Excerpts in this article have originally appeared here.
As India’s demographic dividend—that much-talked-about term—gets celebrated within the country and the world over, it’s becoming evident that it is going to be India’s Generation Z (generally known as those born after 1993) and the under-30 population which will determine the course the country will take over the next few years. Nowhere is this demonstrated better than in Forbes 30 Under 30 list.
Forbes 30 Under 30, for 3 years now, brings together a list of 30 achievers under the age of 30 who possess tremendous creative energy across all spheres—from the entrepreneurial to sport to art and culture—is real enough for the rest of the world to be awed and inspired by.
Today we feel extremely happy & proud to share with you that Toshendra Sharma, Founder & CEO of Wegilant (parent company of Appvigil) has made it to Forbes 30 Under 30 list for year 2016. Toshendra made it to the list from among the long list of over 300 names across 13 categories.
The entire list can be accessed here
Toshendra Sharma found Wegilant in November 2011 while pursuing Masters (M. Tech) in security, specializing in code analysis from IIT Bombay and currently heads the company as CEO. Toshendra carries an experience of around 7 years in cyber security and has been involved in several research projects.
Unlike most 26-year-olds, he doesn’t complain about the lack of weekend breaks. “My father was a fruit vendor and worked 24/7. Working with him in my childhood has given me my work ethic,” says Sharma.
The result of his work ethic reflects in the nerves of Wegilant’s culture. According to Ravi Gururaj, chairman of the NASSCOM Product Council and investor in Wegilant, the product solves a “deep pain point” in the IT-security space. Typically, given data sensitivity, most companies focused on features first and performance second; security was only a tertiary thought.
Wegilant specializes in this niche, with its key product Appvigil launched in 2014. It targets the global market of mobile application (apps) security, and is delivered successfully at competitive prices, despite being up against firmly entrenched global players like HP and IBM. Its customers include IT-security solutions provider Quick Heal Technologies, Meru Cabs, enterprise messenger app GupShup and customer chat services company Haptik Inc. It also has clients in the US, Hong Kong, Japan and Australia.
Appvigil protects mobile apps from hackers hackers/attackers in pre- and post- development stages. It helps detect security flaws in apps and fixes them in the development stage by scanning for the most critical security flaws, while also monitoring attacks during production.
“I wanted to start something but couldn’t find a co-founder so I started the company alone. I spent 16 hours a day working and even slept in office. It was madness,” says Sharma.
Bootstrapped for its first three years, Wegilant raised seed funding of Rs 1 crore in 2014. A pre-series A funding of Rs 3.5 crore was raised in April 2015.
“Wegilant has credible ambition to disrupt the cyber security space. It is one of the few Indian product companies garnering global attention. Worldwide, the threat to both governments and businesses arising out of data security breaches is a very real, large and imminent danger,” says Gururaj.