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January - 2013 - issue > Entrepreneur of the Month
Suceeding in the Entrepreneurial Journey
Vignesh Anantharaj
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
"Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t"- anonymous.

Manish Goel moved from the VC community to the world of technology startups in 2006 when he founded TrustSphere to pioneer a new technology category that IT industry analysts have dubbed ‘Messaging Intelligence.’ Under Manish’s leadership, TrustSphere has commercialized this technology to create TrustVault, the industry’s first messaging intelligence platform, which gives organizations unprecedented visibility into the velocity, cadence and flow of their digital communications. This data yields significant insights into an organization’s relationships, its normative behaviors and its social intelligence. TrustSphere uses the power of this intelligence to help companies enhance revenue performance, improve governance and make network security systems more effective.

Before starting TrustSphere, Manish spent several years as a technology investor, where he saw how organizations used technology and also learnt how to recognize value-creating business models – valuable insights he has applied at TrustSphere. His career began with PricewaterhouseCoopers as part of its strategic change consulting practice where he worked closely with global financial services clients to evaluate and select cutting edge technologies to transform their businesses. He was subsequently part of the team which set up PwC Venture Partners in London where he lead the investment selection team. PwC Venture Partners’ focus was early and growth stage investments in companies focusing on disruptive technologies in the enterprise space. This included those in the mobile, data and business-to-business value chain transformation arenas – with Manish’s particular focus being FinTech.

Messaging Intelligence: Email Reliability + Security

His time in the VC community enabled Manish to see the market need for what would become TrustSphere and messaging intelligence.
Email, he recognized, is the dominant form of internal and external communication – surpassing telephone, text and instant messaging – for today’s globe-spanning organizations. Manish further noted that because of weaknesses in email’s protocols and because of its immense popularity it is also a convenient entry point for cybercriminals to wreak havoc, steal money and trade secrets and even impact an organization’s ability to function efficiently.

"Modern businesses rely on the timely delivery of business-critical email to support those key business processes which involve customers, partners and suppliers. The anti-virus and anti-spam solutions that organizations rely on to combat cyber criminals and threats are essential, however also cause ‘collateral damage,’ said Manish. To ensure enterprises could achieve both objectives Manish and his team developed Messaging Intelligence; the ability for making real-time predictive decisions about email communications through triangulating a correspondent’s identity and reputation with network-based authentication.
Leveraging this unprecedented data, TrustSphere’s TrustVault messaging intelligence platform can ensure the delivery of messages from trusted authenticated correspondents. This in turn enables organizations to more effectively combat email-based threats while ensuring that unexpected, collateral damage to core business functions can be avoided.

Messaging Intelligence leads to Digital Intelligence

In addition to preventing legitimate – often business-critical – messages from being erroneously quarantined as spam (what’s called in the industry ‘false positives’) and improving defenses against spear phishing, distributed denial of service (DDoS) and other email-based cyber attacks, Manish and his team also recognized that Messaging Intelligence provides significant value to corporate governance teams, improving sales and business performance, as well as enhancing other mission-critical business functions. "Messaging can provide the pulse of what is really going on across the organization," said Manish.
TrustVault employs open standards with published APIs and a variety of interface connectors for maximum deployment flexibility whilst accommodating on-premise, cloud and hybrid architectures.

Catering to a global audience

TrustSphere has come a long way and today works with more than 50 government agencies including both federal and state agencies in the U.S. and across Australasia, over 40 ISPs and telecom carriers such as Optus and Singtel as well as hundreds of enterprise customers ranging from law firms to Fortune 50 companies. TrustSphere has also built strategic alliances with such technology giants as Tata, IBM, VMware and HP that increase its worldwide presence.

Today, Manish can usually be found crisscrossing the globe to work with this growing network of partners to educate businesses, government agencies and other organizations on the benefits of messaging intelligence. Despite his hectic schedule, Manish has served as the chairman of the Online Trust Alliance, an influential industry organization with the mission to enhance online trust, while promoting innovation and the vitality of the Internet. He also sits on the board of the Asia Cloud Computing Association. "As those who are knowledgeable about an emerging space we have an obligation to share our perspective for the benefit of our broader communities."

In addition to its success with customers, TrustSphere has also been recognized by the industry and the media. The company received a coveted ‘Cool Vendor’ ranking from Gartner, the world’s leading IT technology analyst firm and was recently ranked by Red Herring as one of Asia’s top 100 privately held technology companies. Complementing these company awards, TrustVault recently won the prestigious Tech Awards Circle Gold award for the Best Enterprise Software Product and was also selected as a Merit Award recipient in the Most Innovative Infocomm Product/Service category in the 2012 National Infocomm Awards, Singapore’s most highly regarded bi-annual awards which recognize companies for the development of innovative infocomm products and services, as well as for the innovative use of infocomm to achieve excellence.

Achieving Success

Given Manish’s vision and work ethic, one might believe the company’s success is solely due to his effort, but he will disagree.
“As an entrepreneur your single greatest asset is the team you work with. The team includes those working for the business day-to-day, however also extends to your investors and advisors. Without the team a vision would remain just that – a mere idea. A team that is working in sync can achieve the impossible. Motivating teams is a hard job, particularly in early stage technology companies where you are often crossing unchartered terrain. You may not be able to answer certain future looking questions with absolute certainty – rather in general, directional terms. This often requires the team to have faith in their leadership, the direction they are heading and in the vision itself," said Manish.

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