Jaspreet Singh: Founder & CEO, Druva

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An entrepreneur at heart, Jaspreet bootstrapped the company while defining the product, sales and marketing strategies that have resulted in Druva’s early and impressive success. Prior to founding Druva, Jaspreet was a member of the storage foundation group at Veritas. He also held a number of engineering specific roles at Ensim Corporation.

How did you get into the industry?

The idea for starting Druva began in 2008 when I observed two issues. First, despite the success of companies like Amazon and Google in providing cheap infrastructure, the cloud was an afterthought for many solutions. Even as more and more data moved to the edge of enterprises’ networks — mobile devices and laptops, for example — enterprises still balked at the idea of using the cloud as the primary source for storing information. Second, existing solutions for data governance were typically piecemeal platforms that either served information availability or information governance. That is when my idea for Druva came to life, as I wanted to bring two different paradigms together into a single pane of glass completely delivered from the cloud: information availability and information governance (cloud information management).

Any emerging industry trends?

With enterprise data continuing to become so dispersed, the rise in ransomware and concerns over privacy violations that could result in compromised data are increasing rapidly.  The need for data protection is a top priority and it is paramount for businesses to step up and take preventative action to regain visibility and ensure all data is safe, secure and recoverable.

Any industry opportunities or challenges?

The biggest challenge in this industry comes from the complexities of the cloud environment and the various ways vendors use the cloud to provide services, which in many cases costing companies more. We also see this as the biggest opportunity. The ability to build solutions on the public cloud that integrate with it like it is an Operating System, changes the way you can work with, store and manipulate data to bring added value to businesses and optimizes costs.

Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?

As I mentioned earlier, the idea for Druva started when I observed those two issues in the market. As my second job out of college, I bootstrapped Druva while defining the product, sales and marketing strategies that have resulted in Druva’s early and impressive success. This journey has been full of challenges and learning experiences, but I have embraced the idea of tackling an opportunity by surrounding myself with the right people.

Previously, companies solved challenges like data loss or leakage, archiving and compliance by building anti-virus or data security solutions, where in reality the market needed an integrated solution for end-to-end data governance. I felt the big data center players did not understand the issues related to mobility and the existence of data at the network’s edge. Druva is a result of these perspectives. Its scale-out cloud architecture is built specifically to handle its clients’ growth: scaling out is far more cost effective than purchasing ever more hardware for scale-up growth plans.

Despite the growing popularity of SaaS solutions, Druva’s cloud-native approach to data protection and information management acts on a piece of this vision that has been seemingly neglected. Legacy data backup and compliance tools were built around the notion of moving siloed storage to a disk drive. Later, enterprises realized they needed search and mining capabilities for purposes like compliance, data discovery and analytics. At the time, no one thought they could combine different data sources and data backups existed solely to back up data. Druva’s solution is built around the idea that data backups are also be a business asset that can solve other problems.

Druva’s platform represents an especially prescient view of the data industry’s evolution. As concepts like the IoT flourish, more and more data is created at the edge of enterprises’ networks — outside of centralized data stores. I realized this migration of data from centralized locations to network edges when I began turning this concept into a useable product. Data migration to the edge required new tools for mitigating data loss and implementing security.

What's next for the Business in the near future?

In terms of the product itself, we are focusing on and experimenting with machine learning and deep learning. This could be foundational for technology like ours in the future. As far as the company itself, we want to see a change in the way people view Druva. Druva is a comprehensive platform with the vision of centralizing the control plane, rather than simply a point product or solution.

Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?

We have a very strong customer base and have achieved a really high net promoter score of 86. We continue to invest in our customer services, which include the entire customer journey. I think this is a unique differentiator for Druva.

Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)

The most difficult moment I had was when I asked myself: “Why am I doing this?”. I had a hard time determining if it was because I wanted to succeed, if I was greedy, or because I am afraid and really want to succeed in life. I had to realize that building this business was my destiny and that this is what I really enjoy doing.

Ideal experience for a customer/client?

This seems like a difficult and complex answer is needed, but it is actually the exact opposite. Simplicity and trust is the key here. Complexity and complication rule this space for a lot of our customers. I am thrilled when customers come to us to express how appreciative they are in our ability to avoid these complications and complexities. Engaging with our customers and solving their challenges is at the very core of our success and ensuring this is a simple process makes every customer experience ideal.

How do you motivate others?

Treating people as leaders and empowering them with smaller teams helps create strength among many. Leadership can be viewed in three parts. It starts with a strong vision, then includes the execution of that vision and ends with the inspiration to work toward achieving collective success. My aim is to motivate people to ensure that all three of these pieces are working together.

Career advice to those in your industry?

If I were to give any piece of advice to new startup CEOs, I would tell them to prepare themselves, have persistence and develop an understanding of what you really believe in. Do anything you can to grow your business and don’t spend too much time raising it.