Pradhyumna T. Venkat CEO, Gemini Traze
Gemini TRAZE RFID Pvt. Ltd. is a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Product Design and Manufacturing Company involved in providing products and solutions for diverse RFID applications. It is the first company in India to manufacture and market RFID-based Tags, Readers and Antennas under the brand name “TRAZE”. Gemini TRAZE has proven capabilities in the RFID market, which is set to revolutionize Supply Chain Management and replace traditional methods in product tracking. The company has successfully completed over 150 installations with as many clients worldwide.
The RFID market is in its last test stage as Retailers such as Wal-Mart, Target, Tesco, Metro and US Department of Defense are currently in the second phase of RFID supply chain mandates. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is also pressing for automatic identification processes within pharmaceutical supply chains (with an unwritten preference for RFID). In response, many major corporations are piloting, evaluating and deploying RFID and as such the supply chain-centric RFID remains the focal point of the industry.
What are the products ranges you have right now?
We manufacture the following RFID products on the Passive (13.56 MHz & 865 MHz) and Active (433 MHz & 865 MHz) platform. (i) Tags – Tags subscribe to Global RFID Standards (ISO 14443 A&B, 15693 and 18000, EPC Gen II) and are available in multiple form factors (Inlays, labels, cards, key fob, wrist bands, Mount on Metal, hard packaged, etc.), (ii) Readers – Short, Mid and Long Range read capabilities are available with a host of different communication interfaces (Serial, USB, W-ireless, etc.), (iii) Antennas – Custom-designed antennas to suit a specific application/need that result in maximum read accuracy and performance, and (iv)–Packaged & Customized Products – Readers and Antennas are custom-designed to fit the needs of a specific application.
What are the verticals you are targeting?
The major verticals that we plan to target this year are Industrial and Manufacturing sector, Retail, Healthcare, Government, Defence and Educational Institutions.
What is your business and marketing strategy?
The company is embarking on a four-pronged business strategy to market its products and services in the RFID segment –
(i) Manufacturing – Build a state-of-the-art infrastructure for manufacturing Tags, Readers and Antennas. Establish clientele in India and overseas.
(ii) Channel Partners / Resellers – Appoint exclusive channel partners to address the SME segment. Train them on RFID products and services. Same model to be replicated for exports.
(iii) Direct Marketing – Shall address the high-end customers and complex implementation. Shall also provide the necessary support to channel partners. (iv) Specific segments – Shall continuously work on identifying specific segments like security agencies, smart card companies, etc. Shall offer readymade solutions to identified specified segments.
The company has designed the four-pronged business model to capture the RFID market on the strength of its R&D, software and hardware skills, implementation experience in the infant industry, the existing RFID clientele and of its parent.
According to VDC research, the RFID hardware revenue will grow at a CAGR of 27.6 per cent through 2008 to US$3.2 billion. The company has well-defined plans to play a major role in the manufacturing space, as at present there is no serious player with a full-fledged manufacturing facility in India.
Considering the entry barriers in this technology-driven industry, with quite a few successful installations and sales breakthroughs, Gemini Traze is miles ahead of its competition to capture the No. 1 slot in this segment.
What is your distribution structure?
TRAZE provides Sales and Technical support in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Coimbatore and Hyderabad, in addition to Chennai, where it is headquartered. Our go-to-market approach is through focussed and accredited business partners who undergo training on our products and solutions on signing up with us. As a product company engaged in designing and manufacturing RFID products, TRAZE leverages on a strong set of channel partners with strong domain understanding to aid deployment and support.
How many channel partners you are currently working with?
TRAZE has over 100 partners in India and over 25 overseas. The majority of the partners are concentrated in the metros. The profiles of our partners could be classified under the following categories:
* Barcode Solution Providers who work on SCM, Warehousing and manufacturing applications on RFID
* Pure-play System Integrators who typically work on a medium/large scale System integration requirements on RFID
* Software service and product companies which develop applications on their respective domains
* Security System Companies which combine RFID with other security solutions offering
* Business Consultancy firms who do consulting on RFID-based solutions
Any other channel plan or initiative? What are the benefits you provide to your partners?
We are looking at expanding our partner base in non-metros. Non-metro cities offer good potential, given the number of industrial establishments coming up in these regions. We already have partners in Coimbatore, Tiruppur, Hosur, Pune, Nashik, Gurgaon, Noida, Vizag, Ahmedabad and Surat representing our products and solutions, and are looking at expanding our partner base in these and other regions as well.
Associating with TRAZE gives the Business Partners an advantage of working with an organization that understands this technology and market. We have gone through the learning curve and have an implementation experience of more than 300 projects in diverse applications and verticals. We have managed to stretch the limits of the technology and clearly know the pitfalls and limitations of this technology. We will pass on this knowledge and experience to our business partners and hand-hold them in both pre- and post-sales areas. Our solutions are customized for specific applications that are demanded by the industry and of course the cost benefit gives them a definite advantage.
We organize monthly and quarterly training to all our business partners. New Channel partners undergo training on the technology, products and solutions scheduled every month for two days. The first day is more of a technology and product orientation, while the second day of training is more of a hands-on training on the working of products and provides real-time deployment experience. The programme is designed to familiarize the channel partners’ sales and technical support persons with the merits of RFID over conventional Auto-ID technologies and deployment methods and challenges. On completion of training, we award “Accredited TRAZE Partner” status to the partner organization and also provide certificates to persons who have completed the training.
How do you plan to tap this market?
We are constantly on the lookout for specialized partners in various domains / verticals to strengthen our channel ecosystem. We believe that this technology has the potential to percolate in every industry segment. We are looking for System Integrators and software companies in these areas:
* Attendance & Access Control
* Authentication (Passport, Licence, etc.)
* Security Patrol Tracking
* Transaction Management (Healthcare, Payment, Loyalty, etc.)
• Library Management • File / Document Tracking (Land documents, Certificates, Currency, etc.)
• Asset Management (IT, Non-IT, Industrial-Cylinders, Containers, etc.)
• Vehicle & Car Park Management Product ID Pallet / Carton and Item Level Tagging
• Work in Progress
• Inventory / Warehouse Management (Finished Good Tracking)
• Point of Sales
What is your service support strategy?
Besides the 24 x 7 email and phone support through our trained personnel, our technical support team stationed at various locations across India offer their on-site services within three hours of any reported issue. For our products under warranty, we offer a next day on-site replacement support. The post-deployment support also includes –
* 100% tag read guarantee for all deployments
* Integration support to any middleware or third-party application software
* Tracking and ensuring tangible and intangible Return on Investment
How do you promote your brand?
We regularly participate in RFID-focussed expos, conferences and seminars, apart from conducting quarterly road shows / educational tracks on the use of RFID in different applications / verticals. Monthly mailers are sent to partners and end-users that detail the developments in technology, successful case studies of implementations and strategy for deployment. This helps to educate the industry on the technology maturity.
What are the challenges you face?
The availability of basic IT infrastructure for data storage and communication along with robust integrated information systems for data processing and mining is a pre-requisite for RFID deployment to provide the desired benefits. System scalability needs to be addressed right at the start and preparation of legacy IT systems and applications for real-time data is a must for efficient data collection and processing. Incorporation of RFID will necessitate a new look at existing business processes. As requirements and technological evolutions arise, companies will have to revisit their standard practices if they expect to gain new efficiencies from RFID. They will need to ensure that there is a high level of compatibility in the integration of RFID within the facility – how the physical layout is organized, how labour is deployed and even how the equipment itself is constructed. The good news is that this level of change can prompt even better practices that otherwise would not have occurred.
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