“Our focus for 2020 is simply to Be Ready – Be Data Ready, Be Recovery Ready and Be Future Ready”


“Our focus for 2020 is simply to Be Ready – Be Data Ready, Be Recovery Ready and Be Future Ready”

In a chat with VARINDIA, Yasir Yousuff, Head of Marketing, APJ, Commvault talks about the opportunities in India market, journey of the company and acquisition of Hedvig, its parent ecosystem, challenges faced and many more.


How do you view the India market from an opportunity perspective in the data protection space?

Data has been famously called ‘the new oil’ and is a huge contributor to the expanding Indian economy.  Today, data is not just becoming complex and disparate but is also multiplying every hour as more and more consumers continue to go online.


Indian organizations are realizing that traditional methods of protecting data are no longer working, with data breaches and downtime costing businesses huge money losses. There is an acute need for sophisticated, holistic data management solutions, such as Commvault, for organizations to stay secure.


With the introduction of PDPA, India is building a data protection system to ensure security of citizen’s data in local (in-country) locations. This is driving further growth in the data protection and storage sector as a whole in India. While adopting a successful data security strategy is crucial, the overall success of an organization relies heavily on how efficient their storage strategy is. There is a huge untapped potential in this market, and once the new bill is in place, the country will only require more players like Commvault to be active.


India has been a key market for Commvault in APJ region and our recent investments in the past year only reinforces our commitment to Indian businesses. Our customers in the region are going through rapid evolution of digital transformation and we are continuously innovating to equip them with capabilities to ensure their data stay safe, secure and compliant, no matter whether it resides on premise or on cloud.


How has been the journey for Commvault in these years and how do you plan to scale it up with new opportunities in hand?

Starting out in 1988 as a development group within Bell Group, Commvault stands today as one of the most-futuristic data management players in the industry. Under the leadership of Sanjay Mirchandani, last year has been nothing but remarkable for Commvault.

Today, Commvault is not just a worldwide leader in delivering backup and recovery for the progressive enterprises, it is also the most innovative brand in this sector. We have over 800 issued patents with our customers entrusting us with 1/2 Exabyte data in the Cloud.

What has kept the brand ahead is our unique ability to anticipate and deliver on the needs of our customers. We recently launched Metallic Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering for the enterprise mid-market in US which delivers simple, intelligent Software-as-a-Service solution for backup and recovery of on-premise, public cloud and SaaS applications and workloads.

Commvault also acquired Hedvig in 2019, the first ever acquisition in the company’s history. By integrating Hedvig’s software-defined storage capabilities with Commvault’s industry-leading data management products, we intend to create the industry standard solution for both passive and active data management in the cloud. 

To better align with the needs of our Indian customers, we’ve recently launched our first-ever “Center of Excellence” in Bangalore and expanded our presence in Pune. These strategic investments are a step towards expanding our ecosystem of innovation and development in India, while delivering more ‘locally-flavored’ business solutions sets, which will be very crucial for Indian businesses once the data protection bill is in place.

In the age of data, how do you plan to position the Commvault brand globally?

As consumer needs are changing constantly, we realized we had two options either adopt and innovate or keep doing what we did best, hoping it’d continue to work! We chose both – we relaunched the Commvault brand and adopted a new brand promise i.e. helping our customers to be data ready.


So whether the organization is a Fortune 500 company or a company with 500 employees, we believe the future belongs to the data-ready, that is, businesses equipped with data management solutions which give the innovation, freedom and choice needed to protect, control, manage and use data – no matter where it resides.


With this shift in positioning, we did not just decide to break away from the past but also develop a narrative that represented the rich heritage of innovations and customer support to reflect our future direction.


To complement our new brand ideology, we adopted exciting ways to disseminate our message targeting existing loyal customers, partners as well as new younger M-gen audiences, influencers and new partner eco-system:


  • For our partners in India, we recently organized a tri-city bootcamp across Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi, which boasted a presence of 180+ partner individuals, coming together to understand the vision of New Commvault. Themed around Twenty20 Cricket, the bootcamps explored new ways in which the partners can realize their winning streak with their customers.
  • We understand that our customers today need authenticity, transparency, and entertainment — so recently, at 2 key events in the USA and replicating that in Australia, we took up exhibition space and brought in our Data Therapy Dog Park. This signals Commvault’s new approach in engaging our customers in a more personal, approachable way. The response to the park has been, well, just adorable.
  • To get up close and personal with our customers and prospects, regardless of their location, we’ve recently launched our first ever virtual event – Commvault Virtual Connections. The first event was a success, boasting huge presence and we’re planning to roll out more such events throughout the year.

Lastly, we also launched a new website, which reflects our new branding, new tone and new ways of engagement. We are changing the conversation.


How has the channel (partner) ecosystem been instrumental in taking the brand to where it stands today?

As an entirely partner-driven organization, Commvault is committed to providing partners unparalleled programmes and solutions that will help them transform their businesses, enhance their core offerings, and, importantly, win with us again and again and again.

Majority of our business in APJ region comes through our long-lasting relationship with our partners. Our partner’s business, in turn, comes from the solid understanding that they have about their customers’ requirements. While Commvault acts as a unique arbiter of data and not just a protector of it, it is our partners that help our customers through the next stage of their transition to a multi-cloud future.

To underline commitment to our partners, we continue to transform and adapt to help our partner’s grow profitably, together with Commvault. Recently, we’ve introduced a new partner program aimed at giving our partner community more of a meaningful commitment that has real visible impact on their business. The new programme is a continuation of Commvault’s broader strategy to move the business closer to the field and to the regional organizations by giving partners greater incentives to work more closely with Commvault.


To further strengthen our partner ecosystem globally and in APJ, Commvault appointed Mercer Rowe as the new global head of channels and most recently, Dino Soepono as the new APJ vice president for channels & alliances. These strategic appointments represent continued investment in leadership of Commvault’s world-class partner organization and reinvigorating its strategic vision for innovation and growth, through partners, both in APJ and globally.


What kind of challenges do you find your customers complaining about and how as a brand do you tackle them?

In today’s modern business world, good data management continues to be an extremely important yet most challenging aspect for digital businesses. With many recent global incidents, businesses and governments across the world including ours are realizing the importance and influence potential of data. India is leading the way in recognizing this and taking necessary steps to ensure responsible stewardship of this for its citizens.

Commvault understands the emerging needs of its customers and has the best credentials of any company in the Indian market to deliver a holistic view of any organizational data – irrespective of where the data currently resides or needs to reside in the future.

Our comprehensive, modern data management technology enables us to thoroughly analyze all aspects of data any organization holds. We not only help to know and understand their data but also empower action to be taken using that data.

In the digital economy where the compliance and regulation policies are always evolving, the power to act on your data – whether to add, delete or move data, could be groundbreaking for businesses, especially in overcoming data localization challenges. 

While many companies fear change, we help our customers embrace it!


What will be your roadmap for the India market in 2020?

Commvault continues to innovate technology that enables our customers to be prepared for whatever tomorrow might bring, be it a sophisticated ransomware attack, the opportunity to move their cloud data to a better cloud services provider or new geographic data sovereignty regulations.  It is our customers’ faith in us that drives us to design innovative solutions that are not only disruptive but also completely secure.

Thus, our focus for 2020 is simply to Be Ready – Be Data Ready, Be Recovery Ready and Be Future Ready.  We aim to be the enablers of India’s digital framework, helping businesses drive value from their organizational data in a simplified, seamless and secure way.


With the government constantly focusing on digitizing economy through flagship programs like Digital India, Smart Cities Mission, we only expect the data explosion to get bigger in 2020. And when that change happens, enterprises will need a trusted technology partner – one who don’t just provide a new-age technology for all their problems, but one who has a holistic solution that works well for all their data challenges across legacy as well as modern IT infrastructures.


As I’ve mentioned before, Commvault understands responsible data management like no one else. So, no matter what change the next digital wave brings through, we ensure that our customers are always READY!  


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