Aryaka's new CEO Shailesh Shukla has set his sights high for Aryaka's financial future, with a goal of bringing the company from $100 million in annual recurring revenue to $1 billion.

Kelsey Ziser, Senior Editor

February 21, 2024

2 Min Read
Shailesh Shukla, CEO of Aryaka
Shailesh Shukla, CEO of AryakaSource: Aryaka

There's been a changing of the guard at secure access service edge (SASE) company Aryaka: Shailesh Shukla has been appointed as the company's new chairman and CEO.

Shukla has set his sights high for Aryaka's financial future, with a goal of bringing the company from $100 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR) to $1 billion.

Shukla succeeds Darin McAreavey, interim CEO and CFO after former CEO Matt Carter's departure in August 2023. McAreavey will continue in his role as Aryaka's CFO. Since September 2023, Shukla has served as the company's executive chairman of the board.

'Infusing AI into everything we do'

Beginning his career as a software and network engineer for Sprint, now T-Mobile, Shukla has over 25 years of experience in the networking, security and cloud sectors. Prior to Aryaka, Shukla was VP and GM for Google Cloud, VP and GM for Neustar, COO for startup Instart Logic, and VP and GM for Cisco, among additional roles at startups.

To support his financial goals for Ayraka, Shukla plans to continue expanding the company's headcount and points of presence (PoPs) while "infusing AI into everything we do," he told Light Reading in an interview.

The company currently has over 40 PoPs and plans to launch 27 new PoPs in 21 countries over the next few years. Shukla said Aryaka's zero trust, private network extends to over 100 countries.

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Since the company was founded in 2009, Aryaka's platform has evolved from SD-WAN, to "layering [SD-WAN] on top of NaaS," to bringing in SASE, which is the convergence of networking and security, explained Shukla.

'Unified SASE'

"What we are doing is 'Unified SASE,' which means you unify the network and the layers of security but don't do it in a way where you lock in the customer," he said.

Aryaka's Unified SASE approach includes integrating with other technology vendors on Aryaka's private network so customers "get the flexibility of choosing the right deployment model for them." Customers can also select if they want a fully managed SASE service from Aryaka, "self-service" or a co-managed approach, added Shukla.

Over the next five years, the SASE market is expected to experience a 12% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) and reach $16 billion, according to research firm Dell'Oro. SASE is transforming enterprises' approach to networking and security and is "becoming a cornerstone of modern enterprise infrastructure," said Mauricio Sanchez, Sr. Director for Dell'Oro, in a statement.

About the Author(s)

Kelsey Ziser

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Kelsey is a senior editor at Light Reading, co-host of the Light Reading podcast, and host of the "What's the story?" podcast.

Her interest in the telecom world started with a PR position at Connect2 Communications, which led to a communications role at the FREEDM Systems Center, a smart grid research lab at N.C. State University. There, she orchestrated their webinar program across college campuses and covered research projects such as the center's smart solid-state transformer.

Kelsey enjoys reading four (or 12) books at once, watching movies about space travel, crafting and (hoarding) houseplants.

Kelsey is based in Raleigh, N.C.

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