The organized data recovery market is still at a nascent stage in India: Sunil Chandna, Founder and CEO, Stellar Data Recovery

With higher adoption of global best practices coupled with improved awareness about the importance of data privacy, the corporates have started getting more responsible and opting for specialists to take care of their data recovery issues. While the corporates are more clued in to the concept of specialist-led data recovery, there are still some concerns related to cost and data privacy in the B2C segment. Dataquest spoke to Sunil Chandna, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Stellar Data Recovery to get more insights on data recovery. Excerpts

What is the overall size of the data recovery market?

We live in a world increasingly driven by digitization and hence data. In layman terms, anything that you are required to store on your devices in terms of regulatory obligations, personal choice or financial concerns would be termed as recoverable data. The same applies to corporates, which of-course are required to ensure maintenance of documents in electronic formats for their decision making as well as statutory purposes. With the technology becoming more affordable, a standard smartphone also comes with 16GB memory storage. At the same time, the standard configuration of a laptop or desktop includes 500GB of hard disk space. As per IDC, the worldwide storage industry market comprise of two most prominent sectors—disk subsystems and hard disk drives, each of them representing more than ~$30 bn per year. More than 500 mn units of hard disk drives get shipped globally. India, as per IDC’s estimates, stood for $60 mn (Rs. 382 crore per quarter) in terms of quarterly revenues (Q4 2014)—delivering double-digit growth, owing to ever increasing demand and falling per gigabyte cost. Incorporating the ballpark calculations, we believe it would be safe to assume 40% of the HDD sales as the potential market for data recovery, which accounts for Rs. 600 crore or $1 bn annually from India alone. Once the market for USB flash drives and handset memory is also added to the same, the market becomes too attractive to ignore for any data recovery player in the world.

However, we believe that the story is yet to fructify. The organized data recovery market in the country, it still is at a nascent stage. Much of the dominance of unorganized sector players stem from lack of awareness, low data privacy concerns and most of all—lower cost.

According to you, what are the common challenges in data recovery?

There are challenges relating to business environment, behavioral as well as technological. The challenges relating to business environment are fueled by innovation, which often leads to technological obsolescence. The hard disk drives have shrunk in terms of their physical size yet grown rapidly in terms of the storage space. Add to this, the evolution of SSDs (solid state drives) and flash drives have presented challenges of their own in terms of recovery.

Behavioral challenges are usually faced while dealing with first time consumers—basically justifying the rationale for relying on a specialist, cost-privacy perspective and also instilling data hygiene narrative among the late adapters. While the corporates are more clued in to the concept of specialist-led data recovery, behavioral challenges are more evident while dealing with B2C segment.

The most vital of all is the technological challenges. In the past decade and a half, more than 10,000 varieties of external hard disk drives have been shipped. Add to that, there are various kinds of damages that warrant either the software-led recovery process or physical recovery aided by a complex and specialized surgery process. Add to that the challenges of navigating system complexities emanating from various makes, various operating systems and various platform integrations. Many times, data can be recovered using software-led approach, which also doesn’t impair the reusability of the disk drive. In most cases, data can be recovered even after exhaustive physical damage borne by the drive.

What are the industries where data recovery can play a critical role?

Data recovery can play a vital role in every industry that frets a data loss. The traditional businesses have been digitized in the past decade. All the functions and departments are connected through the digital realm, which not only uses data for decision-making across functions but also offers trends and perspectives to aid operational efficiencies. For the industries, which are regulated by institutions and legislations, the need to maintain and protect data is paramount. Most of the industries including large and small have started to invest and scale up their disaster recovery processes and infrastructure in wake of growing threats like hacking, data theft, etc. Ensuring seamless data recovery processes in terms of external partner or developing internal practices have become extremely critical for survival as well as a key competitive advantage.

The new age businesses are the businesses of data. These typically get valued on the basis of quantified users as well as the meta data that are captured through user interfaces. The data is utilized by these ecommerce and new age start-ups to not only push new products or extend new services to existing customers but also ascertain newer market segments and geographies by analyzing ever-growing data. This is where the role of data protection and data recovery becomes more critical than ever.

What is the roadmap of your company and what kind of solutions you offer?

At Stellar Data, we develop software on data recovery, file repair, email repair, password recovery and also offer in-lab data recovery services for all storage devices. Globally, we have catered to over 2 mn customers. We are present across three continents through 9,000 affiliates and resellers. We also offer the largest Do-It-Yourself software solutions for all operating systems such as Windows, Mac, Linux & other Server based OS, etc.

Being the second largest B2B data recovery company in the world, we have become a partner of choice for global and Indian corporates. Our dedicated center in Netherlands offers state-of-the-art infrastructure that caters to the highly demanding and competitive European market. Indian market also offers a huge potential when it comes to consumer solutions (B2C segment). The surge of personal technology coupled with the huge vacuum in terms of specialized data recovery practices and infrastructure has led to the explosion in unorganized players. We are aiming at setting the right context through expanding our retail presence from existing 14 cities in India and adding Bhubaneswar and Jaipur in the coming months. Our ability to offer best in class infrastructure, world’s largest range of tools and South-East Asia’s only Class 100 Clean room, sets us miles apart to capitalize on the Indian opportunity going forward.





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