Businesses and consumers today have a dependency on data, rightly termed as ‘oil of the digital era’. Like every other resource which is precious and crucial, data also faces certain existential threats, challenges and risks such as theft, loss and corruption. We all witnessed the crippling effects of ransomware attacks like WannaCry and Petya. Also, situations like Kerala floods can have a devastating impact on data of individuals as well as businesses. Stellar Data Recovery has played a key role in rescuing the businesses and consumers who were struck in such crises. Sunil Chandna, founder & CEO, Stellar Data Recovery says, “In the evolving world of data, we care and protect what matters the most to you.” In a recent interview with Sudhir Chowdhary, he discusses the company’s new product offerings, business momentum and growth strategy. Excerpts:
Tell us about Stellar, its business operations and new product launches?
Since 1993, Stellar has been providing cutting-edge solutions for data recovery, file repair, data migration and data erasure. Our core focus is around data. We are the data care experts and we work on the data lifecycle, from the cradle to the grave. These are from the early stages when you start creating data on a new device and make mistakes such as deleting information and formatting it, like you had to back up external hard drive.
We are sector-agnostic and serve banking, manufacturing, IT services or engineering companies. The offerings are do it yourself (DIY) downloadable tools, our R&D is headquartered in Gurgaon and we also have two cleaning rooms for data recovery—one in Gurgaon and the other in Netherlands. With strong presence in USA, Europe and Asia, Stellar has over 3 million users in more than 130 countries.
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What are some of the innovations you are bringing to the market?
To mark the company’s 25th anniversary, we have introduced new versions of our four flagship B2C software—Stellar Data Recovery for Windows, Mac, iPhone and Stellar Photo Recovery. All four software products are built with innovative features for simplicity of use, effectiveness, speed and overall value for the customers.
Notably, Stellar Photo Recovery is the world’s first software with both repair and recovery capabilities for photo and video. The software generates and displays a preview of all the lost or deleted files while scanning a storage media. It is especially helpful to repair photos and videos that get corrupt during the process of transfer, editing or conversion.
Our photo recovery tools have been available from many years, but we have given the ability to not only recover the lost and deleted pictures and videos, but also repair them. Repairing is a common problem because when you are transferring data, say from cameras, it can get corrupted easily.
Is the photo and video recovery and repair software easy to use?
Absolutely. The most important thing that we are trying to do is creating more self-service tools. This is because whenever it’s a service, the turnaround times are extremely long. Therefore, we are trying to help enable consumers and businesses in their hour of need so that they can help themselves 24×7. We are not helping them just in data recovery but also in repairing. We now have packaged repair tool which is designed for people who don’t have any technical capabilities.
What was your role in the Kerala floods rehabilitation process?
When floods happen, customers have problems with their mobile phones, desktops, external drives etc. Even if you are living on the first floor, the devices can get damaged. And if they don’t have backups then customers will need an expert to help. We invested our time and energy in not only guiding them but also examining them.
What is the kind of footprint you have and what are your expansion plans?
Stellar assures upto 100% successful data recovery in any instance of data loss through its experienced and skilled team of technical experts, advanced tools, proprietary techniques and state-of-the-art infrastructure of class 100 clean room labs. We cater to over 50,000 data service cases per year through our team of expert technicians having an overall experience of over 300 man-years.
Today, our legacy operations are largely B2B and we have local satellite operations. We have 15 branch operations in Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai. But now, with so much increase in demand, we are servicing tier 3 and tier 4 cities. We now have 100 partners in 100 cities in India and by the end of the financial year, we are aiming to be present in 125 cities.
Product-oriented companies are a rarity in India. Your comments.
I would say it is much easier now than it was before, because when we started there was no ecosystem, no internet. There are people dealing with information, data and memory, and we no longer must wait for another global company to subcontract us; now we have access to connected world with a huge, growing user base.