Indian security vendor Quick Heal looks to build select, high margin North America channel

Quick Heal, which moved into the North American market last month, announced a partner program with up to 50 per cent margins for the select number of partners they will be initially recruiting here.

Farokh Karani_Quick Heal Technologies 300

Farokh Karani, Quick Heal’s Director, North America, Sales and Channels

Quick Heal Technologies, an Indian-based security software firm with a significant presence in Asia-Pacific and EMEA, announced their entry into the North American market in late April. Today, the company, which sells through channel partners, is announcing a partner program for North America, the Quick Heal Authorized Solution Provider Program.

So why does the North American market need another security software vendor, since there isn’t exactly a shortage of them? Farokh Karani, Quick Heal’s Director, North America, Sales and Channels, said that the company, which began in 1993 as a computer repair shop run by two brothers who are today the CEO and CTO, offers both a full product line and exceptionally attractive margins to partners.

“We have humble origins in a computer shop, but we are not just another AV company,” Karani said. “Our product line is growing. Our SEQRITE commercial solutions provide a full range of protection, including endpoints, MDM, and gateway level access, with everything tied in to our cloud management console. We have a full portfolio and are aiming to be one of the big boys in the market.”

Karani, who has previously held director-level positions at Kaspersky Lab USA, Cyberoam and BullGuard, said the time was right now for Quick Heal to tackle North America.

“Five years ago, we got a $13 million investment to jump start the company’s growth, and since then we have been growing at 50 per cent per year in Asia Pacific and EMEA,” he said. “North America is the largest market in the world, and it makes sense to be here now, especially as the company plans to go public in the next 12-24 months.”

Quick Heal markets itself as selling to the SME sector, defined as 5 to 5000 users, although their sweet spot is more the true SMB space.

“Our core would be 5 to 500 seats, but we have the ability to scale to the 5000 level, and the solutions for that level,” Karani said. “Smaller customers who don’t want a gateway solution will put everything in the kitchen sink on endpoint security. Larger companies want to offload functions to the gateway level, and we can do that too. Many non-traditional areas will become even more important as the Internet of Things develops, and we have a whole team dedicated there as well.”

Quick Heal has also structured its partner program to offer what partners like the most – high margins. Partners in their top tier in a two tier system who register their deals will be able to earn profit margins of up to 50 per cent.

“VARs care about their bottom line, and we we want to make sure anyone who comes on board and takes a brand that isn’t as well known here in North America gets rewarded for it,” Karani said. “We can afford it because we are used to working in the Asian environment, which is a very low cost, hypercompetitive, value-oriented environment, where most customers don’t have a lot of money. You have to have value for money.”

The program has two tiers – Gold and Silver. In addition to the attractive margins, partners will also get access to high-value back-end rebates if they meet revenue targets. Deal registration and SPIFFs are offered as well. A Channel Loyalty program is also forthcoming. It is still being developed, but Karani said partners will be very happy with it.

Quick Heal plans to do business plans with all partners, not just the Gold ones. Silver Partners will do theirs on a half-year basis, while Gold partners will be quarterly.

Quick Heal has many thousands of partners in Asia Pacific and EMEA, but to start with in North America, their channel will be much more limited and select.

“We have been operating in these other areas for 20 years, and in 20 years we are hoping to have many partners in North America too, but we are looking to be more selective now,” Karani said. “Right now we are looking for a handful of strong partners in each region, and to reward them accordingly. With our partner program, we want to make sure all of our growth is manageable and profitable.”

Quick Heal will be using distribution in North America, but Karani said that it will be focused, value-added distributors, not the big broadliners. While these agreements are still being finalized, he indicated that Montreal’s TechWise Networks will be one such partner.

“We will be 100 per cent channel, we will be loyal to our partners, and we are looking for that handful of partners willing to put in that effort,” Karani said.