Pádraig Hoare talks to two leaders of the Californian cloud management firm Rubrik who say the support it received locally and nationally were key reasons why it set up its major European offices in Cork.
Rubrik has been described as one of the fastest growing tech companies in Silicon Valley with clients such as the Mercedes Formula 1 motor racing champions, the US Department of Defence and Energy, and online travel giant Expedia.
Founded in 2014 by engineers from Google, Facebook, and Oracle, cities from all around Europe wanted the Palo Alto-based cloud data-management company to be part of their tech business communities as it looked for a new base for its operations across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
Rubrik chose the IDA Business and Technology Park on the Model Farm Road in Cork and will employ at least 50 people in customer support, IT, and sales positions in the coming year.
After that, who knows how big it can become, says co-founder and chief technology officer Arvind Nithrakashyap and senior vice president of global customer support, Giri Iyer.
The regional talent pool, support from local and national government and pro-business mindset was the key, according to both.
In February, Rubrik announced global bookings run rate approaching $300m (€244m), cementing its place as one of the fastest growing enterprise infrastructure software companies in history.
What makes Rubrik different from competitors in an era where data management is firmly in the spotlight is that its technology delivers automated backup, recovery, archival, search, cloud, and development.
It is not a data storage firm, but is involved in backup and management.
Its head-turning model among industry leaders meant Rubrik also announced in February that chairman of Microsoft, John Thompson was joining its board of directors, with the industry veteran calling on more than 40 years of enterprise expertise to advise the $1.3bn-valued firm as it enters its next phase of growth.
Its Cork base is essential to that ambition, according to Nithrakashyap and Iyer. Nithrakashyap said: “It’s very hard for enterprise to manage all this data that is changing at such a rapid pace.
“We saw an opportunity to build a platform that can help enterprise manage that data.
“Four years ago, it was four of us with an idea sitting in an office. We knew we had something that could become big, but to see it come to fruition and to see new offices here in Cork, it is very humbling and reminds us we have a responsibility to build a very large company.”
Rubrik leadership said talent from UCC and CIT was a key factor in its decision to locate in Cork, as was assistance from the IDA.
Iyer said: “We feel it is essential to invest in our employees and fresh graduates from college. That is part of our culture.
“It’s not just about having the experienced people, we want to be able to enable college graduates by training them, giving them an opportunity to learn new technologies — they may have all the background, but they may never have done hands on stuff.
“We want to give them that opportunity to enhance their education in a very practical manner. Investment in employee growth is huge for us and we’ll continue to invest heavily in that area.
“We have a fantastic relationship with the IDA. They are true partners in that they bridged the gap in how we do business in Ireland.
“We wouldn’t know otherwise and the people in the IDA have been tremendous in making us aware of how we should approach every aspect of the business.”
All the ingredients from the IDA, UCC, CIT, and local and national government meant Cork was the
only choice for Rubrik in the final analysis, said Nithrakashyap.
He said: “The IDA were one call away from helping us and I don’t think we could have expanded at this scale otherwise.
“Between six months ago and now, I don’t think we could have been here without the support the IDA has given us.
“The fact that local government and national government was open to helping businesses like ours get started here, that was critical.
Iyer said: “It has been frictionless. Having world-class institutions like UCC and CIT wanting to partner with a company like Rubrik means we can have input into curriculums, how we can shape the next generation of engineers, and that is a very refreshing model.”
For all the focus on nurturing the best up-and-coming talent in the Cork region, it was vital that
experienced leadership was put in place to guide the ship, which involved tapping an experienced leader from Dell EMC.