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We want to make Symantec the leader in India

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DQW Bureau
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Nisha Kurian

Gartner Dataquest ranked Symantec Corp, headquartered in Cupertino, California as the world's leading security software provider. Occupying a market share of 14.7 percent Symantec tops the list of the top 25 security software vendors. Its Norton brand of consumer security products leads the market in worldwide retail sales and industry awards. the DQ week Madras caught up with Joy Ghosh, Symantec's Country Manager for India who delineated on the activities of Symantec in India.

How is the Internet security scenario in India?

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In India awareness on Internet security is very low. Security is not seen as a business issue but as an IT issue. There is a misconception that security is very expensive which is not correct. The vendors who thrust their products around the customers' throat are feeding this misconception. If there is no security policy in place the product does not work. Suppose if you have a firewall and if you do not know what the product is protecting the firewall is a waste. In India people should be made aware of the need of the Internet security.

There is another state of the market, which is the most risky one. Previously the virus, which used to invade our system, had a predictable manner. Both the company and a security solution provider like us could get a fix on it. But today the virus threats are complex, like the Nimda virus. They are the blended virus and are like the Swiss army knife with unfathomable nature. The final effect is not on the IT but on your business. Even then we see many Indian companies turning a blind eye towards the security issue.

What are the activities of Symantec in India?

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Symantec started its operations in India in September 1999. And we have grown five-fold since then. In the consumer space we have a huge presence. We cover anti-virus, firewall, intrusion detection, vulnerability assessment security services and managed services, where we manage customer network from offsite. We are employing these tools to capture the enterprise market in India, which is picking up very fast. Personally what I feel is that in India enterprise market is growing at a rate of 50-60 percent per year and we want Symantec to grow by 100 percent next year in the enterprise segment.

In India we have launched the Carrier Scan for the ISPs and the ASPs. With the coming of the blended virus ISPs are finding it difficult to provide clean pipe network. We are talking with the leading 8-10 ISPs in India. The ISP market here is in a shake out, finally around 4-5 ISPs will be carrying Carrier Scan since the remaining wont be in the game any further. We are targeting this product at the data centers. Being highly scalable and with amazing load capacity it is one of the kind of its product.

In India we want to be seen as the leader for which we are pumping in huge amount of resources.

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What are the latest developments at Symantec?

In the coming quarter we will be launching Velociraptor, a firewall appliance. Norton Antivirus 7.6 Enterprise solution will also strike the market soon. We have currently launched the 2002 version of our retail product. This is the only version, which is compatible with Windows XP and also certified by them.

What is the present channel network in India?

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We have Wipro and Tech Pacific as our distributors. There are 50 authorized resellers in the retail space. HCL is our OEM partner in India. This network coupled with our brand Norton is contributing to our 25 percent growth. In US we stand second, next to Microsoft in retail business. We have launched a new partner program in India and worldwide which will enable them to be stronger in the distribution. This will be the most structured approach to our channel network where we will enable our partners with resources and skill depending on their profile. We have partners in the retail and enterprise segment.

What is your comment on recent Gartner's rating?

We are extremely happy over this. We wanted to be the leader in Internet security for which we mad three major acquisitions - AXENT Technologies, L-3 Network Security and UR Labs. Thus we moved from a retail player to an enterprise player. When somebody like Gartner says you are the leader it is a vindication of our efforts.

Symantec Corp is expecting a billion-dollar turnover worldwide for the coming fiscal. "India is an emerging market like Korea, China and Brazil. It is in such markets we want to invest more. Realizing the market potential in South India we opened an office in Bangalore three months back. Soon we will be opening one in Delhi and we are augmenting investment in Mumbai," remarked Joy

Ghosh.

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