When in 1993 an engineering graduate, Amit Rambhia, who did his MBA from IIM Indore, started assembling PCs from a garage & his brother Nikit, a Graduate in commerce and MBA from Mumbai University, teamed up with him, no one would have imagined that the foundation for a great company was being laid.
“At the time when we started our company, people were getting out of white box manufacturing, but we believed in our ability to innovate which made us survive” – Amit Rambhia
Laying the Foundation of Vardhaman Technology
The first step for the Rambhias, towards the establishment of a company, was to design small form factor PCs using micro ATX components (which were not easily available in Indian market at that point of time). With the roll out of their first SFF PC, Vardhaman Technology Pvt. Ltd. came into existence in year 2000.
Call it luck or sheer hard work & dedication, the SFF PC was widely welcomed in the market and within months the company was catering to the needs of big players in BFSI sector. It did not take much time for other brands to follow in to inquire if the company could manufacture PCs for them in their own brand. The Rambhias saw this as a golden opportunity to reap benefits of economies of scale in terms of sourcing components.
In 2004, Vardhaman Technology was ready to launch its next innovative product – Micro PC. It is 1/10th the size of the company’s SFF design.
By 2007, Vardhaman’s product portfolio included Thin Clients, Small Form Factor PCs, Digital Signage and Point-Of-Sale solutions. The company products were already ruling in an assortment of segments from Banking & Finance to Telecom, IT & ITeS, Education, Food & Hospitality, FMCG, Retail, Transport, BPOs & KPOs, industrial and many other fields.
Entering the Digital Signage Market
The determination of Vardhaman Technology to not just enter but establish a strong hold in the Digital Signage Market, is what motivated it to come with its next innovation in the digital signage space. The Rambhia’s recall that, “The digital signage market saw a demand for HD playback, and we created solutions based on Nvidia ION as well as using the Intel Z series”.
The company aspired to become no smaller than the next Apple & it even succeeded to a large extent in doing so, by prototyping a tablet PC based on the Intel Atom processor, which looks as good as an Apple iPad.
One of the key strengths of the company is its in-house R&D and innovation capabilities. In fact, R&D for this company is more of a profit centre than a cost centre. Innovations for the company means a strong pre-planning to come up with affordable solutions, that are best suited to the requirements of the customers.
“Our ability to design customised solution has been the key factor in our growth.”
Cruising through the economic slowdown
The Rambhia’s believe that what helped them face the economic slowdown of 2009 was their key strength “Innovation”. If it had not been for their innovative approach to product designing, they would never have been able to cut their cost significantly at a time when the markets slowed down and the revenue streams dried up. They were smart at anticipating the slowdown & smartly cut down the production, so that they did not over produce. Even the bank credits were managed well to avoid unnecessary interest cost during low production phase.
Vardhaman Technology has time and again been recognized by Intel, for their innovatively engineered products as per global standards.
Amongst their most recent innovations, the Rambhia’s are especially proud of their innovative & Interactive IPTV designed for hospitality sector, where hotels can provide their guests with smart technology integrated into their leisure experience.
This product integrates Hotel Management System + Guest Room + Internet into all in one solution and enables guests to access multimedia content including, movies, music, internet, radio, display of room charges, guest gadget connectivity using multimedia panel, currency conversion, weather forecast, etc, on demand over IP. The highlighting features of this product include:
- The communication by hotel management to guests is no more restricted to phone call or door knock.
- Communication can happen over IP without interrupting the guest.
- Guests can interact with the hotel service on their LCD screen while watching a movie.
Over the past few years the innovations of the company have been recognized with following awards:
- BEST SYSTEM BUILDER 2011 (CRN Xcellence Award)
- BEST SYSTEM BUILDER 2010 (CRN Xcellence Award)
- BEST INNOVATION 2008 (Intel)
- INNOVATIVE DESIGNS 2007 (Intel)
Motivation for The Innovation
The Rambhia brothers recall that, it all started with a meeting with a senior person from a reputed hotel chain in India, that was looking out for some means of enhancing their guest experience. As part of its strategy, the hotel assessed the role of in-room technology, to provide both business and leisure guests with a wide range of guest services to encourage loyalty and maximize guest satisfaction. This meant that, the hotel would need to offer guests not only entertainment, but also new and additional ways to communicate about offers, nearby services and other properties in the hotel group.
Considering the hotel’s urgent requirement, the Rambhia’s geared up to design a solution, that delivered everything that the hotel was looking for as a customized guest communication solution. This included features like, on demand music, internet, currency conversion, weather forecast & much more. By means of a small media box mounted behind the LCD/LED, guests could use remote control to access the service from LCD interface.
This innovative solution also offered the hotel the opportunity to build a new in-room sales and promotional channel, that would drive new revenue opportunities. For instance when the guest accesses the free services from the interface in his room, he is prompted for “All Services” @ some nominal price. This has become a good source of revenue for the hotel.
Key Projects in Its Hall of Fame
- Helped a Public Sector giant replace 2,000 desktops with thin clients operating on Windows XP Embedded
- Manufactured an educational PC for Classroom teaching with integrated multimedia & display system.
- Designed and deployed a 24 x 7 running embedded signage solution.
- Designed and supplied 3,000 units of POS terminals for a lottery company for deployment across Maharashtra.
- Designed and deployed an interactive TV system for a Hotel Group with features like On Demand Multimedia content, Internet Surfing and Hotel Management System integrated into one solution.
From the Horse’s Mouth
“It has been quite challenging to convince customers about the technologies that we wanted to sell. Indians are not particularly tech savvy and they are more into saving money. Therefore, that becomes a stumbling block. It’s our job to make them understand and this job brings quite a lot of satisfaction too”.
To know more about the company pls visit http://www.vardhamantechnology.com/
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