Serguei Beloussov, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Acronis, looks very much like a restless teenager brimming with ideas to conquer the IT world.
Beloussov is a successful self-made entrepreneur with a 15-year track record in building, growing and leading high-performing, multi-national technology companies, yet he exudes the unmistakable energy of someone who is yet to climb the peak of his ambition.
At a recent media event, the youthful Beloussov presented his vision of taking his storage company Acronis to the top. Already successful, Acronis is a global provider of leading backup, disaster recovery, and secure file sharing and file access solutions with over 300,000 business and 5 million consumer users.
"I want to make Acronis the largest software company in Singapore in 5 years with our global HQ here," he told the press with a determination that was hard to miss.
From Russia to Singapore
Born and educated in Russia, Beloussov came to Singapore in 1994 and now holds a Singapore Passport since 2001.
A serial entrepreneur, Beloussov co-founded SWSoft in 1997 that split into Acronis and Parallels in 2007. Prior to that, he had co-founded Falcon Computers, a PC startup in Russia, and Soloman Software in Singapore.
Acronis had started sales in Q2 2001 in Germany, Japan, and USA as SWSoft's business unit. In 2003, Acronis was re-organised as a standalone business focused on storage management, whereas Parallels dealt with virtualisation and automation. He was heading both the companies until he had a disagreement with a professional board member who had been hired to run Acronis. At that time, Acronis had annual revenues of US$150 million.
Between 2007 and 2013, Beloussov led Parallels (while he remained a passive board member at Acronis), turning it into an over US$100 million business with a 50 percent profit margin. Under his leadership, the company had over 900 employees and 50 million end users across its product lines.
Return to Acronis
In May 2013, Beloussov returned to Acronis as CEO. Why? Because he saw a unique opportunity in storage and cloud. He has built eight companies over the years but none of them became a billion dollar company. "Acronis is my chance," he said. "We target to grow over 30 percent per year to become a multibillion dollar business in less than 10 years."
He enumerated several solid reasons behind his exuberance for Acronis.
One, Acronis has great assets-hundreds of millions of dollars in license revenue, one third of which comes from Asia. Two, he sees a US$30 billion market opportunity in storage and cloud services by 2016. Three, he sees Acronis in a league of its own as Acronis's software can do full system and universal back up, much more than what his competitors can offer.
As a company, Acronis is focused on all aspects of the business--consumer, enterprise, mobility and cloud.
According to Beloussov, trends like cloud, social, mobility, BYOD along with Big Data and Internet of Things will help grow the company's business.
Going forward, Acronis will focus on cloud and mobility access products and will also have a dedicated data centre in Singapore for cloud services, he said. Cloud is already contributing about 10 to 15 percent to the company's revenues.