Break it Down To Make it Big: When Enterprises Simplify, Success Comes Around
It's important for any business to keep an ear to the ground to sense what exactly its clients and also what are the technological trends coming in
When we entered the nascent security industry in India in 1995, it did not take long to understand that there was a vast opportunity to grow. Of course, it was a time when common Indians did not understand cameras and access control — let alone feel their need. With no organized player around, we took the plunge.
With India’s economy and its middle-class growing manifold, there were many layers and complexes in the market. By the late 90s, CCTVs, access control were concepts on standalone mode — every office would have its system using a card and analogue camera.
Ear to the Ground
It’s important for any business to keep an ear to the ground to sense what exactly its clients, audiences and partners need, and also what are the technological trends coming in. In 2005, we witnessed the emergence of the ‘network system’, i.e. a single IT network, connecting industry offices and buildings. This system needed protection, and the need of businesses was simple — if one heads from a Mumbai office to Delhi office, the access card, fingerprint system must be usable at both locations.
A decade later, the security industry would migrate to the IOT platform run by readily available Internet. To know that India’s Internet penetration is only set to explode, we predicted challenges to offices and households and created security solutions seamlessly riding on WiFi.
Break it Down
CCTVs are omnipresent, but there are many who need more layers of tech-based security. To know who’s knocking at your door, today all you need is a tap on your phone to have a conversation with the person and even open the door from your phone. This wasn’t really a need, but the industry warmed up to the savvy offering and evolved with it.
Breaking down market’s big opportunities is essential to success for any enterprise. We broke down ours into three - consumer, business and housing. When we put ourselves in the shoes of each, the business plan got simpler - the B2B customer is more intelligent, with layered needs and well-informed decisions, the household customer is simpler, with a single-point agenda.
For the business person looking for value-for-money, we got the camera working harder. Now it is responsible for loss prevention and providing business intelligence too, such as counting people and recognising faces.
We broke down solutions for housing societies as well - by educating them on the truths like ‘no maintenance,’ ‘no complex management’ etc. We spoke with families as well-wishers, not necessarily salespersons.
Offer Law-makers a Helping Hand
With a landscape such as India’s where policy makers and the police try day and night to curb crime, it is important for a business to assume a more inclusive, more responsible role. If you as an entrepreneur are trying to offer the same solutions as a governmental agency, it’s essential to work hand-in-hand and not necessarily compete as a ‘better’ player.
With the rising number of crimes emanating from phones and those against women, we developed the ZIMAN application, which protects personal data and alerts a contact during emergencies. With the government’s push for Aadhar, we wove in that feature for verification as well, taking personal security to a new level.Finally, needless to add in this age of technological wonders, it’s vital to foresee future trends and plan to tailor your offerings five years or a decade down the line. For instance, we are already exploring pathways in artificial intelligence, deep learning and bot technology, again with ‘simple solutions’ in mind. Earlier, security was about recording crimes and preventing them - now it is also about watching your kitchen, young ones, your businesses and your lifestyle.
Over 22 years of business experience has shown me all the trials, tribulations and the eventual success which has lead Zicom to become the differentiator in the marketplace. Setting trends and innovation is something that I always focus upon.
As the former National President of Fire & Security Association of India, I have always believed in value-based leadership and the integration of ideals in business functions.