Bengaluru-based Subex’s journey had begun in 1999 as a telecom products company and went to become one of India’s fastest-growing product companies. In 2008, it was on the brink of bankruptcy after acquiring Canada-based Syndesis for $165 million in 2007. The acquisition coincided with the global meltdown in the wake of Lehman Brothers crisis. By 2012, founders Subash Menon and Alex PJ had exited the company.
Subex has since come a long way. By 2018, it had rid itself of all long-term debts and is currently focused on growth in new verticals on the back of emerging technologies.
“We are a zero-debt company today," said Vinod Kumar, CEO, Subex.
Subex has adopted a three-horizon strategy to turn around the company though it remains to be seen how this plays out. Horizon 1 comprises traditional business focused on risk management for its telecom clients.
“That still comprises 95% of our business and we expect it to grow at 5-10%," said Kumar. “75% of the top 100 telcos are our customers."
Horizon 2, which has just hit the market, is a top growth area with focus on internet of things (IoT), security, and analytics. Horizon 3 is its identity analytics and automated anomaly detection offering. "We expect an annual revenue run rate of $15-20 million in the next 2-3 years from our new areas under Horizon 2 and 3," said Kumar.
The new offerings are also built on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model to offer clients with greater flexibility. “We are acquiring the required capabilities now," said Kumar.
To enhance its security capabilities, Subex operates an IoT lab in Bengaluru to feed on real-time and emerging threat intelligence. The company uses “honey pots" or devices on the internet with the intent of being hacked and discover new attacks. “This is proactively helping us to look at some of the emerging threats," said Kumar.
Subex is also in the process of building a new open source-based platform which will likely replace the existing one, Kumar said. “The platform is expected to be ready early next year and with this, we can go to the world with a software-defined architecture. This will further cement everything together."
The company which claims that one-fifth of the global telco traffic goes through it, counts British Telecom, Airtel, Jio, VI, T-Mobile, AT&T, Orange, and Swisscom among its clients.
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