It is the story of a man as ordinary as you and me but holds extraordinary virtues. Kailash Katkar is the lesser-known name who redefined entrepreneurship with his company Quick Heal Technologies Private Limited. If you ever thought that dealing with a business only takes some capital to set up, hard work to get going and profits that result from it, then you are in for a surprise. The leadership portrayed by Kailash Katkar by conquering the market space for the most needed product of its time, an antivirus software, is an inspiration to millions. His vision, alignment and execution makes him one of the most successful leaders. Let's know more about him and his company.
Kailash Katkar is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Quick Heal Technologies, the leading company in India. It provides cybersecurity and antivirus solutions to many countries like the US, Japan, Kenya and the Middle East. Currently, it has a total turnover of over Rs 300 crores and has branches across India and worldwide. Its services include Quick Heal Total Security, Internet Security for PC, Android and other mobile users.
From the Beginning
Kailash Katkar was born in the year 1966 to a Maharashtrian family at Rahimatpur in Maharashtra. His father was a machine setter at Philips, India and his mother, a homemaker. Unlike his two other siblings, he wasn't a bright student and decided to drop out of studies early in high school.
To support his family, he chose to earn soon after. But with no experience, he started repairing calculators and radios at a local shop. Not knowing this will be a transformation to entrepreneurship, he continued his work with diligence. Very soon after, he started his repair shop in 1993 with a seed capital of only Rs.15000 in a small rented room of 100 sq ft. He started repairing other devices like computers, electrical appliances, etc. It was the birth of the company CAT Computer Services.
An Unlikely Competition
It was the era of competition, and companies were flourishing one after another. Due to the lack of proficiency in education and experience, Kailash was unable to expand the services. It was only the Annual Maintenance Contracts that kept the company going. It was the time Kailash realized they need to find an edge to survive, and soon he encouraged his brother Sanjay to take up engineering. On the other hand, Kailash self-educated himself through various computer courses to better understand the tech world.
Soon came the time when viruses exploded the inbuilt software of computers and disks. There was no control over the pace and the files they corroded. It needed a quick solution, and software companies were fighting over research to no avail. At the suggestion of his brother, Sanjay started working on a basic model of antivirus software for CAT services. The idea was to develop a solution that could cater to individual operators and software companies at large. Finally, in 1994, the antivirus software famously termed Quick Heal broke open the market with significant updates at the cheapest cost.
It was the turning point as Quick Heal was the only software that could destroy the deadly viruses named One Half and Natash. The competition was unlikely for big companies since they had no solutions as effective as Quick Heal.
The Rise of Quick Heal
The solution brought about by Quick Heal, though exemplary, could not fetch profits earlier as people were skeptical about paying for it. Soon after this, the duo decided to distribute the antivirus software for free and the annual maintenance contracts for their clients. Word of mouth soon spread, and this gave them an edge in the market. The company's turnover tripled, and their story became a success.
Despite the growth, bankers never fully trusted the owner's idea to invest in the company's prospects. Kailash took things upon himself and build his finance team to manage the crunch upon expansion. With practical strategies and ensured growth, the company gifted itself an office space of 2000 sq ft in Pune in 2002. The company's focus shifted from antivirus solutions to other areas like security, speed and gateway protection, among others.
The year 2006 started with an agreement of Quick Heal with Microsoft to embed the antivirus into the latter's Windows XP version. Quick Heal became the company's recognition and its official name. In 2010, after multiple fund tours to banks, Quick Heal got its first funding of Rs 60 crores from Sequoia Capital. The company flapped its wings to cover not only parts of India but also places in Japan and the US.
Power of Belief
The company is proud to have fared through its ups and downs and gain a competitive advantage over its strong peers without investing in advertisement and promotion. The cash crunch, low staff, losses could not break the owner's zeal, whose only weapons were faith and self-confidence. The company successfully portrays the path from purpose to impact! Currently, Quick Heal Technologies has launched its version 16 that provides additional services of safe internet banking, shopping and surfing. The company is a proud holder of Seqrite, a company that assists enterprises in simplifying security procedures.
Kailash Katkar is not your super fancy entrepreneur who has only pulled the right strings at the right time. He is the guy who believed in himself when no one else did and worked through the tides tirelessly to build this successful empire today. With many awards to the credit of Kailash, this humble guy only preaches through his action the importance of hard work, the right decisions, consistency and virtue. His is a magical story of rags to riches that inspires budding entrepreneurs and successful companies alike.
The quote below correctly justifies the intention of this entrepreneur,
Never let a stumble in the road be the end of the journey!
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