The Silicon Review
‘REL- ID: a solution for all platforms.’
Founded in 2013, Uniken is a US-based corporation headquartered in New Jersey, with a subsidiary in India. Future subsidiaries will be coming online in Hong Kong, Singapore and the UK. Uniken is currently one of the largest Mobile Payment Security Solutions in South Asia that protects over 10million customer devices across 28 Financial Services and Banking Institutions. These firms use Uniken’s technology to protect their digital transactions ranging from consumer banking, business banking, stock exchange settlement and central bank communication.
In Dialogue withBimal Gandhi, CEO
Why was the company set up? How did you select the vertical and decide to be a part of the global platform?
There is no doubt that data security breaches around the globe and across industries are on the rise. A majority of business executives, Chief Security Officers and Compliance Personnel expect the risks to corporate data, personal data and transactions to rise alongside the push to transact more business over digital channels.
We founded Uniken to provide a way for corporations to solve one of the weakest links in data security – the digital networks that connect and authenticate the enterprise to partners, customers and employees – and to protect businesses from costly security breaches. Our core product REL-ID provides a safe, simple, and scalable security platform for the first time.
Tell us about your first product that was launched?
Our first product was developed for a military organization that wanted a secure a previously air-gapped network. To ensure the new connectivity was beyond reproach, they wanted it to be accessed without using SSL or traditional VPNs or require the use of tokens which they felt were compromised, had significant known weaknesses or awkward usability.
How successful was your first project roll out?
Our first commercial rollout outside of the military sector was for one of the largest banks in Southeast Asia. While it was a widely successful implementation, it was filled with many important lessons for a small start-up firm on how to do business with a global bank. We learned a great deal from our experience, and have gone on to achieve an additional 28 implementations with other major global institutions.
What challenges did you face in your initial years? What can your peers learn from it?
Several of our implementations were done for large organizations requiring more than one layer of management approval which can be time consuming. In addition, the in-house security staff of any institution creates a significant number of hurdles. The approval process being only one. Our best advice is: don’t underestimate the hurdles, timeline, and sponsorship for the first four major clients.
What do you feel are the reasons behind?Your product popularity:
Our innovation approached the problems in a new fundamental way that existing industry paradigms didn’t.
We took advantage of a natural business relationship and used that to re-invent the way enterprises should connect to their digital clients.
Your consistent growth as an organization:
How big is your organization today? Briefly explain the organizational structure.
Uniken, Inc. is a Delaware corporation with a subsidiary in India, and soon to be subsidiaries in Hong Kong,Singapore and the UK. We have 50 employees today and expect to be at 75 employees within the next year.
‘It is difficult to start a venture. But far more difficult to maintain it’ - How would you and your team interpret this saying?
I would absolutely agree! Product development has its own set of issues, but signing our first client and deploying our solutions alongside competitors in the space is filled with many known and unknown challenges. It really does take a 24/7/365 focus by all employees in a start-up.
How do you and your company contribute to the global IT platform and society at large?
Our solutions provide the infrastructure for companies to connect their digital clients to their products and services safely and securely, all while enabling an amazing customer experience. With our solution a number of the typical security techniques such as re-prompting to enter passwords become obsolete.
What do you feel fresher’s and peers need to keep in mind to figure out a place for themselves in today’s marketplace?
Do not incrementalize! Too much technology today is based on incremental change but you can’t build a great company on this. The core goal is to go for fundamental change and transform the way people think. We took a space that has had very little innovation over the past 40 years and decided it is possible to identify, authenticate and secure the online experience in a safe and scalable way.
Do you have any new products ready to be/getting ready to be rolled out into the market?
We are constantly improving our products. Over the next two quarters, we will be enhancing our transactional authentication solutions to support any type of biometric. We also plan to further our work in helping our clients protect their digital transactional systems.
Where do you see you and your company a couple of years from now?
Three years from now, we expect Uniken to be recognized as the industry standard in the identity authentication/secure channel space, having developed and successfully marketed a fundamentally groundbreaking platform.
Meet Mr. Gandhi
Bimal Gandhi has over 20 years of global experience across the management consulting, technology, and financial services industries across the US, UK and India. As a passionate, energetic leader; he has the unique ability to blend his backgrounds in finance, strategy, technology, and operations into a seamless effort using a defined set of metrics to drive performance.
“In real life, you would only open your door for people you can recognize and have an existing relationship with. In the same way, REL-ID won’t let strangers into your network without first verifying an established trusted relationship.”