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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

October - 2006 - issue > Entrepreneurship

Creating an Airtight Wireless Network

Sohini Bagchi
Tuesday, October 3, 2006
Sohini Bagchi
Hackers are moving beyond the corporate wireline networks. They are looking for fresh victims in the wireless sphere as well. Wi-Fi networks will be the next breeding ground for cyber crooks. Cyber criminals are building expertise in wireless technologies to steal information from individual users and corporates.

Airtight Networks is offering solutions to prevent wireless attacks. Despite its late entry and serious capital resource crunch in the early days, the Mountain View, CA-based company is today in a sweet spot. It leveraged India’s high-talent-low-cost factor to quickly bootstrap the company while shooting targets of first release in 18 months and an improved version in 24 months.

“We outpaced the competitors, grabbing the No.1 rank,” says Jai Rawat, VP Product Management, reminiscing about the cost and execution efficiency, India offered. “Not only did we cut development cost by a factor of five, but also offered solution that the competition did not. Our competitors were offering intrusion detection solutions. We focused on building wireless intrusion prevention solution. Competition was offering wrong solution to the right problem,” quips Rawat.

Starting in India has worked well for Airtight. The company today employs 100 engineers in Pune. “We’re much bigger than any of the competitors and yet our spending is much lower than them,” says Rawat.

Early Days
Pravin Bhagwat with substantial experience in Wireless Networking and then as a faculty member at IIT Kanpur, who played a key role in the ‘Unwire Kanpur’ (first largest outdoor wireless network) project, sensed an opportunity. “The idea of marrying wireless to security is a critical dimension, yet left unexplored for years,” says Bhagwat.

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