Established in 1991, Matrix is a leader in Security & Telecom solutions for modern businesses and enterprises. As an innovative, technology driven and customer focused organization, the company is committed to keep pace with the revolutions in its domain. With around 40 per cent of its human resources dedicated to the development of new products, Matrix has launched cutting-edge products like Video Surveillance Systems – Video Management System, Network Video Recorder and IP Camera, Access Control and Time-Attendance Systems as well as Telecom Solutions. The company has won many international awards for its innovative products. Industrial Health & Safety Review speaks to Ganesh Jivani, Managing Director, Matrix Comsec to find out how his company has faced the challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis and how it has adapted itself to the new normal. Excerpts:
I believe the world would emerge more efficient from the COVID-19 crisis
– Ganesh Jivani, Managing Director, Matrix Comsec
Q. COVID-19 situation has created an unusual situation for many manufacturers. How has it been for MATRIX COMSEC so far?
Matrix operates in security and telecom industries which are infrastructure solutions. Our business was impacted in the same way as other industries were impacted. With most of the industries closed, April was really bad for us. May was at about 30%. Matrix was one the first companies to resume operations as soon as the first lockdown was over. Therefore, things started recovering from June onwards. Honestly, we expected the slump to persist longer. But fortunately for Matrix, demand recovered earlier than we expected. In particular, our exports are doing better.
It was a challenge to resume work at the factory and our offices. Obviously, we were scared. We were grappling with two opposites – safety and business continuity. We realized COVID might not vanish in a few weeks as assumed in the beginning. Once this realization set in, we committed to balancing both – safety and business. But safety has been our first priority; business as the immediate next priority.
We are living in a highly-integrated and interdependent world. We depend on the components, sub-contractors, service providers, customs, and logistics companies. No company can operate in isolation. We faced significant challenges due to disruption in the upstream supply chain and are still struggling to get back to pre-COVID efficiency.
Q. In your view, what will be the impact of the pandemic on the overall business scenario and especially on the security segment? What is your strategy to tackle the economic slowdown?
First, multiple lockdowns practically closed all the industrial and economic activities and affected all industries including the security industry. Fortunately, we are not in the tourism, hospitality or airlines industry which are bearing the brunt and still reeling under economic slump.
Specifically, Matrix’s video surveillance industry has not fared any better or worse than other industries. If at all, with remote working and restriction on travelling, the need for video surveillance and remote monitoring has increased. Matrix offers end-to-end IP video surveillance solutions including network cameras, network video recorders and video management systems. From this perspective, we are at the right place at the right time.
On the other hand, Matrix’s people mobility management solutions using fingerprint biometric
technology were more affected due to the fear of infection. To respond to the changing customer preferences, we are promoting our contactless technologies such as Face Recognition, Mobile based Identification, QR Code based identification, etc. With focus on contactless identification solutions, we are promoting contactless Face Recognition and mobile-based Access Control Solution.
These identification technologies eliminate hygiene concerns. Further, considering the constraints in physical installation, we have increased its focus on Cloud solutions. Fortunately, we see some upward swing in demand for biometric fingerprint products.
Finally, Matrix’s telecom business stood us in good stead even during such turbulent times. As more people work remotely, more communication and collaboration tools will be essential for the exchange of information. Scattered people need more communication and collaboration tools. Matrix offers Unified Communication solutions on a wide range of platforms and devices including desk phones, softphones on PC, mobile apps, etc.
Overall, security has become a more critical and challenging business issue during the pandemic. Customers are increasing depending on new-generation security solutions and equipment. Most new-generation security equipment offers integration, remote administration, monitoring and real-time alerts and notifications. So, those organizations who have already invested in cutting-edge security technology are definitely better off than those who are still relying on traditional security equipment.
Q. What initiatives have you taken to make sure of business continuity while ensuring employee well-being during these challenging times?
We made safety first as the guiding policy to help us navigate through the current turbulent period. Accordingly, we have implemented all the safety protocols advised by the government to ensure well-being of our employees and associates.
All safety norms are strictly followed including social distancing at work places and in common areas such as cafeterias, thermal screening, virtual meetings, wearing masks, regular cleaning, awareness and training through mails and public announcement systems, providing cleaning-sanitizing material closer to the people, etc. Finally, we have also formed a task force for strict implementation and monitoring to prevent a few bravehearts creating risk for others.
Q. What are the latest technology innovations presented by MATRIX COMSEC to combat the pandemic?
Matrix is investing heavily in Intelligent Video Analytics based on Deep Learning technologies. We are building IVA servers and embedded platforms running these algorithms. Some of the algorithms we have designed are: Face Recognition, Face Recognition with Mask, Mask Detection and Fake Face Detection. Further, we are launching COSEC ARGO FR Access Control and Time-Attendance controller with Face Recognition and Fake Face Detection for Time-Attendance and Access Control Applications. This intelligent door controller is equipped with two cameras – a surveillance-grade camera that captures the user identity and an IR camera for fake face detection. With a blend of performance and aesthetics, COSEC ARGO is the right choice of modern organizations. Further, Matrix has also launched Mobile based Identification using BLE and QR Code based Identification.
Q. Any specific case study you would like to share?
We have successfully deployed Face Recognition with many large customers for their People Mobility applications such as Time-Attendance, Contract Workers Management, Cafeteria Management, Access Control, etc. We have implemented these solutions at many large organizations including L & T, LM Wind Power, Dubai Taxi Corporation UAE, DAMAC UAE, Khimji Ramdas (KR) Oman and many others.
Q. How are you ensuring that customer experience is not hampered during the crisis?
Matrix serves customers in 50+ countries and many of them are multi-location enterprises. These organizations rely on Matrix solutions for their operations. Being a technology-driven company, we are very comfortable leveraging technology in all areas of our operations including customer support. Matrix technical support tools including CRM are accessible remotely and all our engineers are able to continue supporting our customers. Matrix technical support continued its operations 24x7x365 without even a single day of break. Because the lockdown was sudden, Matrix HR and Admin delivered laptops and other tools to the engineers’ homes to ensure the engineers continued working from their homes.
Q. What, in your view, can companies learn from the crisis in terms of planning and preparedness?
Every crisis throws new challenges at us but also brings opportunities. As part of preparedness, we have established WFH infrastructure and processes. Our sales teams are trained on managing end-to-end sales remotely including lead generation, presentations, POC and closures. I already talked about technical support engineers offering 24x7x365 support remotely. Our managers and team leaders have established methods and learnt to manage teams scattered at multiple locations and still working towards common objectives and achieving quality, timeline and cost targets. Of course, all this is possible only when we create necessary infrastructure and all the people are trained on using the technologies and tools for remote working and remote collaboration. Lastly, I believe the world would emerge more efficient from this crisis if we master the art of remote working instead of relying on the traditional travel and physical, face-to-face meetings and interactions.
INDUSTRIAL HEALTH & SAFETY REVIEW provides cognitive exchange of information on the health, safety & security Industry, which will facilitate you keep updated on a real time basis.
Please follow our magazine page and also join our LinkedIn Group- exclusive group created for manufacturing professionals community
Join us on LinkedIn Group : https://www.linkedin.com/groups/10476757/
Follow us on LinkedIn : https://www.linkedin.com/company/industrial-safety-review