Narayan Neelakantan: A Technocrat in the Cyber Security Space
In this digitally connected world, serious data breaches, major attacks, and vulnerabilities continue to plague enterprises across numerous industry sectors. The challenges are getting bigger, bolder and more complex while the cost to secure assets continues to escalate. With a vision to build a Next-Generation cyber-security product which would enable organizations to defend against sophisticated cyber-attacks, Narayan formed Block Armour with his close associates.
Making A Splash in the Business World
Narayan started his career in designing & building Networks and Data Centers. Later, he joined the National Stock Exchange, the third largest stock exchange in the world in terms of volumes. During his sixteen year stint there, he held multiple positions and designed & deployed systems, of which several deployments were the first of its kind in the country and at par with international standards. “I built high-performance teams and together we executed several cutting-edge projects and mission-critical deployments”, says Narayan.
Cyber Security space is one of the fast-growing markets in the world and provides tremendous opportunity for innovation. “My tryst with blockchain technology, while I was heading the IT Risk and cyber security vertical at NSE excited me enough to take the decision of becoming an entrepreneur”, asserts Narayan. He started Block Armour with the vision to build an innovative product in the cyber security domain using next-gen technology. Later he co-founded another company Blockchain Worx, with the objective of building blockchain products for various use cases ranging from Fintech to Supply Chain and Retail. “It has been a great journey so far and I am focusing my energy now, on growing both these companies”, says Narayan.
Some Valuable Insights from Narayan’s Desk
Narayan feels privileged to be surrounded and mentored by seniors during his corporate journey. This has positively impacted and shaped his professional as well as personal journey. “I believe it’s important to be a person of strong values and high integrity. I like to lead by example and am confident that the rest will follow”, says Narayan. He considers Richard Branson as a key source of inspiration.
Narayan is always passionate about building cutting-edge technology products which provide significant business value to customers, high-performance teams, & high growth and sustainable organizations.
“I feel motivated when I see my company providing customer value through its products and solutions”, Says Narayan.
Transforming Cyber Security with the Zero Trust Approach
Block Armour is a Mumbai and Singapore based startup, focused on harnessing the potential of emerging technologies to build next-gen cyber security products . The company has developed Secure Shield Architecture (SSA), which allows organizations to secure their critical enterprise systems and IOT communication from next-gen cyber-attacks. SSA is based on the zero-trust model allowing only authenticated and authorized users and devices to see and access systems. The company has significantly enhanced the authentication and authorization process by using digital identities which are difficult to spoof and impersonate.
Additionally, the company records the logs on the blockchain making it immutable and tamper-proof giving the customer complete visibility of potential attacks. The secure shield architecture provides holistic and scalable security and has the capability to secure systems and devices across enterprise, cloud, and IoT using a single platform.
A Successful Entrepreneurial Journey
In establishing a company, one can face a lot of difficulties. It is not an easy decision to quit a high-flying career and start all over again. The biggest risk of course is “what if things don’t work out”. The best way to mitigate this risk is to plan well and have an open and practical approach and also have the courage to change course early on, if things are not working out. Similarly, Narayan surpassed all these challenges with proficiency and established a successful venture.
Talking about friends and family Narayan says, “My family and friends play a very important role in my life. Because, you need a lot of support especially when the going gets tough, not just financially but emotionally as well”
Memorizing the cherished moments of his life, Narayan says –“Being recognized as one of the most innovative companies globally was a very memorable moment. The other memory which I deeply cherish was meeting my better half and I could not have achieved this success without her support”.
Under the leadership of Narayan, the company has achieved various milestones in this sector. Accenture named Block Armour among the Top 25 cyber security innovations globally for 2018. The Company was selected by Airbus after evaluating more than 150 companies to be part of their prestigious ‘acceleration program’. The company has been rated consecutively among the top 20 cyber security startups for 2017 and 2018. ABI research named it among the top 15 innovators globally in the blockchain cyber security space.
Be Innovative and Don’t Fear Failures
If budding entrepreneurs were to take a leaf out of Narayan’s life, what would it? “Be innovative and don’t fear failure” “There are enough instances where it has been proven beyond doubt that ‘Fortune favors the brave’. The other important point is to be patient and persistent, because every product or solution takes a finite amount of time before it gains acceptance among customers”, Says Narayan. “Be open to criticism because many a times it helps one see things in a different perspective and helps to make better decisions,” He adds.
The road towards a Better Future
Narayan is now focusing on the growth of both of his companies, Block Armour and Blockchain Worx to serve customers in global markets. “Our approach has always been to partner with OEM’s, System Integrators etc. to scale quickly and delivers better value to our customers”, He says.