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AI is the key to fixing identity security, ForgeRock CEO says

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For enterprises that are looking to bring a zero trust approach as a way to better secure identities and permissions, leveraging advanced AI is now essential in order to achieve accuracy and scalability, ForgeRock CEO Fran Rosch told VentureBeat.

While traditionally, zero trust decision-making has relied mostly upon rules–for instance, rejecting a user request based on an impossible geographic location–ForgeRock adds in AI algorithms that enable far greater accuracy, Rosch said. This accuracy equates to dramatically enhanced security, he said–citing an example of a recent customer that increased its entitlement rejections by 300% after deploying ForgeRock.

“Because it was previously all done by these rules, and people were rubber-stamping these entitlement requests, they were letting these things go that they should never have approved,” Rosch said in a recent interview. “That was increasing the risk to the company. Because there were people who had no business accessing HR data, and no business accessing sales data, that were getting that information. So by leveraging the AI, a 300% increase in request rejections really tightened up the security of the organization.”

AI explainability

Crucially, ForgeRock’s AI-driven system also provides explainability about why rejections take place, he said.

“Companies want to know why. They don’t just want to know that ‘the secret algorithm rejected this.’ Well, why? What was it about this user behavior?” Rosch said. “So having that explainability front and center is really important. Because a lot of times you have to explain that to the user. Why did we reject this? Well, because here’s what was going on with your behavior.”

Ultimately, when it comes to AI, ForgeRock is “farther ahead than most of the competition,” he said–and that’s a major factor behind the company’s surging growth. For the first nine months of 2021, San Francisco-based ForgeRock–which went public in September–generated $129 million in revenue, up 47% from the same period in the previous year.

“We feel it’s a way to actually get an introduction to the customer for ForgeRock,” Rosch said. “They might not know us, but they’re attracted by the differentiated capability in our AI tool.”

In the interview, Rosch also discussed ForgeRock’s other biggest differentiators versus competitors such as Okta, where the company’s capabilities are going next on AI, and his views on Microsoft’s expanded efforts in security.

What follows is an edited portion of the interview with Rosch.

How do you think about zero trust security, and how does your product enable it for customers?

We enable zero trust by giving our customers the ability to make ongoing decisions about who should see what in their enterprise. A lot of people think security is, “Hey, I get up in the morning, I log in, I get authenticated, and I go do my work.” And that’s not zero trust. That’s “single time” trust. I trust you once and you get everything you need. What ForgeRock does is enable our customers to do ongoing risk assessment of me as a user–throughout my journey, throughout my journey, throughout my day as I try to access new applications. We give our customers the ability to constantly assess my identity, and therefore assess risk and make these zero trust decisions.

So I log on in the morning, and I put in my username, password, MFA, whatever I do. The trust for me at that point is very high, because I’ve just authenticated. And what companies realize is that trust degrades every second that goes by after that initial authentication. Because there’s risk that it was not me–that my name has been hijacked in some way. So if an hour later I try to log on to Salesforce, we want to give our customers the ability to make another decision at that point–and say, “Look, I know Fran authenticated an hour ago, but it might not be him anymore. Let’s not trust him. Let’s have zero trust and let’s reassess Fran at that point.”

Then, reassessment can be done based on a stepped-up authentication. That’s where they say, “OK, Fran, I know you checked in an hour ago, we want you to check in again, can you go and re-establish–put in username and password again, maybe put in an OTP [one time password] again, and then re-establish trust  again.” Identity is such a key element of zero trust. And that’s how ForgeRock does it, by giving our customers the power to constantly assess risk and make re-authentication decisions at any stage of the user’s session.

What do you feel ForgeRock does better than others in terms of zero trust identity security? How are you differentiated?

Traditionally, a lot of those zero trust decision makers are rules-based. One of the rules that most people commonly talk about is “impossible traveler.” So if I log on in California, and then an hour later in New York, I can’t be the same person. So let’s do a stepped-up authentication. That’s an impossible traveler rule. And there are lots of other rules if I’m on a different device at certain times a day, all of those types of things.

What we do is bring algorithms to that. Because we recognize that I, as an individual, develop patterns of behavior over time. And not only as an individual, but people with my same function develop patterns of behavior. The entire company has patterns of behavior. And we’ve brought algorithms to the point that every time I try to access some other new service or application with the company, we can use our algorithms to say, “Hey, does it still look like the same person?” If yes, let the individual keep going. But if we see some red flags, we can say, “Wait, let’s stop.”

The other thing we hear from our customers is, it’s not about black and white–”Let them in, don’t let them in.” It’s this concept of gray. We may want to let that user continue, but maybe we limit access to the most sensitive data. So the user can still access Salesforce, but maybe we disable the ability for them to export data out until we have a higher level of trust. So I think what’s unique about ForgeRock is we combine rules and AI in a more effective zero trust solution. [We accomplish this] through identity permissions. It’s basically changing the permissions for that user and how they use the app.

So because you’re not just using rules, and you’re using AI, does this bring significantly better accuracy on these permissions?

It does. For example, one of our customers is a large brokerage company, with about 15,000 employees. Those employees access about 2,000 applications. That creates a web of millions of entitlement requests–because they have to know what employee accesses what application. They were leveraging a rules process, where if somebody asked for access to an application–for instance, a new employee says they want to get access to the HR system–they would look at that person’s job and say, “Does it make sense based on a predetermined job description? Based on a rule?”

We came in with an algorithmic approach. We look at all the employees, what they do, and what they should really get access to. And we develop this graphical view, so you can really start seeing the outliers of, “Why does this person have access to this and to that?” When this company applied our algorithms they saw a 300% increase in the entitlement rejections that they processed. Because it was previously all done by these rules, and people were rubber-stamping these entitlement requests, they were letting these things go that they should never have approved. And that was increasing the risk to the company. Because there were people who had no business accessing HR data, and no business accessing sales data, that were getting that information. So by leveraging the AI, a 300% increase in request rejections really tightened up the security of the organization.

With this algorithm-based approach to permissions, do you feel like ForgeRock has figured out how to enable zero trust without creating a heavy lift for customers?

It is absolutely about automation. We believe that it’s got to be an automated operation, not a manual one–which means that’s how a company can scale and handle this. Access requests are no different. And as part of zero trust, that has to be automatic, and that’s what we do. These decisions are made in milliseconds, and they don’t slow down the productivity of the organization. I would also say zero trust is a term that’s gotten a lot of different meanings from a lot of different people. We think that zero trust is about combining an identity solution with a network solution and an endpoint solution–we’re part of a zero trust solution, not standalone. But for what we do around identity, it is absolutely automated, and it scales to the needs of the largest enterprises, which is where we focus.

So for the identity portion, then, you are able to automatically get this visibility into everything that a customer has?

That’s right. And it ends up with this very visual interface, where you can picture these tiny little dots, or requests. And you might see this sea of green dots and this big red one in the middle–and you’re like, why is that person in this ecosystem getting access to [certain resources] when they don’t have any of the underlying characteristics or need to get these. Some of these companies just have so many employees, they need the help of this visual tool to be able to do that.

We do have companies that are running in two different ways. They’ll run the rule base against their current entitlements, and identify any of these outstanding anomalies that they can go address. And then they will use it for that day-to-day decision making going forward. So they can really scale automatically.

What are your biggest differentiators in comparison to competitors such as Okta?

I think that ForgeRock is taking a different approach to the market than a lot of the other competitors in the identity space. First of all, our platform has the broadest coverage of functionality. When you think of the identity experience, it’s about identity management, identity lifecycle, onboarding new users, provisioning their access, setting up their accounts and their privacy settings. And then when those users come back, a minute, an hour, or a year later, you need to recognize them. [Then have] single sign-on for all the applications and services that they need, multi-factor authentication. And then all the zero trust, fine-grain authorization, all part of that access management category. And then it’s about that governance–managing all the entitlements. It’s onboarding the user, recognizing them, and then giving them access.

ForgeRock is different because we’re the only company that brings all of that into a single platform. That’s how we’re different. Most of those companies [in the space] are really identity and access management. They don’t have the governance component. We also have a single platform that works for both workforce and consumer, all in a single platform. [For many companies] having a single platform to manage all their identities is really important. And then it’s all about scale and integration into complex hybrid environments. So we’re different in the scope of the platform. And we’re different because we’re embedding AI throughout that entire identity journey, which is what I think our customers really like. Because they don’t want to cobble together multiple point solutions across that identity journey.

What were some of the advancements that ForgeRock made in 2021 in terms of AI?

The advancements are really in tuning the algorithms, and in the visual representation, and then in making it actionable. And ultimately, that’s what customers want. When we first got started in this, we focused on getting the algorithms right–being able to find and identify the legitimate user, with a high level of confidence, and identifying the potential malicious actor with a high level of confidence. It’s all about tuning those algorithms, which we’ve been doing for four years and now feel really good about.

Then the second step was making it visual–because it’s hard to see an algorithm. And when you start seeing the approvals, the rejections, everybody wants to know the “why”–which is called “explainability.” Do you have explainability behind the rejection? So you have to say, here’s what was anomalous, here’s why that user got flagged.

But then ultimately, they want it to be actionable. They want it to feed into making a decision–so one of their employees doesn’t have to look at the data and then go make a decision. So it has to plug into wherever the user is in their journey. Whether it’s an initial log-on and authentication, or an access management. We’ve been progressing in all three of those–tuning the algorithms, the visual representation and explainability of the results, and then most importantly, plugging it into systems actually make it actionable and automated.

In terms of the visual element, what you’re saying is that by having this, that enables customers to pinpoint the potential security issues quickly?

Absolutely. It’s like finding that needle in the haystack. And you can’t do that manually.

Then basically, what you can do is if you have that anomalous red dot in the sea of green, you can then hover your cursor over that, and then it gives the explainability. Why is this person requesting this authentication being rejected? And so it visually shows it. Companies want to know why. They don’t just want to know that “the secret algorithm rejected this.” Well, why? What was it about this user behavior? So having that explainability front and center is really important.

Because a lot of times, you have to explain that to the user. Why did we reject this? Well, because here’s what was going on with your behavior. We think about this for employees, but it’s also important for consumers. If you’re trying to do a wire transfer, or if you’re trying to buy a pair of shoes, and you get stopped from doing that–they need to be able to explain, “We’re just trying to protect you, and what we saw was this really weird behavior.” And then you go, “yeah, you’re right. I was using my brother’s computer, etc.” So that explainability is really important.

Looking ahead, where are you aiming to take the product next in terms of AI capabilities?

Where we’re going is to basically to bring AI at every step of that identity journey. We’ve launched it in a couple of different parts, starting around employee entitlements, and starting around consumer authentication. But we’re just bringing AI to every single step of that identity journey. And what we have in ForgeRock is a component we call our “identity trees.” These are no-code, preconfigured identity modules that you drag and drop and connect and hook, to build this identity journey. What we want is to be able to do signal collection and risk analysis at every single step along the journey, all automated and all equipped with explainability in decision-making. We’ve got the algorithms right, we’ve got the visual representation and explainability. We’ve got it now actionable in a couple of key moments of truth. We’re now working to bring it across the entire journey.

Then what really becomes exciting, beyond that, is that right now our AI capability works on a customer by customer basis. But algorithms get better and better trained and more and more accurate with more data. We’ve got some of the largest companies in the world [as customers], so we are working to be able to anonymize their data and then be able to pool it together and be able to look at it all at once with our algorithms that we build. And then, create smarter algorithms that we would then put back into those individual customers. Because we know that malicious actors are going to actually exploit multiple different customers, potentially at the same time. So No. 1 [in 2022] it’s about spreading the AI decision-making capability to every step along the journey. And then second, merging all that together to even train the algorithms–not just on a customer by customer basis, but across our entire ecosystem.

As you’re extending AI to every step of the journey, what benefit does that bring to the customer?

I think it’s power. It’s power to be successful in their businesses as they compete in their markets. [Think about] a bank today. When I would go to the bank in the ’80s and ’90s, a lot of the reason that you would choose your bank is customer service. What was it like to go into the branch, and how long did you have to wait, what was the service like? Today, banks are competing with each other a lot on their digital service–how easy is it to log on and get in when you’re on your mobile device or the web or the ATM machine? How easy is it to do business with that organization? And how frictionless is it? But at the same time, you want to make sure that your data is protected, your money is protected.

So the winning institutions in this market are going to be ones that create frictionless, easy experiences without compromising  on security. And that’s what AI does at every step along the way. If we can continually monitor, and ensure that we know it’s you, and let you continue and do your business without any hassle or friction, you’re going to be happier with that institution. You’re going to stay, you’re going to become more loyal, and you’re going to do more business. And at the same time, if we can block bad guys from you, without having to bother you–so your data and your money stays safe–your loyalty will grow. So, we believe identity is that fundamental to the success [of companies]–whether that’s in banking, government, e-health and telemedicine, self-driving cars and automotive. Obviously we’re all doing Netflix and streaming–identity is the gateway to all of that. So AI empowers a better experience without compromising security.

So higher accuracy is really the big target here?

Identity is a lot about decision-making. Do I know who you are, do I trust you, should you get access to this application or this file at this exact second? We want a higher number of accurate yeses, and a fewer number of false positives, and a higher accuracy for the false negatives.

Do you consider AI a major differentiator for ForgeRock versus your competitors?

We do think that we’re farther ahead than most of the competition on this. And if you read some of the Gartner reports, they’ll definitely confirm that. We really have been leading in this space. And it comes down to those things we talked about–accuracy, visualization, explainability, and actionability. And we’ve got all four of those–and that took us a while. Most of the other [companies] are catching up in that area.

What would you want to say about how these efforts in AI have been enabling the expansion of your business?

AI is one of those real opportunities that we engage with our customers and say, “Great, you’ve got the core functionality up and running now. Here’s how we can make it smarter.” Whether that’s on the consumer side, and what we call intelligent access, or whether it’s on the workforce side, with this autonomous identity or self-driving identity around those automated approvals. So it’s an upsell to that core platform.

It’s still early days for us. We’re further along in that autonomous identity [area]. And that’s what we’ve set out to do. But what I would say is we’re seeing that the AI capability is so differentiated, we’re actually seeing customers saying, Wait, I’m not ready to move to the whole platform–I just want to start with your AI capability, on top of what I’m running today. So we feel it’s a way to actually get an introduction to the customer for ForgeRock. They might not know us, but they’re attracted by the differentiated capability in our AI tool.

And I would say some of this is driven by our great partnerships. We work closely with companies like Accenture, Deloitte, and PwC, who are involved with helping customers with their larger digital transformation initiatives. And they’re bringing ForgeRock into their customers because they know we are uniquely positioned to solve those problems. We’re seeing AI become a module that we sell after the product is deployed. And now we’re seeing it is actually a foot in the door, to demonstrate who we are and to introduce ourselves to the customer.

Microsoft has been focusing heavily on identity as part of its security push in recent years. Do you see Microsoft mainly as a partner, or are they a competitor in some sense as well?

We’re part of the MISA [Microsoft Intelligent Security Association] program. So we’re part of their security ecosystem, and we have a lot of great engineer to engineer relationships. A lot of our customers run ForgeRock in Azure. So we’re all certified to run in Azure. So there’s a good partnership there.

Microsoft is focusing on identity, as well. We don’t see them as a direct competitor so much. They’re more focused on that workforce, single sign-on space–just to cloud and SaaS apps, primarily in the Microsoft ecosystem. We typically work with larger enterprise customers that are really looking at identity as a key differentiator for their business. Companies like GEICO, where they’re like, how do we make this identity experience so easy, so we can sell more insurance? [For customers like that] we move pretty quickly beyond the capabilities of Microsoft identity. And that’s the companies where we’re working with. So more of a partner, occasionally competitor–but really, we’re going after a different part of the market.

Some companies, including some of your competitors, have criticized Microsoft’s security–saying that Microsoft is more a part of the problem in cybersecurity rather than the solution. What’s your perspective on that?

I have a rich history in this space. I was in the endpoint security business for a long time. And the reason there was an endpoint security business, to begin with, was because the Microsoft operating system, when it was first developed, did not think about security. So billion-dollar markets were created to provide security on top of that Microsoft system. And I think they would say, they did not take security seriously in the beginning parts of their company. They clearly have prioritized it dramatically over the past couple years, and they have made great improvements. But that product set is incredibly complicated–a lot of code from all over. There are going to be vulnerabilities in that system. So I think Microsoft needs partners like ForgeRock, like endpoint providers, to help their products stay secure and make their customers successful.

But it takes a long time. I remember when I was at Symantec, around 2002, we thought the Norton product was going to go away because Microsoft was just going to embed security for free for their consumers. Twenty years later, Microsoft’s done a lot better on their endpoint security product, but there’s still a market out there to make it even more secure. So I think it’s an ongoing challenge for them–one that they’ve done amazing progress on–but you need security around the whole Microsoft ecosystem, still today.

How would you summarize what you want people to know about ForgeRock’s product and opportunity?

Digital identity itself is just such a top priority for CISOs, CIOs, developers. That’s only increased with COVID–every worker has become a remote worker, and now our whole lives are online. You can’t find a customer who doesn’t want to talk about identity at this point. So it’s just an amazing opportunity. ForgeRock has very differentiated technology, built for the large enterprise, with the power of AI and a unique approach to the cloud. So we’re just really excited to continue to grow here as a company.

Besides identity, what do you see as the other essential components for zero trust security? In other words, what does ForgeRock work with as part of enabling zero trust?

There are network security providers, like Zscaler and Palo Alto Networks, that are doing some really great things in zero trust, in the network and the cloud perspective. There are companies like CrowdStrike and SentinelOne that are also doing great things with zero trust on the endpoint. I look at those three control points of network, endpoint, and identity, as being three vectors where you can apply a zero trust mentality. And you need to do all three. We partner with some of those other companies in different ways. Those are the companies I think are doing some really cool things.

So those other platforms are open enough that you’re able to work in tandem with them?

Absolutely. And the smartest enterprises are not only making zero trust on the identity decision, but they can factor in information they’re seeing from the network or seeing on the endpoint. There’s so much intelligence at all these different control points, that you really have to look at all of them. You can look at them individually, but you get even smarter and better when you look across all those control points.

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Experts deliberate on technologies leading to the rise of gaming and content in India

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Technology is seeping into every aspect of the world and online gaming is no stranger to it. Over the years, online gaming and esports have been through a lot of changes and today this industry is more advanced and progressive. Technology has enabled a variety of changes which is why online gaming continues to grow in popularity.

To discuss these new-age technologies in depth and how they are changing the gaming landscape, a panel discussion was held on Playing to the fantasy: Rise of gaming & content in India at TechSparks 2022 featuring Gaurav Barman, Senior Business Development Manager, AWS; Vinayak Shrivastav Co-founder and CEO, VideoVerse; Ranga Jagannath, Senior Director – Growth, Agora; and Ratheesh Mallaya, Director of Products, Zynga.

Here are some of the key highlights from the discussion:

Tech enabling the growth of esports in India

The panel discussion started with understanding the rise of esports gaming in India. Despite being around for more than a decade, it’s only recently seen a boom in popularity. The current size of the Indian esports industry is Rs 250 crore and the forecast for the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is expected to be 46 percent in the next four years. The esports industry is expected to see a growth of four-folds estimated to be Rs 1,100 crore by 2025.

Technology is a major propelling force that’s driving this rise. Gaurav of AWS shed more light by discussing a few of the technologies that AWS provides that help in building more interactive engagement for esports and gaming platforms.

Esports companies in India can build engagement, which is much more interactive by offering players the ability to communicate with each other beyond linguistic or geographical boundaries. This can be done by providing multilingual, real-time, translation across geographies. Companies can also build real-time recommendation systems in terms of feed that the user sees, said Gaurav.

Vinayak of VideoVerse spoke about how technology that aids in the production of short-form content is going to play a key role in driving the popularity of esports.I think what’s important for all of us to see is that e-gaming as an entire market is just continuously changing. It’s going to continuously keep evolving over the next couple of years, he said. In such a scenario, Vinayak believes that the services that VideoVerse provides with their flagship product Magnifi will play an important role in amplifying the entire ecosystem.

Magnifi uses state-of-the-art AI and ML technology to auto-produce key moments and highlights from live matches within seconds. Such kind of short-form content is what Vinayak feels is the need of the hour and will drive the growth of the esports market as well.

Hits and misses in the industry

The panelists further deliberated what has been working well for the gaming industry and what has tanked completely. Ranga of Agora spoke in detail about real-time engagement and how greatly it has benefited the gaming landscape.

What we’ve seen is that apps and games which have embedded technologies that are truly real-time tend to be able to monetise much better and significantly more, as compared to games that either don’t have real-time engagement, or they have laggy real-time engagement. Games that have real-time engagement also tend to be more active with better user retention, he remarked.

He further explained that it doesn’t just stop at real-time engagement, but the ability for gaming companies to analyse what’s happening in that real-time engagement is what is working in their favour.

While it’s important to know what is working for the esports landscape, it’s even more important to understand what’s not. Ratheesh shared some pearls of wisdom from some of the failures that Zynga has faced.

When you’re looking to build local, there is definitely a big opportunity out there. But that has to be on top of a really strong core that is fun and engaging for the users. We launched a game around the time of Independence Day in India based on a match game, but it did not turn out the way we wanted it to because of this reason,he said.

Ratheesh highlighted that there is a great scope for games with Indian IP and in fact, according to a recent report, about 60 percent of the audience that doesn’t play games have said they will play if there is an Indian IP. But just building a game on something vernacular or Indian IP will not work out. He also pointed out how games that are currently top-grossing like Garena Free Fire, Coinmaster, and Candy Crush all have great visuals and quality and that’s what is enticing users to stay hooked on the game.

Talking about other hits, Gaurav emphasised how Web3 technologies and blockchain will hugely benefit the industry. Gaming companies are now looking at making digital assets interoperable and with the advent of the Metaverse, an entire make-believe world is possible where players can socialise, connect, and share content beyond the scope of gaming.

From my perspective, technology is going to play a pivotal role in the evolution of this industry. Be it blockchain, NFT, or metaverse, all of that will come together as a platform where interoperability is enabled through underlying technology and used to build these solutions at this point in time, he said.

Along with Web3 technologies, Vinayak shared how cloud-based video editing and streaming solutions will become pivotal for the overall growth of the ecosystem as they’ll make broadcasting, editing, and collaborating with peers in the industry much easier.

Microtransactions in the gaming industry

The panel ended by discussing microtransactions in the gaming industry where Ratheesh shared some useful insights on how transactions and in-app purchases have to be tailored according to the genre of the game. There are different monetisation strategies like subscription-based model, battle pass kind of monetisation strategy or an impulse buy. Those are all options available to you. But what strategy you deploy depends completely on the genre of the game, he shared. He also suggested that microtransactions on gaming apps must be personalised to the users’ needs and that they must be pivotal in framing up the monetisation strategy for any gaming app.

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Tattoo Removal Studio Will Remove Tats From Regretful Kanye West Fans for Free

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

After Kanye West, A.K.A. Ye, made antisemitic statements and false claims about George Floyd’s killing, a London-based tattoo parlor announced on Instagram that it would remove West-related tattoos for free.



ViktoriiaNovokhatska | Getty Images

Naama Tattoo parlor said its offer to remove tattoos of the controversial rapper was a “natural extension” of its “second chances” project, which offers free tattoo laser removal to people seeking to rid themselves of certain types of ink — gang tats or an ex’s name. The procedure, which can cost roughly $2,400 elsewhere, has prompted several customers to contact Naama about having their Ye tattoos lasered off.

The Washington Post reports:

“We understand that tattoos can be triggering for some people and not everyone can afford to remove their tattoos,” the company told The Washington Post in an email Thursday. It noted that one of the people who took them up on the offer said she was being trolled for her Ye-inspired tattoo.

The store said several people have contacted it in recent weeks to have their Ye tattoos lasered off — a procedure that can cost up to 2,000 pounds (about $2,400).

Ye was dropped by brands including Adidas and Gap and locked out of his Twitter and Instagram accounts over his past comments and posts. On Thursday, he appeared on Alex Jones’s Infowars clad in a full-head balaclava. He doubled down on his past statements, telling Jones, “I like Hitler,” and, “Every human being has value that they brought to the table, especially Hitler.”

Naama told the Post that “there are a few former fans with tattoo regret,” stating that three clients are already in the middle of the tattoo removal process, and ten more are ready for consultations. Following Ye’s comments on Infowars, that number seems likely to rise.

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Here’s how technology and innovation are driving the growth of Arista Vault, India’s first smart luggage brand

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It was a crisp winter evening in October 2017 when Purvi Roy, an ace designer who studied at Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan, presented her high fashion fall winter collection – Warriors Alley- at India Runway Week. The collection was powerful and the show was a great success. At the after-party, she crossed paths with Colonel Krishan Kumar Singh and finance expert Atul Gupta.

After a brief conversation with Purvi, the Colonel suggested that maybe it was time for her to do something for the regular masses which would serve a larger purpose. They began brainstorming and after much deliberation, hard work, and perseverance Arista Vault was born.

Arista Vault is an innovative tech company creating concept-based products to make human life easy, simple, and safe. The company is headquartered in Delhi with offices in Gurugram, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Goa. One of their first offerings was a smart wallet with inbuilt anti-theft and anti-loss features, that would keep your most valuable belongings safe and protected while travelling.

“Arista is a Sanskrit word that means ‘unhurt’ or safest, and vault is a safe. We particularly chose a Sanskrit word for the name because while we go global it will always depict the roots which are Indian; so Arista Vault is a proud Made in India brand,” reveals Purvi.

As a D2C brand, it is also India’s first smart luggage company having filed six patents with one of them being an internationally published patent. The company is the perfect amalgamation of indigenous technology and in-house design that attempts to make customers feel the luxury as well as the safety of carrying a smart wallet.

Backed by Purvi’s years of knowledge and experience as a designer, the wallet while being the best at technology also has the slimmest silhouette which gives it a very luxurious look, making it a great gifting product. Purvi always wanted to make sure that the aesthetics of the product felt opulent, hence it has a jewel packaging with a matte-finished box.

The logo which is a power button inside a hexagon has a touch of gold to it, symbolic of a sense of pride and luxury. So you have a plush feeling when you own an Arista Vault smart wallet along with complete security of your wallet and its belongings.

Making traveller’s life hassle-free

If you had a penny for every time your heart skipped a beat while you frantically searched your pockets thinking you had lost your wallet, you’d probably beat Elon Musk’s wealth!

While that is a far-fetched reality, safeguarding your wallet is not. Arista’s Smart Wallet, with its many features, offers customers the relief to travel hassle-free even in crowded areas like trains and buses. The wallet has a power button which when pressed activates its features.

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Its main USP is the anti-loss and anti-theft features. It comes with an abundance of technologies such as an anti-theft alarm, built-in power bank, two-way tracker, remote selfie feature, RFID protection. The wallet also has a 20-meter separation alarm with two-way connectivity to your mobile phone. This way the phone can ring the wallet and vice versa. This feature especially comes in handy if your phone is either lost or stolen.

To enable such a high level of technology in a product as simple as a wallet would mean a dedicated amount of research and development.

“We are backed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and were incubated at the Electropreneur park and IIITD. We work in two world-class labs – Power lab and Fab Lab, which have state-of-the-art technology where the design, research, and technology integration are done. We also have a dedicated tannery and product design manufacturing unit where the integration of technology is done into the product after three layers of quality control,” Purvi says.

Along with technology and design, the co-founders were clear on maintaining the highest level of safety for the smart wallets. Hence all wallets are ISO certified with their privacy policy in compliance with the IT Act of the Government. As of the last quarter of this year, 6,000 smart wallets were sold amounting to Rs 2.6 crore.

Challenges along the way

It’s the trailblazing technology that makes the smart wallets of Arista Vault stand out. But this technology was not easy to develop. Purvi says that it took over a year of R&D to develop a prototype finally, but by this time all the seed fund had been exhausted.

“We knew we had a great product but for further research, innovation and product marketing more capital was needed. So all the three founders decided to put their savings and I supported the company with the earnings of my fashion venture that had initially incubated Arista Vault,” Purvi adds.

The company ran a pilot of their wallets on Amazon Launchpad and those were all sold out within three days. They used all the feedback received to further improve the product. The turning point in their entrepreneurial journey came in 2019 when the company got funding and support from the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology under Electronics System Design & Manufacturing (ESDM), with Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) & Electropreneur Park.

Using this support, Arista Vault was able to scale their venture sustainably to build world-class smart wallets that eventually got them recognition from Amazon with the Viewer’s Choice award as an Emerging Brand in 2019. In 2021, the company received the prestigious Star award for Most Innovative Brand Year. They were also able to enter the international market by exporting their products to Germany, Chile, Dubai, and other gulf countries and finally to the USA.

This year the company achieved a major milestone in its journey when it became one of the few smart luggage brands in India to raise funding from Germany-based MainStage Angel Network and UK-based Pontaq VC.

Establishing itself in a new segment

Purvi says that while the funding was a great boost both financially and morally, the true journey of the company has begun now. The capital raised is being used to scale the business and establish itself as a market leader in a fairly new segment of smart luggage.

To do this, the company has grown its distribution model and channel partners to cover various cities across the country where Arista Vault products are being sold in a brick-and-mortar model. They have forged partnerships with relevant stakeholders like the Goa government to enter the travel and tourism sector as well, with their smart products.

In October when Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched 5G services in India, Arista Vault was one of the few tech companies to exhibit their smart products. They are also coming up with a series of 5G-implemented products.

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Going ahead, the company wishes to build a strong presence in the smart luggage market in a B2B model. For that, they recently launched their Switch2Smart range which has a variety of smart business bags, business trolleys, laptop bags and file holders. These bags have features like GPS live and lost location which makes it almost impossible for them to be lost or stolen. They also have other features like smart charging for mobile phones, geofencing and anti-skimming.

“Nowadays from our homes to watches, everything is smart. So why should our bags be left behind? The Switch2Smart range of Arista Vault will give travellers the luxury to be free and not worry about their luggage,” Purvi says. The company has already started generating sales with B2B orders displayed in DIW 2022 Gift Expo.

In FY 2020-2021, the company generated revenue of Rs 3.59 crore and now they are well on their way to achieving Rs 12-15 crore in this financial year showing more than 4X growth in business.

Along with the sales generated on Amazon, Flipkart and their own website, this festive season Arista Vault also got into corporate gifting for occasions like Diwali and has completed bulk orders from companies such as Bharati Cement, Mitsubishi, etc. They also recently started with Amazon.com in the US and UAE.

“Going forward, both B2B and B2C have their specific areas to serve. Our products are innovative and new and require consumer awareness which is possible primarily through B2C. However at a certain level to reach a wider audience, B2B is a preferred mode of business,” Purvi adds.

Arista Vault aims to establish itself as a market leader in the smart luggage category by bringing revolutionary technology to wallets, business bags, travel backpacks and much more. In the coming year, they wish to strengthen their brand presence in India as well as abroad by launching another 15 product categories worldwide.


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