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With WiJungle, Karmesh Gupta finds success in his third entrepreneurial bet

When digital assets were confined within the office network, a firewall was sufficient to ensure security. However, with the evolution and expansion of cloud and mobile technology and an increase in the number of connected endpoints, the security ...

, ET Online|
Updated: Dec 03, 2019, 10.27 AM IST
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WiJungle caters the combined functionalities of NextGen Firewall/UTM, Web Application Firewall, Hotspot Gateway, Vulnerability Assessment, Router, VPN Server, Load Balancer etc.
When Karmesh Gupta started his first venture in April, 2015, the idea was to provide a completely Free WiFi Service in Jaipur and the mode of revenue was through hyperlocal video and image advertisements after every 20 minutes.

However, things did not go as planned. “Since it was the very first time such kind of model was launched in India, businesses were slow in adapting and realizing it as an impactful marketing channel. We on-boarded 10 plus advertisers, but did not have the deep pockets to sustain it. We tried to raise funding, but did not find success. Finally, in mid-November we closed the startup after heavy losses” says Gupta.

He adds that the high cost associated with data proved to be his undoing. “Back in time 1GB data plan used to cost around Rs 250,” says Gupta. For his second venture, Gupta wanted to reverse his business model. After doing a couple of IT service assignments, Gupta decided to start his second venture. “This time the product was an extended version of our software which we built for managing free WiFi. It was a social WiFi product designed extensively for the hospitality sector,” says Gupta. The venture on-boarded 13 restaurants in a month, but ironically this time the telecom revolution that resulted in a crash in data prices and provided easy data connectivity to individuals, turned out to be a bane.

“Two failures hurt. Our products had merit, but business and commercial circumstances proved unfavourable. Every hurt is a lesson, and every lesson makes you better," says Gupta, 24.

Third time lucky
Gupta, who had teamed up with his cousin Praveen for his entrepreneurial ventures decided not to call it quits. “We remained dogged in our pursuit of successful entrepreneurship. We learnt the art, science and commerce of running a business. We learnt business basics like weaving in ROIs before investing in capex, we learnt about SI ecosystem. We also learnt much about the Indian business ecosystem. For our next venture, we spent a lot of energy in researching the economic environment, organizational needs, the innovation scenario, our financial abilities and finally zeroed down on unified network security," says Gupta.

For the third time, the cousins decided to carry on with the same name for their startup – WiJungle. The offering, however, was different in the form of a unified network security product. WiJungle enables organizations to manage and secure their entire network through a single window. The Gartner listed all-in-one appliance simplifies the management and scalability challenges. The startup claims that it cuts down the investments in security by up to 60% by eliminating the need to have multiple stand-alone security products.

The learning from the previous failure seems to be paying off. Within 15 months, the startup is serving industry verticals like enterprises, education, healthcare, hospitality, BFSI, retail, transportation, defence, smart cities and prominent clients like Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Agriculture, NIC, SAIL, Reliance Hospital, NALCO, NHPC and many more across 25 plus countries.

"Network security was earlier a backseat element; now it is a front runner in basic organizational infrastructure. Organizations are well-aware of the cost-benefit of investing in a robust unified security product," says Gupta.

Finding security
When digital assets were confined within the office network, a firewall was sufficient to ensure security. However, with the evolution and expansion of cloud and mobile technology and an increase in the number of connected endpoints, the security requirements have undergone a sea-change. In addition to office network space, security products are needed to safeguard cloud and remote access space as well.

Consequently, the requirement of several product segments has gone up and the required investment for security has increased. From one or two security products, organizations now need 8-10 products, and the numbers will keep growing with growing organizational needs.

"The increasing complexity of network security is becoming difficult for businesses to manage, leading to error or gaps for attackers to exploit. WiJungle's AI-based capability and unified single-window network management ability will enable enterprises to strengthen their cybersecurity posture by cost-effectively simplifying operations", says Dhiraj Badgujar, Senior Analyst, Techvision, Frost & Sullivan.

WiJungle caters the combined functionalities of NextGen Firewall/UTM, Web Application Firewall, Hotspot Gateway, Vulnerability Assessment, Router, VPN Server, Load Balancer etc. "A unified security system checks all the right boxes for requirements of organizations of all shapes and sizes. WiJungle has a proprietary OS which is installed onto hardware. Currently, we have 30 plus different models to serve organizations from 20 concurrent users to any higher number," elaborates Gupta on WiJungle's flexibility and scalability attributes.

With a rapidly growing list of customers, a confident Gupta says,“I wear my failures as a badge of honour because I have always learned things the hard way. The kind of learnings and values we harvested from these failures have eventually brought us entrepreneurial success."
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