Sramana: How did your journey evolve from Ensim to being a founding member of Druva?
Jaspreet Singh: While I was working on some of the open source projects, I met my co-founder, Milind. He was at Veritas and he convinced me to apply at Veritas. He told me that if I passed the criteria, I would be the only undergraduate working in the entire world wide group. I passed my interview and joined Veritas.
About a year later, Milind left to start his own company. Around that time I got terribly bored. Milind invited me to work with him as an engineer. He did not have any money to pay me but told me that if he was able to make money that he would pay me. I started working for him. In 2008 the idea of Druva came about. We decided to work towards the idea of Druva.
Sramana: What was the concept of Druva at that time?
Jaspreet Singh: In 2007 there was a loose concept around disaster recovery. Asia Pacific was getting hot on compliance, risk mitigation, and disaster recovery of mission-critical data. We knew we could innovate there. Even if you build something bigger and cheaper, the larger companies that wanted to reduce their risk and increase compliance were probably not going to trust a startup, especially one from India. India may have had a great service story, but its product story had not evolved.
We built a product, and I was thrown into the field to try and sell it. Every time I tried to sell it I got the feedback that it was very difficult to use. I was able to see another area of risk mitigation for endpoints emerging. That was a space that nobody else was in. We took that feedback and decided to put our efforts into starting an endpoint product. We did that in 2008 and called it Druva. I was made a co-founder and I led the company for sales, operations, and marketing. I eventually became the CEO.
The endpoint became a huge point of focus. The PC was declining and laptops and tablets became the norm. Protecting information in the mobile space was very important. When people travel, companies still have to ensure that data is secure when they are traveling. They needed to ensure backup of the data and data protection. The only products in that space were either too consumer oriented or they were too oriented towards servers. There was nothing in the middle.
Sramana: Were you trying to go after the mid-market?
Jaspreet Singh: We went after the mid to enterprise market, but we focused completely on the endpoint.
Sramana: Wasn’t there already security players on the endpoint?
Jaspreet Singh: Security was more about antivirus and leakage prevention. Data protection is about backup. Players had declining business there. The big players did not understand mobility. It was about endpoint backup for enterprises.