What was the inspiration behind your company/products and how does this show in your company ethos?
Since early 2016, our company has been involved in the development of antimicrobial lamination films for coating plastic cards, whether they be for door-access or the kind you keep in your wallet, such as bank cards and loyalty cards. However with the arrival of the Corona virus in 2019 we realised that existing cards already in circulation needed to be sterilised immediately and urgently to stop the spread of dangerous germs and in particular we turned our attention to the kind of cards already out there, that get handled a lot by different people – hotel key cards.
Just before full lockdown I was waiting for a business associate in the Reception area of a large airport hotel and was struck by the frequency of people checking in and checking out, and in particular how often the Receptionist was handing out cards. I began to speculate just how easy it was for germs from around the world to spread via un-sanitised plastic cards. A real risk not only for the hotel guests but also for the hotel staff.
What is your main target market currently and what market would you like to grow into more? (How will you do this? Internationally etc..)
Currently our focus is very much on the Hospitality sector for sanitising room key cards. However our MagiKote UV-C Sanitiser machine is such a versatile solution because it can also accommodate a variety of small items, such as TV Remotes, tea cups and spoons, small items of stationery, like pens and biros etc …staff name badges etc -all very pertinent for the Hospitality Industry.
But thinking outside of this sector, ignition keys can be sanitised for car & truck rental companies. When you take your car in for a service, the garage could sanitise your car keys. Barbers and hair salons can sterilise small items like clips and combs. Mobile phones and sunglasses and face-masks can be sterilised. In an open office environment small stationery items, like hole-punches, staplers -even card readers in retail outlets can all be sanitised in a matter of seconds.
With such a diverse marketplace we are aware that a scattergun approach would be inefficient. This is why we are focussing on Hospitality in this instance and we will cast our nets wider very shortly.
Social media is perfect for spreading the word and we have teamed up with Hotel Suppliers to target the Hotel industry – their extensive contacts and presence at leading Exhibitions both at home and abroad, will help to give our MagiKote machine maximum exposure.
What are your short and long-term goals?
In the short term we are focussing on the Hospitality Industry and long-term we shall branch out to target the other sectors, a few of which I mentioned earlier – Car & Truck Rental Companies, Barbers & Salons etc
What make your business stand out from other competitors?
We have had but one goal in mind since 2016 – and that is to spread awareness of dangerous germs and pathogens that can all too easily be spread by touching frequently handled objects. In this mission we are totally and absolutely focussed. Our website is full of information, articles and reputable scientific studies, click here! We take our business extremely seriously.
Pre-pandemic we were wholly engaged in research and development of antimicrobial plastic cards and since the outbreak in 2019 we switched our focus to offering more immediate solutions.
UV-C radiation is not a new technology, but we have designed a bespoke card rack that will hold 30 cards and expose them to 360 degree UV-C light.
Some might say that a few germs do you good, cannot harm you and antimicrobial products are over-rated and scare-mongering. To some extent this used to be true, before the Corona virus pandemic in 2019.
In view of Covid-19, however, we have all become only too well aware of the importance of good hygiene practices. Whether vaccinated or not, unnecessary exposure to bacteria and viruses is never a good thing … and especially if you are elderly, frail or have an immune deficiency. Elderly, frail and immune-deficient people also visit hotels – places frequently trafficked by the general population and objects frequently handled by the general population should be seen as high risk and steps should be taken to lessen that risk.
This is what makes our business stand out. A single-minded dedication to our products and the conviction that they make a difference.
Where do your design ideas come from for the products?
By observing how people use objects, how frequently they are touched and passed from person to person and working out how best to reduce and/or actually eliminate harmful germs from objects that people often overlook or take for granted.
We all know the image of someone who, struggling with his luggage, puts his plastic room key in his mouth whilst grappling with the buttons on the lift!!!
What would you say your proudest moment (for the company) has been? (i.e.) product release, breaking into a certain market etc..)
We have held a USA patent since 2016 which covers antimicrobial plastic cards, name badges, ID badges and poker chips in the United States and since then we have several others of a similar nature that cover other parts of the world. We are extremely proud of our patents and we are working closely with our associates in the U.S.A who are well placed to offer our patented products to large corporations and government and health sectors.
What is your best selling product and why do you think that is/ what is your favourite product?
To be perfectly honest our MagiKote UV-C Sanitiser, designed specifically for room keys and other small items is my favourite product right now, simply because it is an immediate solution for existing objects. It is neat, compact and affordable and the user is completely in control.
Do you have any new products or any in the pipeline?
We are working on another possible MagiKote UV-C Sanitiser that would be aimed at lower volume output – the sanitising time would be slower – instead of the rapid 30-second timing of our existing MagiKote Sanitiser, we envisage something in the region of 2 or 3 minutes, due to a less powerful (though no less effective) bulb – this means we would be able to offer a more economical option, which might appeal to some potential customers. The price reflects the speed at which the UV-C light can sanitise the objects. If rapid sanitising speed is not a priority, this new version might fit the bill for some.
We are also working on the manufacture of some new antimicrobial soft vinyl and hard plastic name-badge/ID holders for the ID and health sectors.
How has your company adapted around the global pandemic? What have been the positives and negatives?
Whilst every single sector has been affected very badly by the pandemic, we have been fortunate insofar as we are offering solutions that can help stop the spread. COVID-19 disease has not gone away – and this coupled with the certainty that there will be new and emerging viruses in the future mean that it is imperative that we continue to offer our antimicrobial products and spread awareness for everyone’s safety.