The Security of the Internet Is in the Hands of A Turk

ImageAs the Internet continues to become an ever-bigger part of our lives, security concerns are increasing. The world’s second biggest Internet security company belongs to a Turkish businessman from Hatay, Melih Abdulhayoğlu. He is the owner of Comodo, which has 700 employees in five offices around the world and an annual growth rate of 50%.  We are proud and pleased that his first interview in the Turkish media has been given to TURKOFAMERICA.
The company he started in 1998 in a small office in England is now listed right after Verisign as the second biggest digital SSL certificate provider. Unlike most players in the anti-virus products market like Norton, Panda, McAfee, TrendMicro or Kaspersky, he offers Internet users a free anti-virus product, Comodo, arguing that you cannnot set up a successful business enterprise without establishing Internet security.

Abdulhayoğlu studied in Hatay until university and went to college in England after his below average performance at high school. He studied Electrical Engineering at Brandon University and said, “My biggest dream was to be an electrical engineer and now my hobby is actually my job.”

He constructed his first electrical circuit at the age of 13 and he started Comodo in 1998. The company name was inspired by the komodo dragon, a reptile that attacks its preys through strategic thinking. Currently, Comodo now operates in China, Romania, India, Britain, and the USA, with more than 700 employees, and Abdulhayoğlu is the biggest employer among Turkish businessmen in the US. 

Having an idealistic approach to Internet security, he offers free anti-virus programs and reaches one million new users each month. Unlike McAfee, Norton, Kaspersky, TrendMicro or Panda that are sold at a certain price, the free Comodo program aims to create a secure online environment for everyone with its slogan, “Creating Trust Online.” Abdulhayoğlu created a business model that he profited from by selling anti-virus programs to corporate entities so that he could offer free programs to individual users. “You can’t promote a safer online environment if you sell $60 antivirus programs to users who have $300 computers. It sounds like selling a car and then asking for $3000 a year to change its oil,” said Abdulhayoğlu. He said his company’s yearly 50% growth was a unique success in the online market and they planned to grow further by acquiring various European firms that specialize in Internet security. Comodo does not have an office in Turkey but operates in Romania, which has one of the most rapidly-expanding Central European economies.

Married with two children, Abdulhayoğlu and his wife are expecting their third child. He loves football and supports Arsenal in England and Besiktaş in Turkey. He was chosen as “The Enterpreneur of the Year” by Ernst&Young in 2008 and is not interested in selling his company. According to him, success depends on one’s decision to give up and move on when necessary. His advice to young people who would like to start their own online business is to be insistent on their objectives and never give up. He explains why the company headquarter is in New Jersey, rather than Silicon Valley, based on two reasons: “First, companies that are based in Silicon Valley are in need of the technology produced there. However we produce our own technology. Second, New York is the center of the world right now. But you can’t have such a beautiful view in New York. So we ended up in New Jersey.”
Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07