Q&A: We talk identification, security and tracking with Screencheck ME

CEO Faisal Mohamed, and COO Shaji Abdul Kadar on how new technologies are making the GCC a safer and more efficient place

The world of identification, surveillance and security has advanced dramatically in recent years. How are new technologies improving the security standards of Gulf countries?

The Gulf countries, especially the UAE, have been some of the early adopters of technology. The top down approach by the UAE government has had a significant impact on how the latest advancements have been successfully integrated into our everyday life.

Anybody entering the country is witness to how immigration officials have used some of the advancements in biometric technology and document processing to enable seamless entry and exit points.

Law enforcement agencies have successfully integrated new technologies into various identification and verification methods, enabling more accurate and effortless ways of identifying and preventing crime.

Within the corporate sector too, we are able to witness an urgency to implement advanced tech with regard to access control. The introduction of unmanned surveillance and integration of artificial intelligence has further added an impetus to the whole process.

 

Screencheck ME CEO, Faisal Mohamed 

Areas such as video surveillance, biometrics, and RFID have at times met resistance from the general public due to concerns over privacy. Are these concerns valid, or are they the result of a lack of understanding of the technology?

Privacy and security are two sides of the same coin. Certain past incidents have created fear among the public about the safety of their data, but technology has been advancing and there are enough mechanisms in place today to ensure that data does not fall into the wrong hands.

Companies are today spending much more on securing their database. That makes it even more compelling for the public to be open to the adoption of new tech.

How can the new technologies used by Screencheck ME make workplaces more efficient?

Since its inception in 1990, Screencheck ME has been working closely with its partners to introduce new technology to its vast clientele across the region.

Our focus has been towards improving the efficiency of the workplace. Whether it is a simple attendance and time management solution or an RFID based asset or inventory tracking solution.

Our RFID solutions include tracking assets and files, people visibility, emergency evacuation, keys and weapons visibility, condition monitoring, and more.

Our products and solutions addresses requirements from diversified industries including corporate, healthcare, hospitality, government, corporations, educational institutes supply chain, healthcare, retail, oil and gas, and events, among others.

 

Screencheck ME COO, Shaji Abdul Kadar

What are the challenges in introducing new innovations to the market?

The speed at which new technology is being adopted by market forces is more rapid than previous decades. It took much longer for desktops to replace typewriters than it is 5G to replace 4G and 3G. Having said that, there are challenges, the most significant being budgetary constraints for IT.

Technology is changing so fast that it is not easy to replace an existing infrastructure with new ones, unless there is a disruptive advantage.

Business decisions are also based on the return on investment and affordable tech is more easily adopted. Customer education is also a key factor for success.

 

How has business been for Screencheck ME in the past 12 months? Where have been the biggest growth areas, and where do you foresee further growth?

For Centena Group as a whole, of which Screencheck is a division, 2018 has been a year of growth and profitability. However, as Sanjay Raghunath our chairman and managing director points out, the focus is on creating value into human lives. With that key mission, most of our other divisions have been working towards introducing new technology that can add value to life.

Meanwhile, Screencheck has benefitted from the momentum created by a wave of new security and identification tech solutions. The biggest growth area for us last year was from the biometrics and RFID.  Saudi Arabia is going to be one of the fastest growing territories for us in the coming years, and we have a very stable market growth year-on-year in Africa through our channel distribution network.

 

What makes Screencheck ME different from its competitors?

Our solutions are designed and developed with our motto of ‘innovate today with a vision for tomorrow’. Our business ethics prioritise customer satisfaction over everything else and we believe in developing long-term relations with our partners by delivering quality products and services to ensure customer satisfaction.

Happy customers are always repeat customers. To ensure this, we emphasise on quality awareness among our employees and motivate them to proliferate quality deliverables to our partners.

We distribute products from the world’s leading brands in identification, biometrics, RFID and video surveillance with the vision of being a one stop point for all our dealers for their products requirements. We are the number one distributor for Zebra, Evolis, Datacard, Bravo, Suprema, Impinj RFID & IRIS CMITech, TISO and others across the GCC, Middle East and Africa.

We work with more than 150 resellers, have the largest inventory stock in the region, operate with specialised project managers, run extended warranty programmes, and have an authorised service centre with dedicated customer support and factory-trained engineers.

 

Which tech trends do you think will shine through in the months ahead? Where do you think businesses will focus their tech budgets? 

Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things are the two tech trends that will change our industry. Every industry is trying to adopt these trends but security and tracking solutions using these technologies will completely change how we do business today. 

We are witnessing high security access control solutions moving to IRIS technology, thanks to CMITech – one of our principals in bringing cost-effective IRIS technology readers. Very soon we will also be able to see IRIS readers at points of sale and ATMs.

We are seeing that food tags are becoming smart. F&B retailers are adopting smart food tags printed in food-friendly plastic printed in special tag printer with more information well organised. The new hygienic, easy-to- print and manage solution from Edikio by Evolis is a timely alternative to existing illegible and unattractive paper and plastic card displays, currently used across food chains in the region.

Companies will allocate their tech budget based on the return on investment. Any solution which improves efficiency and improve profitability will be on the list for the organisations to implement.