‘Those who have transformed & innovated are the ones who have survived’

Dr. Mahesh Gupta of Kent RO Systems talks about Kent’s CamAttendance system, the relevance of innovation and adaptation, the brand’s marketing roadmap and further expansions

e4m by Ritika Raj
Updated: Dec 2, 2020 1:45 PM
Kent RO

While the festive season this year brought cheer to brands, post Diwali brands are focussing on the larger picture for sales, marketing and expansion in the Covid-19 driven era. With the launch of Kent CamAttendance, Dr. Mahesh Gupta, Chairman, Kent RO Systems, says that most brands have innovated and transformed according to the changing demands of the consumers.

Kent CamAttendance is an attendance management system based on artificial intelligence that uses facial recognition.

Last year, Kent stepped into the security domain and artificial intelligence arena with the launch of Kent CamEye, an automotive security device. This year, with Covid-19 as a catalyst, the brand has further forayed into the domain with Kent CamAttendance. “We felt the time was right and that we as a company felt confident that we can ensure safety at all levels. The company had first launched KENT CamEye, a next-gen car camera for ensuring the security of your loved ones and your car last year. And recently in wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, we launched a Next-Gen Touchless Attendance Management System based on face recognition,” says Gupta. He emphasizes on the changing needs of the consumer in today’s fast-paced life and the need for the company’s diversification from the kitchen appliances and purifiers segment.

Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, biometric attendance systems have been banned as they are touched by a lot of people and can be a critical transmitter of the coronavirus. As a repercussion and a safety measure, organizations have shifted back to the traditionally used manual attendance system. Giving impetus to the need for a touch-less mechanism for attendance systems, Gupta, says, “Most organisations have switched back to manual attendance, which is error-prone and difficult to manage especially for medium and large sized organizations. Hence, Kent CamAttendance is filling this lag and is doing pretty well with government offices, medium and large sized organizations which are the target audience. We have been approaching HR and making them aware of the Next-Gen Touchless Attendance based on Facial Recognition. And we have been getting a great response as this is this product is the need of the hour”.

Adapting To The Pandemic

The festive season this year was celebrated across the country during a global pandemic. However, brands were adaptive and used various strategies to attract consumers. This festive season did not disappoint Kent in terms of sales since it is a segment that also caters to health and personal care.  “This festive season we continued our marketing activities as before with a little more push on the digital front. The season was good as expected since we are in a segment that continues to thrive as health is still a priority; be it our water purifiers, air purifiers or smart kitchen appliances all have their own benefits and something that the consumers need all the more,” says Gupta.

While the pandemic has undoubtedly affected the economy and all businesses, Gupta believes that adapting and innovating with the new normal are the only ways of survival for all brands and businesses.  Gupta elaborates, “There is a paradigm change as brands have found alternative ways to reach their consumers.  Digital space has picked up immensely. Online sales as a channel is fast growing and will continue to witness more growth; as most brands have innovated and transformed the changing demands of the consumers. Also, those who have transformed and innovated are the ones who have survived, and also on expansion mode, those who have not been able to transform have been left out.”

Roadmap For Marketing Brand Kent

Last year, Kent signed actor Shah Rukh Khan as the brand ambassador for CamEye and the actor is also the brand ambassador for its new venture Kent Cam attendance. While Shah Rukh Khan is a name and face familiar to most households in the country, Gupta believes he also has a responsible image that connects well with the common people. Gupta explains “We are a very consumer-centric brand and from our brand ambassador to our marketing strategy is to develop a strong consumer connect; we chose Shah Rukh Khan owing to his mature and responsible image.”

As Digital has come out as a very powerful and preferred medium for brand communications as a result of the pandemic, Kent also increased its digital marketing spends and intends to do the same in the coming future. “We have increased our marketing budgets as we have forayed into the new artificial intelligence segment. Also, as the e-commerce market is evolving in wake of the pandemic, we have given our digital front a push as well. We are coming out with more ad campaigns and videos as they have been a great connecting point with our consumers,” explains Gupta.

Innovation and a steady line of product launches have been key at Kent. Going forward, Gupta aims to market Kent based on the brand’s ethos of consumer-centrism and innovation-orientedness. “Digitally we were already present, just that we have given it a further push.  Also, we are a consumer-centric brand that focusses on adding value to its offering. We will be adding new products with added features and innovative technology and that is how we will be moving along.”

Expansion To International Markets

The company is projecting Rs 1,000 crore revenue this year and while the revenue plans are on track, the company is also eyeing expansion to international markets. The brand enjoys a significant demand in certain foreign countries and is planning on increasing exports in those countries. “The company is planning to double its exports. The company exports products to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Kuwait, Nepal and has also entered GCC Market. There is an immense demand for our product both within the country and outside. With an effective supply chain, we can meet this demand,” Gupta added.

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