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Kailash Katkar: A school dropout who built Rs 15,000 crore Anti-virus Company

Kailash Katkar at one time had zero knowledge about computers. He, in fact, had to dropout from school to financially support his family and eked out an existence for his family by mostly doing odd jobs.

Having seen financial vulnerabilities at such young age, today Katkar should have ideally been doing decent paying job and lived a typical middle class Maharashtrian life. But today Katkar’s overwhelming success defies all logic and symbolizes his resolute as well as undying spirit.

Today his company Quick Heal Technologies is India’s most successful anti-virus company and is worth more than Rs 15000 crore.  The company boasts branches in more than 60 countries and serves some of the biggest names in the I.T world including Microsoft.

Kailash Katkar, CEO & MD of Quick Heal Technologies 

Below are collections of some inspiring anecdotes that show us how Katkar converted adversities into opportunities and in the process built India’s most successful anti-virus company.

It all began in calculator repair shop

Long before Katkar started repairing computers, he honed his repairing skills at a local calculator repair shop in Pune. Dropping out of school, Katkar worked tirelessly in a non-descript repair shop in a desperate bid to support his poor family. Back then, he may not have faintest of idea that this low paying and uninspiring job was unknowingly preparing him for an ambitious entrepreneurial journey.

The job helped Katkar in basically achieving two important things: first was the passion for gadgets and electronics that in-turn later led to his passion for computers. Secondly, the job gave him hands down knowledge as well as confidence in repairing electronic stuffs.

Katkar goes solo to start an independent repairing shop 

In early 1990’s, Katkar took big entrepreneurial leap by starting his own independent repairing shop. Cashing on his contacts and experience, his business started generating decent profit from first year itself. Now this Maharashtrian lad was a decently successful small time entrepreneur in his own right.

But this decent success failed to quench his entrepreneurial hunger. Inspired by recent success, Katkar was confident that he could achieve more success with his entrepreneurial mindset. This drove him to enroll into short computer hardware course, which later helped him to set up his computer repair business.


Katkar starts computer repairing business – CAT Computer Services  

By founding CAT Computer Services in 1993, Katkar officially ventured into computer repair business. By venturing into computer business, Katkar exhibited his shrewd entrepreneurial mindset. He knew that computer would soon become indispensible technology, opening lots business opportunities for his new venture.

Expectedly, after initial hiccups his computer business picked up and soon CAT Computer Services started making decent profit. He later started taking annual maintenance contracts (AMC) from companies in order to stabilize his business.

The AMC business too picked up in no time, especially after winning contract from New India Insurance and couple of other big companies.

Rise & rise of Virus changed Katkar’s Fortunes forever       

Entrepreneurship is partly all about seizing right opportunity at right time. And if you can spot the opportunity before others do then you’re probably halfway through success. Katkar did exactly that when he sensed how viruses would become bigger menace with internet’s growth.

This important realization dawned on him after repairing and formatting dozens of virus inflicted computers.

The only logical step that Katkar could have taken following this profound realization is to create robust anti-virus software.

Younger brother Sanjay chips in with his software knowledge

Kailash had to sacrifice his formal education for the sake of his family including his younger brother Sanjay, who did his engineering in computer software. Needless to say, Sanjay always felt indebted towards his elder brother. Hence when his elder brother turned to him for seeking help to design anti-virus software, Sanjay happily joined the mission.

In 1994, Katkar brothers officially launched Quick Heal anti-virus for DOS. They followed it with anti-virus software for Win 3.1 in 1995 and Windows 95 in 1996. All Quick Heal anti-virus software received lot of positive receptions from the market. Quick Heal’s lower and affordable pricing also worked in its favor.

CAT Computer is officially renamed Quick Heal Technologies in 1997

Quick Heal anti-virus software

After making successful dent in anti-virus market, Katkar officially renamed CAT Computer to Quick Heal Technologies. With this renaming, Quick Heal truly announced its arrival in the IT security solutions industry. The next year Quick Heal launched its official website in order to add much needed brand value to its company.

As the years passed by, Quick Heal became a force to reckon with in the market and witnessed unprecedented growth in profit as well as revenue.

Katkar’s entrepreneurial career reached a new high in 2016, when his company successfully launched an IPO and got listed in the Bombay Stock Exchange.

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