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K7’s Entrepreneurial Odyssey

Most of us are familiar with dialog boxes and pop-up messages from K7 anti-virus package that show up every time we insert a pen drive or turn on our laptops and desktops. But how many us know that an unassuming tech-wiz developed the anti-virus software from Chennai? Meet Kesavardhanan Jayaraman, founder of K7 Computing. While IT services in India have made it big, the country can hardly boast of IT products that challenge the sophisticated west. The south Indian company’s crown jewel, K7 Total Security, has accomplished the rare feat!

Kesavan launched his own Company in 1991. “Initially I started writing anti-virus solutions and distributed them to help people, inadvertently creating ‘freeware’ in India! John McAfee and Peter Norton were my inspiration. The Company has confined to System Security since inception.”

Being a first generation entrepreneur, Kesavan made several mistakes: he did not patent his first anti-virus software, VX 2000, as he did not know about patents. He refused an equity stake in the American start-up Cybermedia. In a bid to expand, Kesaven set up own offices instead of franchising which hit the cash strings.

After a decade of a rough ride, the partnership with Japan’s software publishing Company, SourceNext, in 2003  announced his arrival internationally.  Kesavan’s product now serves 20 million clients across continents. 

The company celebrated twenty-five years of pioneering system security at Hotel Leela Palace this month. Industry leaders and CIOs of leading technology companies paid which compliments on his entrepreneurial odyssey. “I can see the employees take immense pride in their Company’s product,” said Lakshmi Narayanan, ex-CEO of CTS Dr. Amar Reddy, Director General of National Cyber Safety, wished Kesaven Computing gets listed soon. It was an exceptional moment when Kesavan’s first customer, Venkat Rangan and Kesavan’s only programming teacher, Pulikesi, were honoured. 

Kesavan insists that the methodology of teaching must be refined. Walking the talk, the trailblazer has now launched K7 Academy. A 12-month certification programme on Cyber Security would be offered for a batch of 25 students initially. “Students can receive practical education at K7 Academy. I have designed the curriculum. On completion, the techies will be equipped to thrive internationally,” says Keseven.

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IE, the business magazine from south was launched in 1968 and pioneered business journalism in south. Through the 45 years IE has been focusing on well-presented and well-researched articles. When giants in the industry stumbled to keep pace with the digital revolution, IE stayed affixed embracing technology.
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