There are fourteen basic kicks in taekwondo that everyone should know, but there’s only one Dr. Ratinder Paul Singh Ahuja. So what do martial arts and enterprise data storage have in common anyway? For Ratinder, who joined Pure in April 2021 as CTO and vice president, both disciplines provide an opportunity to push limits and produce results.

As a serial entrepreneur, corporate leader, and prolific inventor with more than 70 patents, Ratinder brings an impressive mix of experience and expertise to Pure. He also happens to be a taekwondo master.

While Ratinder first studied judo in his native India, his interest in martial arts flourished while completing his MS and Ph.D. in Computer Engineering at Iowa State University. On his journey to becoming a 6th degree black belt in TaeKwonDo, he also conceived, invented, brought to market, and successfully exited four technology startups. Prior to joining Pure, he co-founded ShieldX Networks, a multi-cloud, security and micro-segmentation software provider, which was acquired by Fortinet in 2021.

Ratinder finds that the unification of mind, body, and soul he has found from practicing martial arts has helped him immensely throughout his career. “Without alignment of all three,” he explains, “You don’t see things clearly. The inward-looking techniques I practice daily enhance self-discipline, clear thinking, and balanced emotions.”

Putting these techniques to the test while undertaking a “Dark Room” retreat in Thailand, Ratinder spent two weeks in total darkness focused on breathing and achieving a deeply relaxed state. When he emerged, he found the world “brilliant,” soon developing the idea for his next successful startup.

A Pure Connection

Having known Pure Storage CEO Charlie Giancarlo for more than 30 years, Ratinder has long been impressed by how Pure strikes a balance between pushing technology, understanding customers, and delivering business value. And now he’s part of the team, helping improve the security posture of Pure’s products—incorporating security into the product development life cycle by conceiving and implementing a six-point plan across Pure’s business units. 

As Ratinder completes his first year at Pure, his goal is to continue raising the security bar and meeting service targets. He’ll also continue to practice martial arts at his studio—which coincidentally is named Pure TaeKwonDo. 

“Every day I push myself to the limit, and the limit is always going up.” 

With all that Ratinder brings to Pure, we’re excited for the future and his valuable contributions in helping shape the future of data storage. 

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