ZKTeco, a manufacturer of biometric products headquartered in China, decided a few years ago to open international subsidiaries in strategic markets to offer a better service to its global customers. One of the markets chosen was South Africa.
The South Africa office was launched in a garage on 16 October 2009 in Hartbeespoort, North West province. The company (then called ZKSoftware) started as a service office which facilitated imports from China, run by Hendrik Combrinck and two Chinese personnel.
Combrinck says the market was “a bit sceptical in the beginning because they were not used to Chinese companies doing this. Normally the relationships in the South African security market with Chinese companies were long-distance relationships, communicating via email and Skype.”
In 2010 the company moved to Corporate Wellness Park with five newly employed personnel. The business started growing and the company became a distribution company known as ZKTeco. More resources and programmers were hired as the company grew.
Combrinck adds that the company has grown from having two employees in 2009 to having close to 40 in 2019. “The sales also grew exponentially every year and the company’s innovation has seen it adding new product lines every year, which has given us a huge boost in the market.”
He says that biometrics has always been the backbone of ZKTeco globally. “The philosophy we have always used in all our markets is that we want to offer good quality biometric and security products at affordable prices so the masses can have access to this technology. The fingerprint products have always been our most popular, but we have seen a shift towards facial biometrics in the last two years. We have also invested in new computer vision technologies and algorithms, and we feel that facial and other touchless technologies will be the future of this market.”
Today, ZKTeco South Africa has its own building situated in Hartbeespoort and the 1000 m2 ZKTeco Experience Centre in Centurion will be the showcase of all ZK’s products, solutions and innovations. It will officially launch in January 2020.
Looking ahead, Combrinck notes: “We have no doubt that ZKTeco South Africa will show tremendous growth in the next five years because of all the add-on product lines we will introduce. We will be introducing a new surveillance series early in 2020 where facial recognition will be a standard feature in our IP and analogue ranges.
“We will also launch our new Atlas controllers that will change the access controller market dramatically in South Africa. Our entrance control products, which include our turnstiles, flap barriers, speed gates, boom barriers, etc. have also received a much needed upgrade and we feel that we are finally ready to stake our claim in South Africa.”
The company will also be venturing into IoT technology with a strategic alliance with Tuya, an IoT platform. Customers can expect ZKTeco to launch a full range of smart home and smart office products and platforms in 2020.
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