You are a leading manufacturer of switches and home automation. How has this concept evolved over the years?
Till a decade ago, the industry was quite stagnant with the biggest innovation in the sector being a slight change in design of the switch or cover plate. But the past decade, especially the last few years, have seen some dramatic changes. There’s been a flood of new designs, technology-driven usage and innovative products. The whole sector seems to be evolving at a rapid pace which is really exciting. It’s great news for the customer and for companies like us who have always focussed on innovative products.
Goldmedal was amongst the first companies in India to introduce modular colour plates and inserts almost a decade back. Since then we have been introducing many exciting products in the market. The Home Automation series was launched a few years back with an RF Remote Control – a first in India.The company recently launched the i-Home Automation system that allows control from anywhere in the world using any smartphone or computer. This technology is again quite unique as it involves no re-wiring.
The exciting news is not that such products are getting developed but the ready acceptance of such products amongst the masses. We’ve noticed that whenever we participate in an exhibition, the biggest draw for audiences are the latest technology-based products. We are not surprised by this reaction because Indian consumers have changed quite a bit from what they were a decade back; they are willing to experiment more – they are willing to spend more if they’re convinced it’s worth it – and they are keen to introduce technology in their daily life.
This sector is going to see some
serious innovation in the next few years. We feel that the pace at which such developments are happening will only increase further and we foresee technology playing a pivotal role in making the whole experience simpler and more seamless. As a company that is focussed on creating innovative products, we plan to be amongst the leaders in this space.
With the boom in the realty sector, what are some of the automated elements that are in demand? How does Goldmedal cater to these demands?
We feel that the shift has happened where Indians simply want the very best experience when they return home after a hard day’s work. They are no longer willing to put up with dull paints or bad lighting or boring switches; they want their house to reflect their lifestyle, their personality, their hopes and dreams. And they don’t mind the neighbours witnessing it. So they are willing to explore and see the best that’s available.
Goldmedal has a range of exciting automated as well as mechanical switches and modular inserts that can match the expectations of this audience. The wonderful part about Goldmedal’s product range is that it has been developed keeping Indian audiences and conditions in mind. Right from colours to materials to the electronic parts used, Goldmedal products have been developed to deliver a wonderful, lasting experience.
In terms of automation, we have solutions where users can control devices remotely from anywhere in the house and even from anywhere in the world. The most exciting feature of the automation setup is that you can upgrade from your existing system to ours without changing a single wire or drilling even a single new hole. You simply retrofit Goldmedal’s Home Automation products into your existing wiring and you’re ready to go. Control is through the RF based remote control or if you prefer, using your smart phone, laptop or computer.
Could you tell us about some R&D that the company is involved in? What can we expect inthe near future?
While we are focusing on technology as the driver for future innovation, we realise that it’s aesthetics and ease of use that will eventually convince the user to accept a product. So along with getting the latest technology on offer, we spend an enormous amount of time getting the look and feel along with the functionality of the product right. We experiment with the material, colours, textures and features in our R&D department to make sure that the eventual product is much more than what the customer expects.
Sometimes technology is not always affordable. How do you convince Indian consumers to adopt technology that will enhance their life?
It’s incorrect to assume that all technology is unaffordable. In fact, that’s a misconception that we want to clear with our range of Home Automation products. All our Automation products are reasonably priced compared to competing brands. It is easily affordable for any middle class family that wants to take advantage of the benefits that technology offers.But it’s not always the initial cost that’s always the dampener. Sometimes it’s installation and maintenance that can really upset your budget. These are areas where Goldmedal scores well because we have thought about them and have developed products in such a way that the customer incurs almost zero additional installation or maintenance cost. Because our automation products can be installed in the existing wiring there is no need to rewire your home or office simply because you want to upgrade. Since it’s so easy to install, maintenance can also be done equally simply by any qualified electrician.
The reasonable cost of the products, the zero additional cost in installation and maintenance are big factors that have convinced a lot of people to upgrade to our automation. Other factors include the absolute simplicity of using the products and the many advantages that upgrading to automated products provide. You can programme your electrical devices to work as per your need and convenience and you can do it from wherever you are. Automation thus provides flexibility, convenience, power saving and a lot more at a small additional price.
Please tell us about some of the latest products to emerge from Goldmedal and its advantages.
The latest product range that we’ve introduced is the i-Home Automation that we launched last year. We had already launched the Home Automation system a few years back that allowed users to control electrical devices from anywhere in their home. The i-Home Automation is a huge leap forward as it allows control from anywhere in the world.
Using the i-Home Automation application, users can control electrical devices through their smartphone, tablet or laptop and control individual devices as well as a group of devices. The user can also create pre-defined scenarios that will get automatically activated at a particular time on a particular day. This makes everything work efficiently even in the absence of the user.
Tell us a little of the advanced manufacturing facility at your three manufacturing units.
Goldmedal has its headquarters in Mumbai, Maharashtra and over 5 lakh sq-ft of manufacturing facilities with ISO:9001 certification across India. The company follows national as well as international standards for its manufacturing process. Our products carry the ISI mark. We’ve also been certified OHSAS 18001 (Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems). Our manufacturing units are equipped with the latest, state-of-the-art machinery, testing and quality assurance facilities.