Quantum physics is larger than plain science. It is a profound experience. It allows us to deep-dive into the intricacies of sub-atomic particles that are the building blocks of animate, inanimate, and everything in the known cosmos.
The application of quantum physics is called quantum technology and one of the classic outcomes of quantum technology is a quantum computer.
Known for its immense processing power, a quantum computer can knock-off complex computations in seconds. But, the angelic benefits of power comes with the devilish intent of destruction.
Quantum computers in wrong hands have the power to completely destroy cybersecurity we have used for decades. Personal, professional, and critical data can be compromised in a blink of an eye.
Fortunately, the benign powers of quantum physics can nip the evil intent in the bud.
QuNu Labs Private Limited, (aka QNu Labs) is the pioneer of quantum technology in India that develops commercially ready and proven products and assets offering unique value propositions to government and private enterprises to secure their data in the pre and post-quantum world.
Saviour from the Quantamania
QNu Labs, founded in 2016, pioneered to build the next generation of data security products and solutions to protect confidential data from falling in the hands of malicious actors. They offer future security against the inappropriate use of Quantum Computers (QCs) for accessing sensitive data with long shelf life.
Sharing the firm’s significant achievement, Sunil Gupta, the Co-founder, and CEO, says, “We have five patents granted on our technology and several awards and accolades for innovation and commercialization of indigenous technology.”
According to Sunil, QNu Labs’ USP is that it offers a hybrid model where both quantum cryptography (hardware) and post-quantum cryptography (software) based solutions leverage the best of both technologies to provide the highest level of security with the flexibility to adopt the technologies across industry verticals and use cases.
He says, “We are a leader in quantum cryptography products and solutions offering security for data at rest and in transit. Being India’s first company with commercially ready products and solutions in the quantum technology space, we take pride in saying that we have put India on the Quantum map of the world and have made India self-reliant in this crucial technology which is going to be of immense strategic importance in the new emerging geopolitical landscape. We offer a hybrid platform that is adaptive, proven & flexible for both quantum-safe and quantum-resilient deployments.”
QNu Labs caters to telecom, healthcare, banking and finance, critical infrastructure, federal operations, and other sectors. It works with Indian Defence and public enterprises to protect national secrets, confidential data, and PII.
The Ripple Effect
Sunil adds that they are working closely with clients to understand their risks and pain points and identify the relevant use cases to pilot and deploy QNu Labs’ innovative solutions. He believes that in the post-quantum world, scalable QCs will potentially break all the existing public and private key algorithms used everywhere in our daily lives today, including the internet, messaging, banking, emails, etc. To ensure that future hackers cannot break the current encrypted data using QCs, QNu Labs built encryption key generation, distribution, and management products and solutions that will be quantum safe.
QNu offers three products and platforms – Quantum Key Distribution (Armos), Quantum Random Number Generator (Tropos), and Post Quantum Cryptography platform (Hodos). Leveraging these products, QNu Labs has built very powerful and pertinent solutions, such as
- Entropy as a cloud service – Qosmos,
- Quantum secure remote access workplace – Qshield,
- Quantum secure messaging platform – Qverse, and
- Quantum secure storage for securing keys and encryption as a service – Qvault.
These solutions are designed to plug in with the existing infrastructure easily. Since they don’t require any rip or replacement, the solutions are viable and cost-effective for everyone to adopt. The benefits can be realised in just four weeks.
Sunil assures, “Our solutions save an enterprise millions of dollars, several months of agony in business disruption, and future data breaches if they choose to migrate to quantum secure solutions over the current solution that doubles the key sizes every two years.”
Technovative Leadership of EntrepreNerds
Sunil is a technology and business leader and entrepreneur with 35+ years of experience. He specialises in Products and Product Engineering in cutting-edge technologies.
After graduating in Computer Science from NIT Trichy, Sunil played an instrumental role in building several products and teams in different start-ups and Fortune 500 companies to help them quickly get their products/offerings to market.
Sunil is obsessed with new technologies and considers himself fortunate to have been part of teams building some of the industry’s best products and solutions in cutting-edge technologies such as satellite communications, multi-media middleware for smartphones, indigenous switching software, core banking software, and AI-based cybersecurity platform. He is devoted to creating highly passionate and focused teams to build disruptive solutions.
As the Co-founder and CEO of QNu Labs, Sunil is responsible for building the vision and strategy of the company and creating a highly passionate team of ‘EntrepreNerds.’ He is driven to make QNu Labs a successful Indian deep tech company in quantum technology that will offer solutions globally. Under his leadership, QNu Labs has developed India’s first commercially ready quantum-safe security products and solutions. The outcome is the consequence of evangelizing mainstream quantum tech over the last five years. Sunil strongly advocates making India a powerhouse in quantum skills and quantum technologies. He envisions placing India at the forefront of deep technologies in the field of data security using Quantum technology.
The Trust Builders
The core team members at QNu Labs have strong credentials, domain expertise, and experiences that inspire client confidence.
Sunil says, “Our clients appreciate the passion and enthusiasm of our leadership team and trust them for their strong expertise spanning over three decades in each of their fields – cyber security, communication, and product engineering.”
Sunil and the leadership team are seen as trusted advisors by clients, partners, and other ecosystem players who work together to evangelize, build standards, and do capability building.
QNu is an agile company that swiftly responds to changes, customer inquiries, and project execution. Clients have appreciated expert guidance, short turnaround times, and integrity in delivering on the promises.
Sunil, an experienced leader, opines that modern technologies such as ML&AI have a phenomenal impact on almost all industries. The world will soon see different and disruptive capabilities and solutions which couldn’t have been imagined a few years ago. He predicts, “We will see AI used on data at the edge server and devices as more and more data moves to the edge.” This will pose a huge security issue for edge devices, especially in the post-quantum world that is already here.
QNu Labs’ solutions offer future security for data at the edge devices. “Soon, we will see the quantum security stack becoming an integral part of the cybersecurity framework and regulations,” Sunil adds.
QNu Labs also plans to leverage AI in a couple of its products to offer a value multiplier in its solutions.
Decrypting the Challenges
Sunil admits that during their journey of founding and developing QNu Labs, they faced several challenges because they were the pioneers of quantum cryptography tech in India. But, they chose to conquer the challenges with innovative solutions.
The team realized that they must prove their technology is robust and stays true to its promises. “We overcame every apprehension with exhaustive internal testing and built test documents and reports for clients to witness. We did several field trials in real-life scenarios early on to learn and adapt our products. We also sent our products to international labs to get an independent evaluation. We also built a sandbox for clients to test themselves,” Sunil explains.
“We put our products and solutions on GeM (Government e-marketplace) so that clients can see the specifications, price, and other documentation before purchase. It built our confidence and gained our customer’s trust. Listing the products on the GeM required us to build quality in manufacturing processes and systems, which eventually helped us build quality products.”
Sunil and his team also offered one of the solutions on the Amazon marketplace for global clients to buy as a service.
For a DeepTech start-up, hiring is always crucial and paramount. QNu hired some of the best students from top colleges for internships and later brought them on board. It ensured that the candidate’s passion and attitude matched the organisation’s culture. This also helped QNu Labs build a brand in those colleges for further hiring.
For a new technology to become mainstream, it requires building standards and systems. Sunil states, “We overcame this challenge by working closely with the government in developing Standards for Generic Requirements for QKD System.”
The Deep Sagacity
Sunil quips, “Every startup is different, but if I have to give a piece of advice, it will be,
- Choose a highly relevant problem that addresses the pain areas of a large set of clients/users – the problem should be real and large enough to solve.
- Work closely with early adopters and clients to define high-value use cases and solutions that your sales team can package, create, sell, and monetize.
- Build a passionate core team that can infuse the right attitude, sense of urgency, and client-centricity in the company for others to follow – the right team is half the battle won.”
On their road ahead, Sunil divulges that they envision pursuing two paths in the future:
The first is moving from ‘Quantum Outside’ to ‘Quantum Inside’ with Integrated Photonics-based QKD. The future of Integrated Photonics-based Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) and QRNG looks promising and holds significant potential for revolutionizing secure communication and quantum networking. The miniaturization and robustness of Integrated Photonics QKD will also make it suitable for satellite-based applications and IoT devices, which are extremely vulnerable to attacks. As satellite communication requires compact and reliable systems, this can open up new opportunities for secure quantum communication over long distances, and the mass proliferation of IoT and edge devices in the next five years will create a massive demand for small form factor quantum security devices. “We have a development and investment plan in place to capture this demand,” he informs.
The second path is to develop Satellite based QKD-Global Network for Quantum security anytime and anywhere, as it has several compelling commercial applications due to its ability to provide secure and long-range communication. Satellite QKD can offer a secure, long-range communication solution for remote or inaccessible locations. The government and defence industries can leverage satellite QKD for secure communication between satellites, space missions, and ground control centres. This ensures the confidentiality of mission-critical data and prevents unauthorized access or data tampering. Satellite QKD can be employed to establish secure communication links between different countries or continents, facilitating secure diplomatic communication and cooperation in various fields.
Present Safe of the Future
He adds, “Today, we stand at a pivotal juncture, ready to embark on a transformative global expansion journey for which we have already initiated discussions with potential partners in the USA, Middle East, and Europe who share our vision and can complement our strengths. We have conducted meticulous market research to identify regions with the highest demand for our solutions.”
Sunil concludes, “Our vision for global expansion is rooted in our unwavering commitment to Make in India. Make for the World.”
*“The threat to networks, systems, and data from quantum attacks is real and worrisome, especially for digital assets. We chose to work with QNu Labs, the leader in quantum crypto security for ‘Data at Rest’ and ‘Data in motion’. Their team and expertise are exceptional, and they have made our transition to a quantum-safe environment simple and seamless.” – CTO, Amechain – World’s first Quantum-secured decentralized digital asset ledger.
*“We were building an enterprise messaging platform and wanted to use best-in-class data security. We chose QNu Labs over an IBM company due to the flexibility and high availability of quantum random numbers as a service offered by QNu Labs. We have used their service for the last 12 months with 100% uptime.” CEO, Arishti – Quantum Secure Enterprise messaging platform.
*QNu Labs Hall of Fame*
QNu Labs has won several accolades in Innovation, technology breakthrough, and commercialization of indigenous tech
- Most Innovative Startup, Matrix Start-up Award 2023.
- National Startup Awards by Startup India 2023.
- Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Telecom Skill Excellence Award 2022.
- Technology Start-up Award by Ministry of Science and Technology 2022.
- Raksha Mantri’s “Raksha Anveshan Ratn” Award for Innovation Excellence in Defence and Aerospace Sectors 2022.
- DSCI’s Most Innovative Product of the Year 2019.
- NASSCOM’s “Emerge 50 and “League of 10” in Cyber Security category 2019.
- Winner of Tech30 YourStory 2019.
- CISO Platform -Top 3 Cybersecurity Startups 2019.
- Winner of Elevate – A Govt. of Karnataka Grant 2017.