Druva Founder and CEO Jaspreet Singh knows a thing or two about success, having built one of the first Indian-origin software unicorns. So, when he talks about the ingredients that go into building a successful startup, it’s imperative that you pay attention.
Founded in 2008 in Pune by Jaspreet and Milind Borate, Druva has so far seen three pivots. Last June, it raised $130 million as part of its Series G funding to enter the elite unicorn club. Today, it is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, where Jaspreet moved to in 2012.
“Ultimately no matter what an entrepreneur may sell you, there is a good chunk of luck. No matter how great your wings are — if you had to jump off a mountain to fly, then the wind has to be there. You must time the winds,” says Jaspreet, in a conversation with YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma all the way from the US.
Druva started by providing solutions for data protection and management for laptops. Today, the SaaS startup offers end-to-end data protection to its customers by providing services like data recovery, data migration, ransomware protection, and cloud backup on demand. Its customers include marquee names such as NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), DHL, Marriott, and Carlsberg.
“An entrepreneur can only time the wind and not create it. The product-market fit is the most important thing. And you have to constantly build and refine it. While you can’t really change the market, what you can do is (show) persistence and discipline to be ready and that’s what Druva did throughout. We have always been thinking critically of ourselves, and the market,” says the IIT Guwahati graduate, who started his career with Veritas in Pune.
He goes on to elaborate on the importance of persistence in order to succeed. “Persistence is quite underrated. Everything, which goes good with you is your great luck, and everything that goes bad is your market timing. But between those, an entrepreneur has to be extremely persistent and calculative about the moves the market is going to make, and the bets they are going to take to really size the market, shape the market, and go towards it.”
One cannot obviously forget the basics of hard work, staying curious, and building a great network, Jaspreet points out.
“There are also the fundamentals an entrepreneur has to do — you must work harder than people you know, you must always be curious and have a keen eye on what is happening and why it is happening, you must listen and build a great network of people, you must read books,” he says.
“This is exceptionally important to any entrepreneur. Outside of that, there is a huge amount of luck that nobody wants to talk about,” adds Jaspreet.
In its journey of over a decade, Druva has emerged as a leader in the cloud data protection and management industry. It is among the few private companies to generate $100 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR).
The startup’s investors include Nexus Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital, Riverwood Capital, Viking Global Investors, and Tenaya Capital.