Hi-Tech Security Solutions spoke to Tasker Makings, MD of Procam.
Hi-Tech Security Solutions: Tell us about Procam.
Tasker Makings: The company was started in 2002 as a result of research done both here and in the USA. It centred on an American Congressional report advising American manufacturers about the South African market. The salient points of that report were:
* That the CCTV Industry would experience an annual growth of in the order of 35% per year.
* That as a result of the SA government’s inability to curb crime, the SA security industry would continue to grow.
* That with the advances in technology pricing would go down and equipment would improve.
The first three years we underwent a steep learning curve educating ourselves about CCTV and finding a strong stable of suppliers. When we think back about this period we realise we paid dearly for mistakes we made in the choice of suppliers. We finally found our niche in the market as CCTV wholesale suppliers, supplying some of the biggest players in the market. We act mainly as distributors but we offer training for free and do client problem solving.
We have been fortunate in this industry as it has grown at least as well as predicted by the American Congress. The technological advances have been unbelievable. Prices have come down and goods have improved exponentially. Future growth will depend largely on the quality after-sales service and product back up and training, and it is in these areas we take extra precautions to excel. It is a known fact that if your customer service index is high then the business will prosper.
HSS: Do you operate only in the South African market or up into Africa as well?
Makings: We operate across South Africa and sell to 15 African countries north of our borders. In addition, we have sales in the UK and Holland.
HSS: Procam was recently appointed as a Geovision distributor. What are your plans for Geovision in the South African market?
Makings: Geovision has the potential to achieve a standing in the market place similar to HikVision and AV Tech. In order to achieve this we have broken the goods into three categories
a.) Access control.
b.) Compression cards.
c.) Rest of the goods and analytical software.
Each category requires individual attention so we have three departments to deal with Geovision products. Geovision has been in SA for the past nine years and for a number of reasons has not attained the status of the two manufacturers mentioned above. Some of the more influential clients that Geovision supports are organisations such as Lufthansa, the Israeli Police, the Shanghai Container Depot (third largest in the world), Jakarta City System and the Rio Bus Company which has Geovision on board 2000 buses.
HSS: What other brands do you sell? Do you provide support and training?
Makings: Our brands are: AV-Tech, Wonwoo, Jinggong, Dali, SREE CCTV, Chateau Corp, Proskit and Geovision. We provide technical support and free training on all our products.
HSS: Does Procam focus on supplying the channel or do you deal with end users as well?
Makings: We mainly supply installers and other CCTV retailers. We try to stay away from the end users as our products are not the usual D.I.Y. kit.
HSS: Who are the key people at Procam?
Makings: The key people at Procam head office are:
Tasker Makings – MD responsible for the general running of the company.
Laetitia Makings – Accounts department.
Armand Paulsen – Technical department.
Natasha Da Silva – Sales technician.
Taryn Makings – IT specialist.
Mbuso Zikhali – Electronics repairs.
Terrance Henstock – Sales technician.
HSS: What has your experience been of the local economy over the past year?
Makings: There is no doubt that the world cup soccer had both good and bad effects on the SA economy. The security firms that had dealings with the security for the stadiums and accommodation did well, but for the rest it was as if the whole of South Africa was preoccupied with soccer. Our sales did dip for about three months, but we have already made up the ground and we continue to experience growth.
HSS: Who are your partners?
Makings: Our business is entirely funded in-house and at present we do not have any partners. We are however open for discussion in this respect, especially from a BEE opportunity. We expect a BEE partner to pull his/her weight and if they have influence in any business/political field that would be an additional bonus.
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