Quick Heal Technologies: The virus hunters

     Print Edition: Nov 14, 2010

Best SME for innovation (Medium)

Quick Heal Technologies
Person: Kailash Katkar
Turnover (2009-10): Rs 103 crore
PAT (2009-10): Rs 32 crore
Business: Anti-virus software

Sanjay Katkar, Chief Technical Officer of Pune-based Quick Heal Technologies, fondly remembers how he began writing code back in 1993, when the company was called CAT Computer Services and sold assembled personal computers, or PCs. "My brother (Kailash Katkar, CEO and Chairman) realised that customers faced a lot of virus problems. And I sat and wrote code for our first anti-virus software," says Katkar. The software sat easy on a floppy; most users were still on Microsoft's DOS.

Quick Heal today has revenues of Rs 100 crore, while its market is worth at least Rs 350 crore. In September, venture capital firm Sequoia Capital India said it was investing Rs 60 crore in Quick Heal. "We have a 30 per cent share in the Indian anti-virus market," boasts Katkar.

And the brothers have done this in the face of multinationals such as Symantec and Norton. "It was not easy convincing clients to use our software - we used our clout with distributors to bundle it along with PCs," says Katkar. The Quick Heal version for the best-selling Windows 95 operating system was a turning point. "Our next growth will come from anti-virus solutions for mobiles," says Katkar. The software sits on a PC, and scans the handset for viruses through the connecting cable.

-T.V. Mahalingam

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