywhere between `6 lakh-10 lakh for three years,” informs Vibhore Shrivastava, Business Head, IT Infrastructure, Meta Infotech, Mumbai. VDI too is supporting the virtualization security . Says Vishak Raman, Senior Regional Director, India & Saarc, Fortinet, “Allowing mobile devices to access VDI gives organizations the ability to leverage their existing investment in VDI and provides a secure window into the corporate network.” Further, with virtualization taking center-stage, the virtual firewall is gaining traction. “It’s a network firewall service totally on a virtual environment and provides the general monitoring through the usual network firewall,” says Kalyan Banga, Regional Head, RSMRS. n
INTERVIEW: Onkar Nath
“Security partners have great opportunity in BFSI” In a recent panel discussion, Onkar Nath, CISO, Central Bank of India, shared his views on security trends What are the trends in security in the BFSI The CISO has to create a rapport with his stakeholders and come across as a business person segment? with the knowledge of technology. IT solution Security trends in the financial segment includes DLP, data waste monitoring, application change providers should come across as consultants. management and managed security services. Compliance and regulation are driving these What are your suggestions for IT channel partners? Bankers are late users of technology. IT partners can trends. For example, when data changes location, leverage their position to educate them about newer it changes the security barriers as well. One has to therefore put in place controls to avert risks. solutions with visible ROI. Because service delivery is of paramount Each of these drivers is inter-connected and Onkar Nath impacts the ecosystem. In an enterprise, either the importance for any financial institution, we expect partners to be consultants who can roll out projects information security is absent or it is deployed based in a time-bound manner. on best practices or frameworks which are publicly available. Banks are now opting for 256-bit SSL certification for websites and mobile banking applications. They are What are the challenges you face as a CISO? Generating awareness among users to follow a certain security implementing DLP solutions to prevent data leakage, as process and convincing the management that information well as two-factor authentication, and user-based and rolesecurity is not a hurdle, but a business enabler are the biggest based access. Security partners have great opportunities in these areas. n challenges any CISO faces.
Generating awareness among users to follow a certain security process and convincing the management that information security is a business enabler are the biggest challenges a CISO faces
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cover story How to build a security practice Thinking of setting up an enterprise security business? Here are a few pointers in that direction Make security a separate P&L account Irrespective of the strengths and weaknesses of a partner, the right approach to grow the security business is to set it up as a separate business unit. “While this may not be easy for many partners, we have seen that focused partners have met with better results. Security is a service-oriented space with a highly specialized approach required,” says Nityanand Shetty, MD, Essen Vision. Later on, partners can go for dividing their security business into various practices. “Once we delve deep into security and increase certifications and specializations we can divide it into separate practices internally,” remarks Vishal Bindra, CEO, ACPL Systems. “We have divided our security business into multiple practices such as application and data security, APT and IPv6.” Most importantly, new entrants must partner with a vendor offering complete security solutions including web security, firewall, DLP, IPS, load balancing, authentication systems and mobile device management. “Even if you start with basic firewall and web security solutions it’s always better to start with a vendor offering a complete portfolio so that you need not change vendors to graduate to high-end technologies,” explains Shetty.
Focus on certification Certification works in two ways in a partner’s favor. First, it increases the confidence of customers who consider the certifications of both the partner and the implementation team members as key criteria for awarding large projects. Second, vendors give extra rebates to certified solutions partners. Says Shetty, “Specialization is the core of the security business without which one cannot survive. Moreover, our margins are often enhanced because the various certifications we have gained as a company have helped us to earn better.” The company has more than 10 professionals certified in technologies such as firewall, DLP, IPS, IDS, web security, load balancing and application acceleration. Further, knowledge of laws and government guidelines is essential. Better understanding of verticalspecific guidelines for security is always beneficial to address gaps and suggest solutions.
Understand the customer’s business CIOs and enterprise vendors are scouting for partners who have a strong understanding of how technology can help a customer’s business to grow. The starting point is to identify the pain areas of the customer which probably even the customer is not aware of. Moreover, security is all about educating the
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customer. “It’s the partner’s responsibility to identify gaps and suggest solutions,” says Philip George, CEO, Axcenta ITES. Advises Bindra, “Explain that procuring security solutions is different from buying routers and switches. Establish the difference between brands and products, and explain the pros and cons of each. Be vendorneutral.” Talk about evolving threats and industry trends, and discuss the benefits of emerging security solutions. It always helps to prepare case studies, show POCs, and keep referrals handy. “Our discussions with customers start with their security policy and the processes they follow to secure people, processes, technologies, data and information. We then ask the customers to identify their assets in order of importance, classify those, and decide what they want to protect, which policy they want to implement, and who should be their vendor,” informs Bindra.
Build a services focus Security practice is a service-oriented business. As Shetty points out, “Security is anyway a services business where an emergency can arrive anytime and you have to provide immediate support. The idea is to separate the support into professional security services. Services include conducting security audits, suggesting solutions, ensuring compliance and providing postsales support.” Essen Vision recently launched a separate professional security services division with a focus on services around endpoint, data, network and server security and compliance. “We are complementing our product and solutions knowledge to offer security consultation which pure-play consultants could not offer,” says Shetty.
Develop strong processes CIOs look at the internal practices and processes within an organization before assigning a work order to it. The reason is that they do not want to depend on a few people. Other parameters include long tenures (of employment), case referrals and vendor authorizations. “We prefer to work with partners who are good at knowledge-sharing, provide us with longer road-maps, and present their plans for crisis management clearly,” informs Ramkumar Mohan, Head, IT & CISO, Orbiz, Gurgaon. “Security is anyway a services business where an emergency can arrive anytime and you have to provide immediate support. The idea is to separate the support into professional security services.” n
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special focus Optimized acceleration Yesterday’s buzzwords—WAN optimization and application acceleration—are becoming tomorrow’s opportunities. Gartner puts a figure to the size of the Indian enterprise WAN market in 2017: $373 million n RAMDAS S
ndustry pundits say that various network edge products such as application delivery controllers (ADCs), load balancers and wide area network (WAN) optimization appliances which help organizations reduce network latency and improve application performance are the biggest systems integration opportunities. The market for WAN solutions is increasing, and the latest estimates from Gartner (May 2013) predict that the Indian enterprise WAN market will grow from $266.3 million in 2012 to $373.8 million by 2017. Gartner also estimates the WAN optimization market to be worth $40 million in 2013; this is expected to grow at a CAGR of 25 percent. Says Vijay Logani, Product Specialist, Cisco India & Saarc, “As the employee workforce becomes more mobile, organizations face new challenges to provide LAN-like response time over the WAN.” The data center boom has also increased awareness and demand for application acceleration. Logani adds that for any organization planning a DR center for its data center, WAN optimization is critical as it could considerably reduce bandwidth costs and latency. Desktop virtualization projects are also driving demand for app acceleration and latency reduction solutions. “To get the maximum benefit from VDI, most organizations will need to invest in edge devices that
The technologies explained
AN optimization is essentially a collection of techniques, including de-duplication, caching, traffic shaping, protocol spoofing and latency optimization, used alone or in combination, for increasing data transfer efficiencies across WANs. In most cases they work in Layer 2 and Layer 3, but modern WAN optimization appliances even work over Layer 7 or application layer. In most cases effective delivery of WAN optimization requires symmetrical appliances at the edge of all networks connected. Application Delivery Controllers (ADCs) deliver accelerated application experience to users using many of the techniques used by WAN optimizers, but they also use different types of load balancers including link load balancing and server load balancing, and acceleration techniques over SSL and TCP protocols. Both the technologies, while addressing similar problems, are used in different cases. WAN optimization is useful when the users are within a corporate network spread across different geographies, while ADCs deliver content to a wider audience, for example, users of a Web application. n
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would provide them a LAN-like experience over the WAN,” says Kaushal Valluri, Director, Channels, Citrix India. Adds Shailendra Singh, Country Manager, A10 Networks, “Cloud computing and mobility have been the biggest drivers. The cloud is forcing people to use the WAN backbone more than the LAN, and with mobile users accessing the Internet it becomes imperative for CIOs to rethink WAN optimization.” Sectors such as BFSI are expected to drive growth. “Financial inclusion, where the need is to connect every remote branch to the core banking system, is not possible without ADCs,” says Shibu Paul, Country Manager, Array Networks, India & Saarc.
Channel opportunities Till a few months back the market leaders in this space such as F5 Networks and Riverbed had been mostly working with large SIs. However, in the recent past, they have started wooing tier-2 channels. A key challenge for most partners remains the cost of the solution. Typical project sizes start at around $25,000, and most customers outside enterprises shy away from project implementation because of the high cost. However, vendors want channels to stay focused and look for opportunities. “Today, every customer who is running an enterpriseclass application over HTTP or HTTPS is a potential user of application acceleration appliances,” opines Parag Khurana, MD, F5 Networks. “Almost all core banking vendors have made their applications Web-enabled. How else do you ensure that a remote user working with a low-speed Internet connection gets a uniform service?”
special focus “We can set up a WAN optimization solution using our software appliances for as low as `1 lakh per branch office for a bank or enterprise”
“Today, every customer who is running an enterprise-class application over HTTP or HTTPS is a potential user of application acceleration appliances”
Country Manager, Array Networks India
Managing Director, F5 Networks
Besides, almost all vendors have started shipping virtual software appliances which substantially reduce the cost of acquisition because they run on top of any x86 server in the infrastructure and cost 40-60 percent less than a dedicated hardware appliance. Some vendors have become aggressive. “Today we can set up a WAN optimization solution using our software appliances for as low as `1 lakh per branch office for a bank or enterprise,” says Paul. Another interesting trend seen is the convergence of security and application delivery product lines. “More customers are seeking solutions where next-generation Web firewalls work seamlessly as part of the Web accelerators,” says Jonathan Belcher, VP, Partner Sales, Asia Pacific, Juniper Networks.
Complex ROI One of the key challenges for channel partners has been deriving specific ROI for a WAN optimization or an ADC implementation project. The benefits of using WAN optimization are
many, and include both hard and soft costs, that is, those directly visible and those somewhat less so but undoubtedly significant, explains Robert Healey, Marketing Evangelist, APAC & Japan, Riverbed Technology. “WAN optimization enables the consolidation of branch office IT infrastructure at the corporate data center. This reduces or eliminates the cost of hardware and software at the remote sites.” Paul says that another benefit is the reduction in the cost of bandwidth and associated network hardware for WAN optimization. Calculations are a lot more complex for a Web acceleration solution. Vendors such as F5 and Riverbed ship customized solutions for software stacks like Microsoft SharePoint, SAP NetWeaver and Oracle Database whereby customers see 5-20 times improvement in performance. In late 2012 Bengaluru-based MTechpro implemented a WAN optimization solution for leading brewer SAB Miller India which improved latency across 30 locations. n
CASE STUDY: How Precision offers precise SLAs
to get uninterrupted Internet access thereby hennai-based Precision Infomatic required high availability and speedy connectivity achieving minimal disruption of its hosted for their hosted customers’ critical business infrastructure. Using the link load balancer, network traffic for both inbound and outbound applications and services. The company had a variety of customers for whom they had to connections were balanced across ISP vendors. Precision’s hosting clients benefited provide different services such as websites, from having fast and reliable access to their email, Web applications and VPN on the cloud. The services were accessed through two ISP applications and services. Precision also started hosting an IPv6 links from different vendors. These ISP links had different public IP addresses, due to which network on a dual stack with separate networks of IPv6 and IPv4, host ISP links with IPv6 Precision was facing Single Point of Failure in the Internet traffic. This was causing the breakdown address sets and a back-end IPv4 network. In addition, the load balancer helps to redirect of the entire system, and if anything went wrong applications to a DR site with Array’s global Precision would need anywhere between four Mathew Chacko to 72 hours to set things right. What’s more, a server load balancing solution on the same appliance. disruption of that magnitude would cause breach of the SLA, Precision had with its customers. The company Says Mathew Chacko, Founder-Director, Precision, “Now our customers work with almost no service disruption. We are therefore wanted to avoid such a situation and achieve minimal disruptions on their hosted infrastructure. It also required able to get uninterrupted access and committed bandwidth for services. We are also one of the few service providers who inbound and outbound redundancy, thus ensuring quality of are ready for migration to IPv6 which will help us to get better service to its hosted customers’ critical applications. With Array Networks’ link load balancer, Precision was able TCO.” n
Precision has started hosting IPv6 network on a dual stack with separate networks of IPv6 and IPv4, host ISP links with IPv6 address sets and a back-end IPv4 network
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No shades of gray Having proved that slow and steady can win a race even during adversity, Kamal Agrawal, CEO, Ria Computers, has become a name to reckon with in Gujarat’s IT distribution space n Abhijeet Mukherjee
amal Agrawal, CEO of the Surat-based Ria Computers, hails from a family of food grain wholesalers. Armed with a degree in Electronics from the Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology, Surat, in 1993, Agrawal thought it wise to gain some work experience before starting his own venture. “I did not want to join our family business, and therefore joined an IT company called PC Point as Sales Executive. After working for a short span I joined another firm for two years before starting my own business with a seed investment of `10 lakh in 1996,” Agrawal recalls.
The journey “I onboarded a partner and started Pioneer Telecom,” Agrawal says. “We began by distributing imported PC components and assembled desktops, and were among the few legitimate PC assemblers distributing excisepaid, assembled PCs through our channel network of 40 partners at a time when almost the entire market was flooded with gray products.” Since Pioneer’s PCs were priced higher than the competition, its partners initially faced problems in convincing customers to buy genuine products. In addition, there were other challenges such as the lack of taxation guidelines and a flourishing gray market. Despite this, Pioneer garnered revenue of `80 lakh in its first year of operations. The next year, 1997, was a turnaround year for the company’s PC business as by then the awareness of genuine and excise paid machines have increased. Agrawal details, “This acted as a boon for us. All enterprises and SMBs started demanding genuine products, and this benefited our partners. We initially sold around 100 units per month. The boom in the market, and our ability to supply the products, suddenly brought us into the limelight. We had turned into a well-known and trusted brand overnight!” The branding also came in handy when Agrawal decided to host an IT Fair at Surat. “More than 500 people flooded our stall, and we ran out of stocks in four days. We grew by more than 200 percent that year, and clocked revenue of `2.15 crore.”
“During the slowdown, we became strict and offered credit to partners with good payment record. We narrowed the cycle to 21-30 days which is a norm even today” 26
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In 1998 the company was renamed Ria Computers. “Due to some reason I had to discontinue my partnership, and called on another friend to join me. We decided to rename our company Ria Computers,” Agrawal says. In 2000 Ria signed on vendors like Frontech, Samsung and LG who were entering India. It also added Intel and Microtek to its product portfolio. In 2002 PC Point—the company Agrawal started his career with—was looking for buyers as it was shifting in a larger office. Agrawal bought over its premises. The same year he ventured into retail and started an outlet in Surat. It was a 250 sq ft outlet named Excellent Computers and stocked assembled PCs, components and peripherals. From 2004-08 the company grew 30 percent YoY on the back of geo-expansion and signing on more vendors. It opened offices in Vapi that catered to the Daman, Valsad and Silvasa markets, and signed on AMD, Intex, HP and Acer. “Like any other business, we too faced our ups
2002 2000 1998
9001 certification. “We expect the and downs,” Agrawal notes. “For MILESTONES certification within the next two instance, in 2004 we opened Digital months,” says Agrawal. World LG Shoppee, an exclusive He organizes surprise audits to retail store in Surat for notebooks, Started Pioneer Telecom with prevent leakages and avoid inventory desktops and monitors, but had an investment of `10 lakh pile-ups. “With seven branches and to shut it down in six months the retail stores, the risk of leakage because LG decided to exit the retail Renamed the company Ria and inventory pile-up is high. We business.” Computers have hired a third party auditor to The setback did not deter conduct these surprise audits.” Agrawal, and he ventured into his Signed on vendors like first multi-brand retail store the Frontech, Samsung and LG same year. “We launched Digital Best practices World in Surat, and stocked PCs Ria has restructured its sales team Ventured into retail and and peripherals of all brands.” In to increase its aggression both in started an outlet in Surat the same year he also started his up-country markets and in Surat. distribution office in Navsari. It also analyzes previous sales data Opened an LG IT Shoppee; shut and accordingly makes monthly or The company took a beating in it down in six months 2008 with the global slowdown. quarterly projections. “The slowdown impacted our “Our strength, historically, has Opened three new retail credit cycle,” recalls Agrawal. been breadth and reseller billing. outlets in Surat and Vapi “Partners delayed payments which Besides volume targets, we have directly impacted our topline and assigned targets to our sales team Expanded sub-distribution bottomline. That year we could not based on the number of dealers. business to Vadodara maintain our growth momentum Incentives are planned for the and so closed at `25.55 crore, a team for the liquidation of aging Reached a turnover of de-growth of 7 percent. To counter stock. A dedicated marketing and the loss we installed a software to PR executive was introduced to `53.83 crore streamline and regulate our credit take care of mailers, branding, cycle. We became strict and offered advertisements and related credit only to those partners who had a good payment activities,” explains Agrawal. record. Instead of the extended 45 days we stuck to the Ria has registered its dealers on its website and 21-30 days cycle which is a norm even today.” updates its data sheet from time to time. A detailed Ria continued its retail expansion in 2009 when analysis of the data provided by its dealers helps it to it opened three outlets in Surat and Vapi. It added increase its sales. more products like Acer TFTs and Sony notebooks, streamlined its accounts, and implemented an online Future business ERP connecting all its branches. The company is aiming to garner revenue of `100 crore In FY2010-11 the company opened more retail stores in FY2013-14. It plans to increase its retail focus and and expanded its sub-distribution business to Vadodara invest in upgrading its retail stores to large format to cater to the whole of south Gujarat. stores. “We want to revamp all our stores, and increase the space to 1,500-2,000 sq ft. We will also have mobiles, tablets and home theater products showcased Current business in these stores,” says Agrawal. Ria’s turnover grew 10 percent from `48.17 crore in Agrawal also intends to expand geographically. FY2011-12 to `53.83 crore in FY2012-13. Agrawal “We want to add more distribution and retail outlets in attributed this growth to the addition of tablets to Ria’s Ahmedabad and Saurashtra by the end of the year. We product portfolio. Ria also added the telecom vertical will also increase our presence elsewhere in Gujarat.” two months back. “We recently added Simmtronics and Intex tablets to our kitty,” informs Agrawal. The company also became distributor for Samsung On a personal note notebooks and master reseller for Acer. Agrawal is an avid reader and spends time getting Today, Ria has seven branches and five retail stores. inspired from motivational books such as You Can It has a base of 850 active partners across Gujarat, Win. He also likes to read a lot of management books. and 80 employees. The company has applied for ISO At present he is reading Think and Grow Rich, a motivational personal development and self-help book by Napoleon Hill. “Motivational books provide “Our strength, historically, has been me the energy to push the envelope further, to think clearly and better, while management books help me to breadth billing. Besides volume targets, strategize better,” explains Agrawal. we have assigned targets to our sales team Agrawal is also a fitness enthusiast and spends time with his son cycling early morning. n based on the number of dealers”
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tech focus Google Nexus 7
Apple iPad Mini
The 7-inch battle between Nexus and iPad rages on. CRN breaks down a spec-for-spec comparison of the smaller product versions from giant companies n Edward J Correia pple has a new rival to contend with in the market for small tablets. The latest 7-incher to hit the scene is the Google Nexus 7, an update to the already well-endowed Nexus 7 revealed last June. Google’s timing for a fresh Nexus 7 might be fortuitous in light of rumors this week that a new iPad Mini might be pushed until after the new year. Google meanwhile is well-armed for battle, even if Apple comes at it with Retina. As companies gear up for the holiday buying season, here’s a look at how Google’s latest Nexus 7 stacks up against Apple’s current iPad Mini.
CPU, GPU and memory The iPad Mini is built around Apple’s A5 custom SoC, the same processor found in the iPad 2. It has two ARM Cortex A9 cores running at 1 GHz plus a NEON SIMD instruction accelerator to boost application performance. The new Nexus 7 sports a quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro application processor running at 1.5 GHz. For graphics, Apple’s SoC has a pair of PowerVR GPU cores, while the Nexus’ Qualcomm includes a 400 MHz Adreno 320. According to its maker, this new GPU is optimized for HTML5 and 3D software and quadruples performance of its predecessor Adreno 225. As for memory, the iPad Mini contains 512 MB of system RAM for running applications and is available with 16 GB, 32 GB or 64 GB for application and data storage. Nexus 7 comes with 2 GB of system RAM and is available with 16- or -32 GB storage. Neither the iPad Mini nor the Nexus 7 is expandable.
Ins and outs Like all iPads and iPhones, the iPad Mini cannot save data directly to a USB stick or other removable storage medium. For all I/O, Apple provides Lightning Port, its all-digital, multipurpose connector for hooking up monitors, docks and other peripherals. Sturdier than the 30-pin analog/digital connector of Apple’s prior
The iPad Mini has 512 MB of system RAM and is available with 16 to 64 GB for application and data storage. Nexus 7 has 2 GB of system RAM and is available with 16 to 32 GB storage 28
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generation, the Lightning connector is reversible, a convenience that also helps eliminate damage from cable orientation errors. Nexus 7 employs a microUSB port with support for SlimPort, a license-free spec developed by Analogix. In addition to file I/O, this port can connect to external DisplayPort or HDMI monitors, docking stations and other peripherals using the appropriate adapter. Both devices come with a 3.5 mm headphone jack, microphone and buttons for power and volume. Nexus 7 uses Android’s soft Home key.
Display The iPad Mini’s 1,024-x-768 resolution 163 ppi display is an LED-backlit multitouch LCD that measures 7.9-inches diagonally. Its IPS panel offers an enormous range of colors and a super wide viewing angle. The glass is coated with an oleophobic substance that resists fingerprints. The iPad Mini offers quite a nice looking display, but it’s nowhere close to HD. Nexus 7 on the other hand is not only close to HD, it exceeds it. Google’s 7-inch LCD impressively pumps out 1,920-x-1,200 pixels, which calculates to 323 ppi. It too employs IPS technology with its impressive array of colors and viewing angles. And, it’s protected with Gorilla Glass. But, according to a piece on Android Origin, the Gorilla Glass is not the latest version 3—it’s Corning’s original Gorilla Glass 1.
Construction, dimensions Apple’s aluminum unibody construction idea gives iPad Mini a solid, sturdy feel and simplifies servicing. Nexus 7’s case is plastic, but according to reports, it feels quite solid compared with last year’s model and other inexpensive tablets. Putting them side by side, one might describe Google’s as long and thin, while Apple’s is short and fat. In reality, the two are almost precisely the same length: 7.9-inches. The iPad Mini is 5.3-inches wide against Nexus 7’s 4.5-inches. Apple has Google on device thickness. The iPad Mini opens the micrometer to 0.28-inches, whereas Nexus 7 stretches to 0.34-inches. Due mainly to its larger glass panel, Apple’s device weighs 0.68 pounds compared with Google’s 0.64 pounds.
tech focus Cameras and sound The camera competition is a wash. Both tablets include 1.2 MP fixed-focus front cameras and 5 MP auto-focus rear cameras. Google hasn’t put out details much beyond that, but we do know that Android 4.3 supports use of both cameras at once for effects such as picturein-picture. We also know that the rear camera on Apple’s small tablet contains a 2.4 f aperture and five-element autofocus lens, and it can capture 1080 p video with image stabilization and backside illumination. Apple’s 1.2 MP front camera captures 720 p video and offers photo and video geotagging. Both tablets include two speakers and stereo sound.
Communications, battery The devices are on fairly even ground in terms of radios. Both have dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0. Nexus 7 adds NFC with support for Android Bump, which can wirelessly transmit data between devices. Apple has resisted NFC reportedly because of unsteady standards. Both devices build in sensors for GPS, gyro, accelerometer, compass and ambient light. Both offer an LTE option; Apple also provides GSM/EDGE and CDMA networks for iPad Minis. Google rates the battery life of its 3950 mAh cell
Both devices build in sensors for GPS, gyro, accelerometer, compass and ambient light. Both offer an LTE option; Apple also provides GSM/EDGE and CDMA networks for iPad Minis at nine hours, but fails to indicate what the device is doing during that time. Apple claims nine hours on its 4490 mAh battery while surfing the Web using a cellular radio and 10 hours using Wi-Fi, listening to music or watching videos. The Nexus 7’s battery supports Qi compatible wireless charging. Android has improved its power efficiency substantially over the years, and Nexus 7 runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, Google’s latest OS. But in the Test Center’s experience, Android still has miles to go before it’s on par with iOS’s legendary battery life. iPad Mini runs iOS 6.0.
Pricing and availability The 16 GB, Wi-Fi-only iPad Mini sells for `21,900. The iPad Mini has been selling since November 2012. Google’s price for a Wi-Fi only Nexus 7 is `15,999 for 16 GB and `18,999 with 32 GB; both began shipping last week. n
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n From L-R Rahul Khurd, Secretary, Ratnesh Rathi, President, and Aniruddha Nenavlikar , VP, CMDA Pune, addressing members
n Association members actively participating in the discussion
Computer and Media Dealers Association Pune concludes SI meet The Computers & Media Dealers Association (CMDA) Pune, recently concluded its meet for systems integrators. The objective of the meet was to discuss the business challenges currently faced by the SI community. The topics of discussion included LBT—current practices and future plan of action, DOA policy, payment defaulters, fraud customers, tie-ups with financial institutions, uniform prices and service issues. LBT was the hot topic of discussion; members suggested the removal of reimbursement and steps to avoid unethical practices in business. For uniform pricing members suggested maintaining the MOP and following the trade guidelines published on
the association’s website. For the DOA and service escalation matrix, CMDA will submit recommendations to the vendors. “We assure you that we are committed to working for the benefit of the members and will provide the best possible resolution of their issues. In cases where vendors fail to provide support, members should bring it to the notice of the managing committee so that they can intervene and escalate it to the concerned vendor. Further, we have signed up with the ICICI bank for easy EMI plans with credit, and in the next 25-30 days members will get mails from CMDA with all the details,” said Ratnesh Rathi, President, CMDA. n
n From R to L - Rory Read, Ravi Swaminathan, Managing Director, n Tadahiko Sumitani, MD, Konica Minolta Business Solutions, India, lighting the lamp at the annual partner meet
Konica Minolta annual partner meet Konica Minolta recently concluded its third annual partner meet at Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad. The meet, which had The Year of Challenge as its theme, was attended by around 90 partners. The meet was the company’s biggest partner engagement program during which the company’s top management communicated the company’s annual strategy to the partners. “Our aim is to work as closely as possible with our partners to drive business in the region and continue together on the growth path,” said Tadahiko Sumitani, Managing Director, Konica Minolta Business Solutions, India. n
AMD India, with employees
AMD opens design center in Hyderabad AMD has opened a new design center in Hyderabad which will have labs for software and hardware innovations on accelerated processing units. It was inaugurated by Rory Read, President & CEO, AMD. “The center will play an important part in providing our customers innovative and tailored solutions,” he said. Located at Raheja Mindspace, Hitec City, Madhapur, the facility is spread across 1.75 lakh sq ft and comprises engineering labs, equipment and office space for engineers who work to deliver differentiated system-on-chips for AMD and its global customers. AMD already has a design center in Bengaluru, as well as sales offices in New Delhi and Mumbai. n
To feature your company’s events in CRN, send write-ups with photographs to firstname.lastname@example.org 30
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new products Netgear Centria
Digilite motherboard H61
etgear has launched its all-in-one media storage router which provides wireless Internet access, backup and storage, and media streaming. It is a 900 Mbps, dual-band Wi-Fi router that provides streaming and gaming with its extended range, and forms an automatic backup system for PCs and Macs. The device is available in two models, WNDR 4720 and WNDR 4700. While the former comes with a built-in internal 2 TB SATA hard drive, the latter comes with an internal storage bay for hard drive attachment. Both models come with two USB 3.0 ports. The routers can also be used as a private cloud for accessing and sharing files wirelessly. The Netgear Centria WNDR 4700 and WNDR 4720 are priced at an MRP of `22,703 and `36,427 excluding taxes respectively, and carry a 2-year warranty. n
igilite recently launched its new micro-size H61 motherboard—the DL-H61M-VG4—with PCIE Gigabit LAN. The motherboard supports Intel Rapid Start Technology and Smart Connect Technology. It also supports second- and third-generation Intel core i7, i5, i3, Xeon, Pentium and Celeron processors in an LGA1155 package, and has 5.1 CH HD audio. It comes with dual-channel DDR3 memory with two DDR3 DIMM slots and a maximum capacity of 16 GB system memory. It also has four SATA 2 3.0 Gb/s connectors and four USB 2.0 ports, as well as two USB 2.0 headers. The motherboard is priced at `2,900, and carries a 3-year warranty. n
est IT World recently launched its 9-inch tablet with HD display under the iBall brand. Called it the iBall Slide i9018, the tablet is powered by a 1 GHz dual-core Cortex A7 processor with Mali 400 MP2 GPU and 1 GB RAM. It sports two cameras—a 2 MP rear camera and a VGA front camera. The device has 8 GB internal storage which can be expanded up to 32 GB via a microSD card. The tablet runs on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean OS. Connectivity options include WiFi, HDMI port, micro USB port, Bluetooth 3.0 and 3G via USB dongle. It is packed with a 5,000 mAh battery. The product is priced at `9,990, and carries a 1-year warranty. n
enovo recently launched its A3000 tablet that features a 7-inch HD display. The device comes with a SIM slot for a voice calling facility and runs on Android Jelly Bean OS. The tablet is powered by a 1.2 GHz quad-core MediaTek processor, 1 GB RAM and 4 GB internal storage via SD card expandable up to 64 GB. It has a 0.3 MP front camera but no rear camera. Connectivity options include 3G via dongle, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0 and microUSB 2.0 ports. The tablet is packed with a 3,500 mAh battery that can deliver up to seven hours of Web-browsing and 336 hours of standby time. The tablet is priced at `16,000 inclusive of taxes, and carries a 1-year warranty. n
The products featured here have not undergone any benchmarking or testing. The trailers contain information provided by vendors and distributors. To feature your company’s products in CRN, send write-ups with photos to email@example.com
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shadow ram UP tablets bid: now a flop show?
fter failing to generate interest among bidders for the free tablet PC scheme in two bids, the Uttar Pradesh government is unlikely to go ahead with the bidding process for a third time. Even if the bidding process starts, it may not take off this year, say sources in the government. The complete bidding process takes at least six months including allotting time for inviting bids, hosting a pre bid meeting, responding to queries and giving them a 60-day period to obtain the standardized testing and quality certification. Also, in six months time the General Elections is likely to be announced, and the Supreme Court diktat on populism and free goods distribution is likely to be followed by Election Commission, which will not allow the scheme to get any further. Meanwhile, sources at HP confirmed that the company has received part payment of the `900 crore outstanding from UP government. The company is expected to complete the supply of 15.37 lakh units of laptops by September 15, 2013. n
“I would ensure education for all” C Ramanan, 36, Head, Sales, Commercial Sector, Citrix, India Subcontinent, has more than 14 years of experience in the IT industry. Prior to Citrix he worked with Nortel, Cisco, Ingram Micro and Insyte-Calisys If not in the IT industry: I would have been a musician, or in the hospitality industry.
Biggest passion: Music and networking with people.
Behind the wheel: Hyundai Santro. Gadgets I can’t live without: BlackBerry and iPhone 5. Weekends are for: My family, dinners, long drives and helping my kid with projects. Favorite holiday destinations: My hometown Trichy, Chennai, New York, Washington DC, Sri Lanka and historical places around Bengaluru. Hate the most: Liars, selfish people and backstabbers. Favorite movies: Tamil films like Basha, Robot and Mozhi, also Taare Zameen Par and English Vinglish. Favorite stars: Rajnikanth, Kapil Dev, Vishwanathan Anand and (director) Shankar. Role models: Rajnikanth and Mark Templeton. I like their commitment and passion. Ultimate ambition: To become a CEO, and lead a company while maintaining a perfect work-life balance. Wildest thing I have ever done: Sky-diving. Thing I most want to do in life: Keep my near and dear ones happy. If I became the PM: I would ensure education and employment for all, zero poverty, no black money, and no bribery. Celebrity I would like to spend a day with: Rajnikanth. One person I would like to meet and why: MS Dhoni. He is very efficient and a proven leader. I like his commitment, patience, passion for his profession and the way he handles different situations. Deepest and darkest fear: Being alone. n — CRN Network
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