Mr. Sastry Tumuluri is a passionate technocrat with a mission to make the Internet a safer place for everyone. He believes in rejecting mediocrity and pursuing excellence. Currently, he is building a collaborative security platform at the Digital Self Defense InfoSec. Previously he had served as IT Advisor & Chief Information Security Officer to the Government of Haryana. His vast experience as a corporate manager includes Marketing & Sales Management, Development Center Management and Information Security Management.
Q.How did you begin your journey in Entrepreneurship?
Before I thought of entering business, I had a long corporate experience. I was working outside India and came back to work as Head of Japan Business for Software MNC. In the year 2000, I joined my friend as a co-founder. Thinking back, funding for ventures was becoming tough, and it was the last funded venture since the dot-com bust.
Q. Why did you opt for a change from a corporate setting?
I knew I can do much more in a more dynamic environment so I switched from a corporate life to entrepreneurship. Corporate life was too slow and I had an excitement of doing something different. Simply, you can call a corporate job boring – it does not leave a lot of room to test your potential and to take risks.
After the switch, I did a lot of different Startups, but my goal remained consistent – making internet a safer place. So, all my projects are technology related focusing mainly on online security.
Q.Which project has been the most exciting so far?
Some of my most exciting experiences have been with the government. One such instance was with my first company ESIX Technologies and I got my first project with the government. I am sure you must be aware of the ROC process a company has to go through while registration. It was previously a very lengthy process with a lot of paper filings. We made it completely paperless!
This was very exciting as it was the first in India and the design along with its implementation was transformational for the country. I think since then the only project of this scale and technical innovation has been Adhaar, which came out after 13 years.
I strive to create a cyber-secured world for the upcoming generations
Q. Please tell us about your work with the Haryana Government.
In 2009, I was freelancing and consulting for the government, when I got this opportunity to work as the Chief Information Security Officer – and I accepted the offer. Initially, I was working with them as an IT Advisor, and the CISO responsibility was added later.
While my role as the CISO, I established and managed the Information Security Management Office for the state of Haryana. In the process, I also setup Continuous Vulnerability Management and Continuous Security Monitoring (through a Security Operations Centre) activities for the state. I think I was the first technical professional to fill that post as it has always been held by administrative officers.
Q. What project are you working on currently and how did you find the inspiration for it?
Right now, I am CEO of a cyber security firm Digital Self Defence. The main inspiration behind the firm is the fact that cyber security is insufficient in every aspect and for those who want to sufficiently secure themselves must pay a hefty sum for it. We want to make cyber security as common as safe drinking water.
Our product ‘ActiFend’ is a cloud-based application. One only has to download the app, add a plugin – and they’re all set up. You can see who has accessed and tried to modify your website. If there have been any modifications, then you receive an alert on your mobile and can restore it back to normal immediately. It offers quick detection, 24/7 monitoring, immediate action and back up services.
Q. If you had to give a message for the upcoming entrepreneurs, what would it be?
Well, I’d first like to say that the young have inspired me here. For instance, I am working for a firm which was founded by brilliant young college students who wanted to make a difference. So it is you who inspire me.
The startup ecosystem has matured over time. Entrepreneurs now know that is it okay to fail, which at my time was not an option. There is better education, funding, management, and temperament now. But the race is now to do something different.
Thus, look for something game-changing, aim to solve problems worthy of solving, which make a difference – money and success will automatically follow.