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Leadership / Workforce

Five Questions with… Druva CEO Jaspreet Singh

Every Monday morning we fire five questions at a leading C-suite figure in the business technology sector. Today we’re pleased to be joined by Jaspreet Singh, founder and CEO of SaaS-based data protection specialist Druva.

Jaspreet – What’s the biggest challenge for your clients?

By far the biggest challenge for businesses today is finalising their cloud strategy, and executing across all of the various phases of it.

Whilst enterprises understand why they need to move to the cloud – the scale, availability, potential cost savings, etc. – the steps to get there can be more challenging than you may first realise. There are several stages to cloud adoption; foundation, migration, reinvention and optimisation, and no matter what stage a business is at, each comes with its own unique needs around security, privacy and cost to ensure your organization is prepared.

Druva Jaspreet Singh
Druva CEO Jaspreet Singh

This is why we’re focused on helping our clients to build a solid foundation for data. It’s not going to happen overnight and of course, the nature of data is always changing. But, once the foundation is in place it becomes an asset. The questions and challenges our clients are faced with such as; ‘How do I start to use my newly stored data?’ or ‘How do I monetise this?’ are areas that will become less challenging as people start to better understand the cloud and the more we help them set that sound foundation early on.

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Which technology excites you the most?

Whilst some people still are unsure about the implementation of technologies like machine learning and deep learning – I continue to be fascinated by their capabilities. Machine learning is like an experiment. If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.

Machine learning finds anomalies and patterns we know exist and it does it at a rapid speed. It can adapt based on these anomalies and its full potential is only just beginning to be realized.

In fact, I think an enterprise leaning into the cloud era could benefit from machine learning in a number of ways. With its ability to spot patterns or, for that matter, unusual patterns, this technology can be used to identify ransomware attacks, storage and cost optimisations, compliance needs and more, helping enterprises focus more on the larger tasks and less on the day-to-day management. These are the sort of things we are now starting to explore through our own platform, and are excited to see how we can leverage these new capabilities to bring even greater value to our customers.

And then there’s deep learning. It has capabilities beyond our imagination. I’m passionate about transforming the way business is done through radically simple data protection, and I’m constantly challenging and exploring new ways to embrace technology to further this goal. Deep learning is one of the technologies that has the potential to do just this.

Greatest success? 

No success comes without lessons learnt. I’ve been on a roller coaster of a journey to get to where I am today, but no doubt my biggest success is leading and scaling Druva into the company it is now, together with my co-founders. We started as three people in 2008 and have now grown into a company with operations around the globe and almost 800 employees. And I would be remiss if I didn’t thank our employees, partners and customers. WIthout them, none of this would be possible.

Although we have faced some challenges along the way, I am incredibly proud of how we have managed to balance our operations between Pune, India and Silicon Valley, allowing us to grow and expand into new markets, tap into local expertise, and continue to pay homage to our roots.

Growing Druva into its current form wouldn’t be possible without taking big risks and bets. It has taught me it’s ok to take measured risk, or even a leap of faith, because without the ability to be brave, we don’t have the ability to innovate. If I were to give advice to anyone else looking to lead their own business, I’d say be bold, lead with conviction and always have fun.

Worst failure? 

I often wish that throughout my life, I’d taken more time to practice greater mindfulness. In a constantly ‘on’ society, mindfulness is tough to find, and it’s hard to find time to ourselves. Life is full of distractions and urgencies, stressful situations and work. The problem with this, is that technology becomes a distraction – which leads to inevitable mistakes. I think we need to remind ourselves sometimes to step away from the screen, put the device down and take in the world around us. I’m not saying it’s easy – it’s one of my own biggest challenges and something I’m constantly focused on.

Taking the time to do deep-breathing exercises and to think – is probably one of the best ways to prioritise what’s important, and remind ourselves what matters in life. We’re all victims of our own distractions – but I think it’s something we can all learn from too.

In another life I’d be? 

An outdoorsman. I love nature and trekking through the wild. Ideally, I would live in the wilderness and live off the land. There is something incredibly fascinating about being able to do that, being able to live independently off nature.

Read this: Five Questions with… Bernd Greifeneder, Founder and CTO at Dynatrace


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