Ritesh Chopra, director, Sales & Field Marketing, India & Saarc Countries, Norton India, in interaction with CRN India shares the positive shift in minds of consumers where they have started to give more value to understanding that cyber threats are real and therefore, they need to take action in securing their personal as well as professional data. Excerpts:
As we have seen the PC and laptop business got a major push in the pandemic. Do you think this jump in PC demand positively impacted the Antivirus market as well?
Certainly, we have seen a jump in both search trends and adoption over the last two years. Primarily, this came in with the shift in remote work due to the pandemic where businesses were forced to close offices. With this new trend of remote work, employees had to secure their devices and networks. Over the last year, however, there has been a positive shift in minds of consumers where they have started to give more value to understanding that cyber threats are real and therefore, they need to take action in securing their personal as well as professional data.
Will you share your deeper perspective on the existing antivirus market in India?
The opportunity and challenge for a brand are that the local market is still not mature. Consumers are still very much hooked onto the PC – antivirus narrative and some even feel that they don’t need device security for smartphones. While the overall mindset is that “an Apple OS is secure and doesn’t need security” consumers don’t consider the factors that are important when it comes to securing personal devices. These points highlight that people are in a denial mode – which is the real challenge we face in India. We need people to understand that privacy and identity risks are real, and they can happen to anyone any day, cybercrime does not restrict to only credit card fraud. There are multiple dimensions to it like stalking, cyberbullying, etc. which play with one’s mind and therefore require deeper self-analysis. Once people are aware of the seriousness around protecting their personal data, things will automatically clear up. The most important action is choosing the right level of protection once you understand your exposure in digital life. Due to remote work, school and digital payments on the rise, an ordinary antivirus will not suffice. With our connected lives across platforms and devices such as tablets, laptops and smartphones, the need of the hour is to have a parental control with monitoring capabilities on the device that children are using for school, adults for online transactions while ordering groceries or essentials or to watch some series online.
What is the product roadmap of Norton products in India?
At Norton we value the fact that customers need to enjoy the latest and greatest levels of security to go online with confidence. Our products have a minimal footprint on the devices so that they are fast. By leveraging cloud capabilities, we are able to deliver real-time updates all the time. That is one big reason we score near perfect on zero-day attacks. Even with a very aggressively priced Norton Antivirus Plus we offer both Windows and Mac support including Password Manager, Firewall for Internet Security and Cloud Backup for protection against ransomware. With Norton 360 family we leverage the same best-in-class device security and add more enhancements for people who want better privacy through built-in no-log, encrypted and unlimited VPN service. One can easily add Multi-Device support (Mac, Windows, Android, iOS), Parental Control, and up to 100GB of Backup. We truly are the leader in providing unprecedented total security to our customers. We are so sure about our protection that we back this up with a Virus Protection Promise. India is an important emerging market for Norton, we are invested in continuously striving towards bringing all our latest offerings into India at the right time.
Can you explain the current distribution and channel ecosystem of Norton India?
We have a multi-tier distribution channel with one national distributor followed by regional sub-distributors who in turn would have resellers and retailers as the next tier of distribution channel.
Could you share the names of the IT Associations that are part of the ‘Sales Engineer’ Program?
We relate to many regional IT associations across cities such as Guwahati, Nagpur, etc., and with many more with ongoing discussions to leverage their presence and connect in local markets.