Kiran Bhagotra: Making CyberSecurity Simple, Quick and Aﬀordable
In an interview with insights success, Kiran Bhagotra, the CEO and Founder of ProtectBox Ltd shares her vital insights on heading a technology business and making cybersecurity simple, quick and aﬀordable.
Below are the highlights of interview between Kiran and Insights Success:
Give a brief overview of your background as an entrepreneur.
I never really imagined myself as a cybersecurity entrepreneur because my background is in technology as an investment banker, PR, investor & freelancer, not a coder. But I fell into cybersecurity a few years ago whilst contracting for the UK government’s Foreign & Commonwealth Oﬃce managing international cyber relations. It was there that I spotted that for a small business to protect itself it needed to either hire an expert, at great expense or spend hours self-sourcing instead of selling. How much better would a simple, quick and aﬀordable comparison be, which I could see how to do. Although I had never run a company myself before I had helped friends with theirs. The real kicker, for me, though was why this gap wasn’t being tackled when half of the 5 million small and medium businesses, in the UK alone, were closing due to it. So, I put my (little) money where my (big) mouth is & built exactly that in ProtectBox! We’ve won Security & Fire Excellence Awards 2018’s Cybersecurity Project of the Year, Wired Security nd2017’s Start-Up Award & came 2 for HRH Duke of York/Prince Andrew’s Pitch@Palace 9.0 People’s Choice Award & been ﬁnalist in 25+ other Awards.
How do you diversify your organization’s oﬀerings to appeal to the target audience?
We are all about making cybersecurity simple, quick and aﬀordable (fun too)!
Simple because any small and medium business, from a one-man band to the one with a 10 million turnover catering thousands of employees, can use us. We work just as well for a business owner or an IT manager. Our users’ questionnaire is non-jargonized, including info icons and delegation, and can be answered in an hour. We also have non-mandatory questions to allow more technical users to drill down to exactly what they want to buy.
Quick, because we let you pull your answers to our questions from partners such as Sage and Xero, directly from their systems, as well as 24/7 customer services, at the click of a button.
Aﬀordable, because just like Skyscanner or Kayak, businesses can use our ﬁlters or sliders to personalize bundles, before one-click buying to suit their budgets and customer product ratings. Which no-one else oﬀers!
Describe some of the vital attributes that every leader should possess.
First is empathy, to understand the needs of customers, stakeholders and staﬀ. This is how leaders benchmark their decisions, becoming thought leaders rather than followers.
Second is empowerment, so a leader is a dealer in hope. But hope is not a plan. A leader does not do the work for others but helps others ﬁgure out how to do it and succeed beyond what they thought possible. A leader makes the diﬃcult decisions and inspires others to follow them.
Third is to be ego-free, taking a little more than their share of the blame, and a little less than their share of the credit.
How do you strategize your game plans to tackle competition in the market?
Firstly, I don’t worry about it. I seek to understand what they’re doing and how it aﬀects me. Then consider if I need to change. If I need to change, I do. If not, stick to the plan. It’s probably a good one. But resting on your laurels is no good; you must adapt to stay ahead. Being simple, quick and aﬀordable is the modern-day tantra (not mantra).
What are the frequent challenges faced by women leaders in workplaces and what are ways to tackle them?
Coequality is foremost challenge, and this is not just about getting this with men but other women too. Conﬁdence to speak up and giving back are ways to tackle this.