Interview with Shyam Motwani, Business Head, Godrej Locking Solutions and Systems
Shyam Motwani, Executive Vice President & Business Head, Godrej Locking Solutions and Systems, Godrej & Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd. brief on the advancements in security and locking solutions and company’s products.
The Godrej locking solutions & systems division was established in 1897 and since then has incorporated various technology advancements like the first spring-less lock in 1907, the ‘NavTal’ in 1954, the Ultra range in 1995 and the latest 3KS in 2007. The company caters to many verticals including residential, offices, industrial, nuclear power, petroleum sector , telecom, renewable energy,post and telegraphs, airports, etc. “Apart from standard products, we customize the solutions as per the client requirement. All the airports like Hyderabad airport and second phase of Bengaluru airport have locks and master keys engineered by the company. We are also providing services to many Public Sector Undertakings (PSU), canteen stores, police canteens and PWD. The company product portfolio includes institutional, retail and customized products that are available in India and abroad. The products adhere to global quality norms and hold ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certifications.We have a large presence in Middle East i.e. UAE, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, all parts of Africa – mainly Southern, Central, East and West Africa, Sri Lanka and Nepal,” Motwani added.
What is the Locking solution market scenario and company’s marketing strategy?
In the locking products business, more than 55 per cent market is unorganised and in the architectural hardware, about 40 per cent of the players are unorganised. In the kitchen fittings business also, other than a few known brands, rest all belong to the unorganised sector. However, the local brands are focused on a small geographical location and lack technological expertise.Our marketing strategy involves both the B2C approach and the B2B business methodology.
We do regular research and communication with the end user, interact with architects and interior designers and organize meets with carpenters and contractors to educate them as well as understand the market requirements. The company offers products through the regular retail channel and the online medium for the end users. We also have appointed distributors and direct dealers for retail and institutional sales.
What are the major challenges facing the segment?
The challenge faced by this segment is unique. We first have to create awareness among all the stakeholders from developer, architect and home owner about the importance of security. More than awareness, it is about the desire to take the subject of security seriously. Owner or architect would rather spend lavishly on floor tiles, bathrooms and interiors but,when it comes to locking system for the home which is apparently going to secure the home and its occupants, they do not do as much research. The door locking system & solutions form a small percentage of the overall budget but its significance cannot be undermined. So our main task becomes to make people understand the importance of buying the correct locking solutions and the right product fit.
We focused largely on influencers like carpenters, contractors, architects and interior designers. Influencer management is our marketing strategy.
What are the new technologies being used in this segment?
There is a massive technology upgrade happening around the mechanical locking systems. The physical key has gone through transformations such as from 3K technology it evolved to 3K Plus and is now going on to 4K i.e. the 4-curve system which is the most resistant system among mechanical locking systems. The products are transforming in their appearance as well. With demand for matching interior, the locking devices too are becoming more aesthetic. The manufacturing facilities too are becoming eco-friendly with focus on re-use and re-cycle.
We use European technology that we customize in part to offer bespoke solutions to Indian clients. Some of our distinctive products are the ones that offer the highest resistance to break in. For example: the Vertiboldmain door rim locks come with concealed screws and bolts for a clean surface, are ergonomically designed for maximum utility and have knob safety for privacy.
Apart from the most basic lever technology, the company was the first to introduce computerised key. We now offer electronic locks like i-secure with Rim lock, with Keypad Mortise Lock, with Biometric Lock etc. We are working on solutions around biometric, fingerprints, touchpad, keypad, password protection; plastic card based technology as well as NFC based application. We also have the master key and the common key systems.