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BW Businessworld

'We Don't Sell Products, We Sell Safety'

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Founded in 1994, Zicom was the first to offer home security systems in India. With operations in over five countries, 400 cities in India and over one million customers and with Rs 450 crore in annual sales, Zicom Electronic Security Systems can be seen in the popular reality show Bigg Boss season six, where it acts as the CCTV surveillance partner. Pramoud Rao,  the promoter managing director of Zicom Electronic Security Systems, oversees strategic planning, local and international partnerships, acquisitions, marketing, sales, technical and branding of the security company. In an email interview with BW Online's Poonam Kumar, he explained the advantage of installing security gadgets at home.
Who is the target customer for your security products? 
Zicom provides security as a holistic solution across all verticals, B2B, B2C and B2G (business to government).   We offer services as a strategic differentiator using hardware and software only as an enabler.  It's our belief that consumers, don't buy products, they buy safety. With our holistic services approach, we are able to offer consumers end-to-end solutions aimed at delivering peace of mind, at a nominal rate. 
Who are your clients? 
We have clients across various verticals. In retail, we service Bharati Walmart, Gitanjali, D' dmas, Kimaya Fashion, McDonald, William Pens. In banking we serve HSBC, Kotak Mahindra, ICICI, Saraswat Cooperative, Indus Sind, Federal, etc. Among NBFCs, we service IIFL, Mini Muthood, HDFC Ergo to name a few. 
Who are your competitors? 
When it comes to pure product sales, we compete with all the multinational companies, like Honeywell, Schneider, Bosch, Tyco etc. Since we have just started pioneering the Make Cities Safe  (MCS) and e-SaaS (electronic security as a service) projects, we expect competition in the next few months. 
You have tied up with Tulip Infratech. Can you tell us more about the project? 
The Tulip Housing project located at Sohna Road, Gurgaon, is one of the biggest projects with more than 5,000 flats. We will provide security to the project via state-of-the-art technological innovations and services, including video door phones, access control cards and radio frequency identification (RFID) sensors.
The apartments will have video door phones (VDP) with two-tier security that will include installation of a lobby station that will have RFID-based access card system as well. Any visitor will be required to dial the respective destination flat. The resident will be able to see the visitor in their lobby from inside their house before opening the door.  The entire project will require 5,000 VDP and seven lobby camera stations with integrated card reader. A resident will simply have to show the card at the lobby panel and the main glass door will open automatically with the help of electromagnetic locks.
What is the Cities Safe concept?
The eco system protecting our homes today is unreliable and unsafe. The buildings where we live have practically no security. There is no authentic record of visitors, services staff, food delivery services, etc. Further, housing societies are shy about investing in security due to cost, technologies obsolescence, daily management of security devices, concerns of service and return on investments. 
Under Make Cities Safe project, Zicom offers CCTV surveillance systems to housing societies with all the benefits without having to own or manage it. There is neither capital investment nor the headache of what technology to purchase plus the added advantage of not having to maintain or manage the system daily. The housing society pays a monthly nominal service fee to Zicom. 
We launched MCS on 26 January, 2012 with a pledge to make our cities safe. Currently our system is installed in over 1,000 residential buildings in Mumbai in just six months, Zicom takes the responsibility of awareness, education and training of residents on various household safety and security aspects. 
What are all the products Zicom has to offer?
 a) Home Alarm Systems - Door Sensors, Motion Sensor, Glass Break Sensors and Gas Leak Sensor;
 b) Finger Print Locks;
 c) Video Door Phone ranging from a 4 inch screen to a wide variety of 7 inch screens including Touchpad Technology;
 d) CCTV Cameras - IP based DIY kits are also available.   
How beneficial are the security products for household system? 
Nowadays, families are nuclear in nature, with both parents working and children being left to be taken care by others. Our dependence on outsourced resources has increased drastically and so has the crime conducted by these "dependable" outsourced resources. It has therefore become imperative for us to protect what we value the most. 
The advantage of installing security gadgets at home is that they make you and your loved ones feel safe. While CCTV is reactive in nature and would only be able to provide circumstantial evidence of any wrongdoing, alarm systems are more of an active measure that detect unauthorised intrusion and deters the criminal from carrying out his intentions. The alarm can be raised locally as well as remotely.
What is Zicom's most popular product line in India? 
Our hot selling products are our video range- video door phones, low-end CCTV cameras and digital recorders. 
What is your business plan post sale of integration business to Schneider Electric?
Zicom has always been driving the markets with pioneering initiatives. We pioneered the category of Electronic Security in 1994. Currently, we are pioneering a new concept called e-SaaS (Electronic Security as a Service) and another new concept called Make Cities Safe (MCS). Both concepts are pathbreaking and unique in many ways. We have no competition in e-SaaS and MCS. 
What are the services offered under e-SaaS? 
Under E SaaS, Zicom Command Centre is the focus of attention. The current services we offer are :-
  •  Remote  monitoring and management of Fire Alarm System
  • Remote monitoring and management of Intruder Alarm System
  •  MAaaS - Managed Alert as a Service ( Monitors the health of Digital Recorders )
  • Time and Attendance on Cloud
  •  People counting solutions for retail stores
What is Zicom's new business strategy? 
Zicom is re-entering the retail security business by offering our products in shop-in-shop formats, large format stores, electronic retail stores, e commerce portals etc. 
There is now greater focus on brand building, expanding our services offering with geographical spread and profitable growth.