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Anil Singhal & Narendra Popat
Friday, November 21, 2008

It’s surprising that two men with such different interests and talents have managed to come together as one force to make a difference in the virtual world. NetScout systems co-founders Anil Singhal and Narendra Popat have effectively done so, while demonstrating the typically Indian concept of “do more with less.” Aside from several other solutions to crisis management, NetScout provides hardware and software products that allow companies to monitor network and application traffic in real time. These products help companies more accurately and efficiently forecast network and application usage available bandwidth and the source of traffic at any specific time. Originally a consulting company, NetScout changed its name in 1997, according to the founders, “to more accurately reflect the nature of its business.”
“Falling victim to cyber assaults can easily translate into losses of millions of dollars, which is why companies need network monitoring technology that provide insight into network traffic and deliver the information needed to quickly respond to calculated attacks,”” said vice president Michael Szebados, in reference to the recent cyber attacks on CNN, e-trade and Yahoo.

The primary strategist behind the 16-year-old company’s business and marketing is its president and chief operating officer, Popat. Before forming the company, Popat was employed with at Wang Laboratories, where he was recognized with the president’s award. Popat earned an engineering degree in India and a Master’s degree in computer science and mathematics at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell . Even more important, to him, is the “practical degree” he gained in entrepreneurship, which has helped place the company in an enviable position among fast-growing private companies.

Capturing the 21st place in 1997 Inc. Magazine’s list of 500 fastest-growing private companies was a significant milestones for the company. The same year, it placed 17th among the New England “Fast 50” technology spotted by Deloitte & Touche, and shared the national Ernst & Entrepreneur of the Year award. NetScout was also named in Investor’s Business Daily’s December 1999 list of the 200 best technology stocks.

Singhal, NetScout’s chairman and CEO said, “The IBD rating is a reflection and validation of our strategy to continue building value for our customers and our shareholders through the delivery of comprehensive network management solutions.” NetScout received an EPS ranking of 91, meaning its profit growth has surpassed 91 percent of other public technology companies.

Popat believes this success is the result of learning to manage every facet of a high-tech enterprise by working in various disciplines, accepting job switches even if they meant pay cuts. He worked in areas ranging from hardware and software development to manufacturing to consumer support and field service.

Singhal, considered the chief architect of NetScout’s’ product line, has been no less a contributor to their combined success. The company received the American Engineering Association High Technology Award in telecommunications three years ago, based largely on Singhal’s success in anticipating enterprise network management needs.

Singhal also received his bachelors degree in electrical engineering in India before immigrating to the US to complete a Master’s degree in computer science at the University of Illinois at Champaign, Urbana. He too worked with Wang Laboratories.

Popat and Singhal each own 20 percent of Massachusetts-based NetScout, while TA Associates, the investing venture capital company, owns 26 percent of the market share.

The two have also been actively involved in education-related programs. Singhal is on the board of directors of U. Mass and is also a founding member of the Internet Engineering Task Force committee, which develops remote monitoring standards. Popat has financed and broadcast a weekly public service program on the University of Lowell’s radio featuring entertainment and networking services for the Asian community.

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