Dr RK Thomas: Inspiring India through technology
Selected as India’s Inspirational Leader 2020 by WCRCLEADERS, Dr. RK Thomas of TechnoPilot® is an Inspirational Leader who is a true technology fortification maverick.
In Conversation with Dr. RK Thomas, TechnoPilot
Years of working in the industry, your contribution reflects versatility and volubility. What has influenced your decision making process at various stages?
In making decisions, one tends to be influenced by external forces, as well as internal forces. At times, one of these influences may be stronger than the other, but understanding how each works to impact the decision making will help us to build campaigns that ultimately help generate sales.
Internal Influences can include cognitive bias, which is an error in decision making due to a combination of factors including the Halo effect & functional fixedness, where one tends to see an object only for its intended use. Can also include Learning –Memory as well as Emotion vs Logic. The external influences will include social, cultural & environmental issues.
Along my entrepreneurial journey have used the best of all such Internal & External stimuli to make the best and most appropriate decisions for the Company growth.
An accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career?
A lot more new technologies will be coming out of the testing phase of the TechnoPilot® Labs and we would be making hardware as well as embedded software inclusive of quantum components to run them. Many of our products will have found the way into people’s homes more as a basic necessity than as a luxury.
Presently we are working on frontier technology of the future in the field of quantum physics, a few projects of which are already implemented and in place. These have been hugely successful and looking to disruptively changing the phase of society to that of success, well being and positive transformation.
We are an organisation working hard with the technologies of the future, some of which are not even being researched in any university till date, and using them to herald a new future for societal advancement, improved living and social conditions. More than profit making, we would like to be known as a company that caused disruptive and cataclysmic changes in the way we now live, think and do business.
Our milestones are dovetailed as a close fabric with our mission and vision. We have projects being started in major cities in India and a few in the Gulf region and USA.
We see opportunities in both the consumer and enterprise segment. We are focusing on strengthening our channel ecosystem and increasing our presence in India across tier 2 and tier 3 cities. By 2021 we would like to be present in all channels of distribution in order to reach out to potential customers and provide flexibility in licensing by partnering with Managed Service Providers.
We at TechnoPilot® predict that in the next five years there will be no more operating systems to compromise. Operating systems would have gone away and every laptop on the market would be running an emulator that functions as a start-up program on embedded firmware. Nothing can ever be infected anymore because a few key vendors would have got together to actually use the trusted modules inside technology. There would also be no more embedded passwords in IoT devices. Following a wide-spread, multi-day Internet outage as the result of multiple botnet attacks—all originating from IoT devices—the IEEE will have developed some new standards for communications and encryption on these IoT devices, and they will have dynamically generated passwords that require physical access. Every vendor would have removed default passwords and people would be used to physically touching most devices to display the password. Also decrypted Internet traffic will make antivirus software irrelevant. Communications providers would gain permission to begin decrypting traffic for the sole purpose of blocking attacks that do not match industry standards. This effectively will knock all non-IEEE standard devices off of the Internet and reduce the total consumption of bandwidth by over 90 percent on the Internet. This move will single-handedly makes anti-virus software irrelevant, as viruses can no longer even traverse the Internet without being blocked. The biometrics industry will finish development of products requiring two or more factors, including body heat and electrical impulses of skin. Also embedded technology into the human body would automate multi-factor authentication. Speaking of two-factor, we would have started to see users embed technology into their body as part of their second factor of authentication. This chip will only work when a certain heart rate, GPS location, and temperature are detected, but contains ones entire life history and will be used for medical purposes, authentication, and other forms of things that require one to be physically present. This device will be powered by ones own body. We also see that Hacking has gone pro. When I first started in this business, almost all threats were malware programs (viruses, worms, and Trojans) written by adolescent male pranksters. Although some malware programs did real harm, such as formatting disks or erasing data files, most simply annoyed people. We also had some professional and even state-sponsored hackers, but they weren’t the norm. We see that almost all malware is created to steal money or corporate secrets. The script kiddies are almost gone, pushed out by the professional hacker gangs that make millions of dollars each day victimizing home users and corporations with almost no threat of being caught or prosecuted. Malware has gone from innocuous, funny viruses and worms to identity-stealing programs and ransomware. Anyone with a credit card is accustomed to having their financial identity compromised. When 100 million records are compromised, no one bats an eye anymore. Advanced persistent threats (APTs), officially or unofficially working on the behalf of a foreign government, are the new normal. They will steal private documents and emails, along with patents and contracts, as easily as child would pluck flowers in a vast field. Countries will routinely use their offensive cyber security capabilities to read the email of another country’s leader — or to destroy physical assets (such as nuclear centrifuges). Which country has the best hackers will determine the victors in the new cold war. We see that everyone has been compromised. Every company worth hacking is hacked or could easily be hacked. This has created a new defensive strategic paradigm where we acknowledge that there’s no way we can eliminate persistent threats. We see improved breach detection tools. Once antivirus scanners were our main tool for breach detection. Now, an entire new set of companies and products would have been developed to detect when somebody’s doing something malicious, even if that something malicious is being done by a “legitimate” user. Event monitoring systems would be improving. Many companies will be storing and analyzing billions of events a day, using huge disk storage arrays that a short time ago would have stored the world’s entire collection of digital content. Intrusion detection will have moved beyond detecting simple malicious activity to detecting anomalous events that are out of character for a company and its employees. Connections to known, questionable networks are tracked and reported like the antivirus detections of yesteryear. Data leak protection (DLP) will have become big business. A decade ago, companies became practiced at shutting down their email servers and networks when the latest file attachment worm proliferated on the network. Today’s defenders are creating hardened administrative computers and isolated management environments that can be used to manage their networks when a breach is detected. We see that Multifactor authentication has been proliferated. When I first started in computer security, only the government or top secret research facilities forced employees to use smart cards or other multi factor authentication tools. Now I see this at nearly every company I visit. Plus, most companies have great physical security, starting at the visitor’s desk and parking lot — and computer rooms are behind locked doors with the servers in locked cages. Everyone still has lots of passwords, but most businesses and the most popular social media sites now offer two-factor authentication. Mobile phones and popular operating systems come with biometric identification by default. Eventually, passwords alone will stop being used altogether, receding into history like paper checks or credit cards without the picture and a chip. I don’t think multifactor authentication will solve all our problems, but it makes it harder for cyber thieves to steal and use ones identity. We can look for phishing emails and websites to disappear completely. Encryption will be the new default. Default encryption is on the rise despite nearly all governments protesting it. Today, most popular operating systems, computers, and mobile devices come with built-in, default-enabled disk encryption. More and more websites are using SSL (really TLS) encryption by default. Default encryption will mean that when a computing device is stolen, no longer will it turn into a data compromise that must be reported to the authorities (and the media).
Will it be a better world? Unfortunately, all these defense improvements would not have translated into a safer computing environment. There are far more malicious attacks today than there were 10 years ago. “Improvements” in cyber crime have so far completely overwhelmed the advances in cyber security defense. But I thoroughly believe that the defenses will catch up and eventually make the Internet a much safer place. It’s the natural progression of every civilized society, with the same bumps along the way. For a while things get worse, but society responds, and the world advances for the better.
We at TechnoPilot® are developing the security systems of the future, embedded with multi layered Elliptic Curve Cryptography, Nano-technology dovetailed with Laws of Quantum physics and using esoteric laws, which are not much in vogue in the present time.
With more and more people and organizations getting to know about us and what we do , we strive hard to make the world a better place to reside and grow in, not only for us, but for the generations to come.
How do you integrate corporate philanthropy or corporate social responsibility as a part of your business strategies?
Our biggest challenge has been to practice our Mission & Vision Plan in synergy with the existing infrastructure in the world. We have had to make adjustments to fit our frontier technology to dovetail with the existing scenario.
We are planning to bring more people towards exploring our quantum based mechanisms. We are helping world society and our ultimate aim is to make them have a happy and prosperous life.
There is no shortage of self-serving philanthropic initiatives that lend themselves to photo opportunities without effecting real change. But the new paradigm encourages corporations to play a leadership role in social problem solving by funding long-term initiatives, like reforms and awareness programs, that incorporate the best thinking of governments and nonprofit institutions.
Our Mission & Vision is built on integrating CSR with our business strategies.
VISION — “to strive to impact a worldwide integration of frontier Technology, Security of communication resources, the right coaching and holistic healing for all businesses”
MISSION — “ to provide niche technology to organisations and leverage that towards improved security and probability, with support to bring about a shift in consciousness, resulting in health and well-being”
What has been your driving force or philosophy in life?
For entrepreneurs to truly be successful, we must identify our end goals, and pursue them without restraint. The most successful and happy people I’ve met built companies that lit them up, not companies that just made them money. They understand the difference between end and means goals.
We are the only conscious life forms that we know of in this universe. We have been gifted self awareness by evolution to explore this existence, so we should be doing everything in our power to understand this beautiful universe we live in.
As an entrepreneur, it’s vitally important that you have a firm knowledge of what drives you, what really motivates you to succeed. It’s like a blueprint to your soul. When you focus on keeping your end goals in mind, rather than means goals, you’ll discover its power in helping you be unstoppable in reaching your dreams. I learned that a successful venture requires 100% attention, focus, and effort. Secondary ventures need a full-time manager or else they’ll just distract you and derail your existing efforts if you aren’t careful.
I learned that having enough money is important, but more money will never motivate me if I lack passion or belief in a company’s larger vision. Taking a look at the failures and tough times of others is one of the best ways to get over your own shortcomings . It’s important to see that failure is a part of the process, and that to be successful you absolutely must learn to make it a tool as opposed to roadblock. Failure hurts, and that may never change, but it’s how you learn to get better
What are the other philanthropic works you are involved in?
Corporate philanthropy benefits not only the community but our company and its employees as well. As society shifts toward more prominent social, environmental, and economic responsibility, the importance of corporate philanthropy has increased as well. It’s become essential to business success, bringing more benefits with a greater impact on performance.
We have increased our Corporate Philanthropy benefits with an Employee-Centric Program. We found that when carefully executed, corporate philanthropy programs can positively impact business performance, resulting in a more productive and engaged workforce, as well as a strong brand reputation that attracts talent and increases sales.
How do you define success and how do you measure up to your own definition?
My definition of success is independent of the requirements put on me. I know have succeeded when have accomplished self goals thoroughly, even if that means doing more than is asked. Have always tried to implement this philosophy, but can always improve. Have always welcomed review, so that can become better and even better.
We are constantly making things better, faster, smarter or less expensive. In other words, we strive to do more with less. Tell me about a recent project or solution to a problem that you have made better, faster, smarter or less expensive?
It has been the implementation of imbibed Artificial Intelligence (AI) cross platform at Technopilot. Highly ambitious moon shots are less likely to be successful than “low-hanging fruit” projects that enhance business processes. Am aware that the hype surrounding AI has been especially powerful, and some organizations have been seduced by it, but ours is a living example of how AI can be a true force-multiplier.
In your opinion what is the most significant aspect of leadership?
Have always believed in focusing on strengths, rather than weaknesses. Our team is made up of different people — people who have varying capabilities and shortcomings. However, as the leader, we should make every effort to base our conversations on our team members’ strengths, and not their weaknesses. Not only will this make conversations more beneficial and demonstrate that you have a high opinion of our employees, but it can also serve to make our team that much more productive.
Your perception of an empowered society. How far your industry has / can contribute for the same?
Individual change feeds into organisational change which feeds into societal change. Societal change influences organisations and individuals; organisational change in turn influences individuals and society. At the societal level empowerment is a macro process, at the organisational level it is a micro process, and at the individual level it is a personal process.
A truly smart society brings together individuals who share goals, challenges, and opportunities, and enables them to be part of the development and the governance of their cities. This has been the endeavour of Team Technopilot.
One thing you wish to change and one thing you wish to retain about your industry?
Workplace benefits can genuinely help promote a positive work-life balance. It is known that employees prefer new or additional benefits or perks to a pay raise.
A better workplace starts with a better employee experience, and there are several ways companies can make the work experience much better for their employees.
Diversity creates conflict, conflict creates innovation and innovation creates market share. Diversity & Innovation are critical from that perspective. Second, teach active listening to all employees, all managers, all leaders, all board members. Essentially, we need to learn how to listen again. Third, breed and incentivize empathy. It’s like listening, but different. We need to learn how to deeply care about each other.
One thing you have to let go off as an entrepreneur/leader?
As an entrepreneur, you are your best friend and your worst enemy. You vacillate between believing in your ability to take on the world, making it better as only you can, and doubting your worth, self-sabotaging through procrastination and unnecessary spending.
Who do you owe your success to?
To Society. I have been incredibly lucky in my life in every conceivable way, and I therefore owe it to society to “pay it forward” and help others.
All along my 20 years of military service in aviation, I realised that society needs a larger social fabric to see the larger picture towards alleviating pain and poverty in humanity. Keeping this in mind, TechnoPilot® originated in 2013 with an aim to provide a large umbrella under which one can provide services of various nature from Network Security and Business Success Coaching to Healing in organisations and for individuals. This can provide any organisation – small or big, operating in India or at the International level to be successful. All organisations operate to make profit and we at TechnoPilot® help them do that.
Since its inception in 2013, TechnoPilot® started off concentrating first in providing top notch network security to small businesses in India and the Gulf region. At the heart of TechnoPilot® is a core frontier research team that works 24X7 to herald the technology of the future into present day workable solutions to ensure the best possible cyber security services at a small budget
Ours is the only company in the world which provides an umbrella of services that include Top notch network security, Business success coaching as well as Energy healing services which is backboned on our trademarked Divine Grid Healing®. These are all the business essentials for any business to grow, to make profit and in brand-building.
TechnoPilot® specialises in harnessing the best of frontier technology to give your Company a secure operating environment and Top Notch Network Security by not just strategic fire fighting but by using advanced techniques like Elliptic Curve Cryptography, Nanotechnology, Quantum Physics, Visualisation & The Law of Attraction.
We plant the seed into the clients business that ‘exceptional leaders are manufacturers of success’. For this transformation to be lasting, in our work, in our lives and world, we believe that change needs to happen with an understanding of our leadership authenticity. This includes the integration of our personal values and networks and global awareness. Collaboration, receptivity, empathy, intuition, resilience and sensory awareness are essentials that we will activate during “My Leadership, My Brand” to further develop the company leadership and potential. They then become an agent of influence using our circle of impact. There are good companies with well-defined processes and systems; and then there are great companies with extraordinary, motivated people who go the extra mile to provide excellent service and who are also exceptional leaders. Those leaders impart vision and energy, extract value for their businesses and inspire people to achieve productivity and excellence levels which many can only dream of.
The image we would like to project is that of being a company working hard with the technologies of the future, some of which are not even being researched in any university till date, and using them to herald a new future for societal advancement, improved living and social conditions. More than profit making, we would like to be known as a company that caused disruptive and cataclysmic changes in the way we now live, think and do business.
Best thing about your job?
I love my job because everyone at Technopilot shares the same vision and is dedicated to the mission. This truly creates a family environment where everybody is there for each other. It is always changing, always evolving and I get front row seats watching the process of a simple idea grow into a nationwide business. Every day is different, and it is a constant adventure.
A message from you to all the future entrepreneurs/leaders?
Winners never quit and quitters never win. The best way to predict the future is to create it. See life almost like one long University education that you never had — everyday you will learn something new.
Details about Dr Reji
Dr Reji is a highly commended former Naval Commander who has spent his lifetime in the pursuit of frontier technology. An avid aviator, he was educated from the best of institutions in the world over including Stanford University USA, Kent State University USA & IIT Delhi. He has obtained several Doctorates / undertaken pioneering research, in the niche areas of Computer Science, Network Security and Alternative Medicine with a Fellowship in Corporate Social Responsibility from New York.
Dr Reji has a unique distinction in conceptualizing and developing niche projects in the Indian Navy including Naval Intranet in 1998, Navy wide enterprise E-Learning in 2004 , Malware Analysis Lab in 2008, securing Naval networks and in TEMPEST. The intellect has also worked at the highest echelons in Network security in India including with the NSA, DRDO and securely hardening the Indian communication backbone infrastructure. He has been a Gold Medallist in every course undertaken in his career and is a world acclaimed authority in the fields of Quantum Science, Cryptography, IT Security & Technology enhancement.
The Commander has achieved various awards, achievements and recognitions including “Emerging Technology Initiative” at FINNOVEX awards at Dubai in March 2019. The organization has been recognized with the “Excellence in Encryption” award at FINSEC – The Banking Security Summit at Dubai, UAE, March 2018 and had also bagged the “Health Excellence Award” in India in 2013. Further TechnoPilot has also been featured in several magazine for Best in Country Media Survey Awards. He has sphere-headed firm, within 5 years of inception, to feature in list of “50 Fastest Growing CEOs in India – 2017”, Winner of “Company of the Year – Energy Healing – 2017”, “25 most Valuable CEOs in India” in 2018, “10 Best Security Companies 2018”,”, Annual Roll of Honour in 20 most promising “Cyber Security Solution Providers”, “The 10 Fastest Growing Brand in 2019” in leading globally published prominent magazines