Dr P. Sekhar, Chief Promoter, Chairman & MD, Micro Technologies (India) Ltd
the company has been spending a large part of the last two years in R&D work, the results of which have started coming in recently
Micro Technologies (I) Ltd ("MTIL") is a publicly-traded leading hi-tech software solutions enterprise based in Mumbai, India. Formed in 1992, MTIL offers a suite of software products for the Security, Messaging and Wireless Industries. In addition to its traditional IT solutions, MTIL has recently developed the Vehicle Black Box ("MICROVBB"), a highly promising IT Security product. Through the use of its unique patented technology, MICROVBB has been fully tested by reputed organizations internationally and is currently in the final stages of approval by various vehicles manufacturers. Most recently, MTIL announced a marketing tie-up with AirTel, a leading wireless telecommunication company in India. MTIL expects to be continuously signing several additional supply contracts for MICROVBB with vehicles manufacturers as well as market alliances for the product's international commercialization.
Dr P. Sekhar, is the Chief Promoter and Chairman & Managing Director of Micro Technologies (India) Ltd. Dr. Sekhar has a Doctorate in electronics and was Director assisting Government of Maharashtra where his progressive approach to planning the advent of electronics and computerization in many core sectors and government departments earned him much acclaim. He was also the Director of the first Software Technology Park (STP) in Pune and played a key role in the plans and strategies for Government as well as large Industrial houses (Reliance, Videocon, etc.) in computerization, telecommunications, electronics and other domains of IT. He was advisor to well known Financial Institution and had dealt with Industrial groups whom he guided successfully across the perilous paths of business uncertainty. The vast experience of guiding the destinies of Industrial houses, business entities large and small, even entire states, is today available to Micro Associates as Goodwill and technological cum business acumen which is invaluable in terms of mere cash accounting terms.
Replying to a host of questions posed by Anil Mascarenhas of India Infoline, Dr.Sekhar says that the company has been spending a large part of the last two years in R&D work, the results of which have started coming in recently.
Could you give us a brief overview about your company and the areas you operate?
Formed in 1992, Micro Technologies is an IT company which offers a suite of software products for the E-governance, Security, Messaging and Wireless industries Micro Technologies started off with development of "application software" projects segment for seven years, before branching into product development. One of MT's specialty is Security systems. These unique products combine both hardware and software applications and deliver holistic, top-class security solutions to individuals and organizations alike. MT also has a wide interest in Geographical Information system (GIS) which fits neatly into their Software solutions
You have products in Web-based application, non-web-based application and security among others. What percentage do they contribute to your revenues?
The contribution from both are equal in the past. However, in future the would be major shift towards the Security and messaging products.
Comment on the security software products you have developed in recent times? To what extent can they be customized?
In addition to its traditional IT solutions, MTIL has recently developed the Vehicle Black Box ("MICROVBB"), a highly promising IT Security product. MICROVBB provides a top-level security layer on all existing modes of security for vehicles, allowing a user to have an advanced level of vehicle information and control. The standard version of the MICROVBB provides the following functions:
- Receive a warning messages in a mobile phone when:
- there is unauthorized access in/of the vehicle;
- the vehicle's gas tank falls below a defined level;
- the speed of the vehicle reaches a certain mark;
- the stereo or other accessories are removed from the vehicle;
- there is a failure of brakes;
- the type pressure goes below a certain level;
- there is an accident with the vehicle.
- Respond automatically to the vehicle's intrusion by using visual and audio effects as well as vehicle immobilization
- Track the movement of the vehicle using GPS technology;
- Control the vehicle by the owner remotely through SMS, Email or Phone:
- Start and stop the ignition of the vehicle
- Set up a speed limit for the vehicle;
- Flash the lights;
- Turn A/C on/off;
- Lock and unlock doors
What is your current staff strength? Where all do you have offices and development centers?
Our current staff strength is about 100. Our main development centre is at Micro Infotech Park Vashi, Electronic Sadan 2, Mahape Vashi, Bandra West and Pune.
Tell us about your top clients. How much do the top 5 and 10 contribute to your overall revenues?
Dynacon Systems Ltd; Cyberscape Multimedia Ltd., Atlas Copco Ltd., Tata Honeywell Ltd., Myso India., I-Connect Technologies Ltd., Legal Point Ltd(UK)., Common Threads Inc(CA) are among our clients.
You tied up with Bharati to launch a car security system using a cellular handset - Mcops. How does the system work. Are you planning more such tie-ups in areas like Mumbai?
Since the MICROVBB is based on GSM technology, it has a in-built Sim card through which the registered user communicates and gets messages on his hand set. Since there are 2 sim card involved in the process, Airtel was keen to provide the same at a packaged deal along with MICROVBB. Initially, this was launched in Andhra Pradesh and discussions are on for launching the same on a All India Basis.
How is your web based service Micro Life Line shaping up? What are the charges for individuals and organizations?
One of premier Web-based product is Micro Life Line. It maintains an Online Personnel Diary to store unlimited contact details, Delivers Prescheduled Messages / Appointments at preset time through SMS or email, create Personalized Greetings for all kinds of festivals, occasions and seasons and send it to multiple people within seconds or also schedule to send it on particular date/time well in advance. In case of various Emergencies about their need for help mobile users can instantly communicate with multiple people by a single code send and the system keeps a report of all the delivered / pending messages. It can be operated from any corner of the world and messages can be sent to any mobile phone all over the world where SMS feature is available. The user can upload attachments and send them remotely to registered / unregistered contact(s) by just a mobile SMS or an email. The user can search Examination Results, and Telephone Addresses too. Other additional features like sending ring tones on mobile phones, sending an email / greeting along with music, uploading his / her own images, photographs etc. The charges for the MLL for an individual will have a one time registration charges of Rs.500 and monthly charges will depend on the number of SMS , disk space required. Similarly, organizations will also have one registration fee of Rs.5000/- for ten users and SMS and disk space charges. MLL-Bank , MLL-Insurance are a part of the Micro-Lifeline product range which has other verticals like MLL-Hospital and MLL B-schools.
Tell us about your financials? Your operating expenses seem to be rising? Were there any one-time expenditure? Going ahead what is your outlook for the next couple of years? At what rate do you expect your topline and bottomline to grow?
We have been doing lots of international grade development and in this expenditures have been high. But we have been able to come with a match winning product which has got the Indian Patent. This has also been accepted for International Patent.
Micro Technologies over the last Financial Year has devoted considerable resources to develop a new product, Micro Vehicle Black Box (Micro VBB). This initiative accounts for majority of our development related expenses for the FY 2003-2004. We are glad to announce that we have successfully developed the said product and going by the initial response to our marketing efforts we are assured of the take-off of Micro VBB in the consumer markets.
At what rate do you see the topline and bottomline growths?
With the addition of Micro VBB to our suite of offerings, we are extremely confident of aggressive and robust growth in the coming fiscals. While, we expect to announce the Projections for the coming fiscals at our Annual General Meeting to be held later this month, I can confidently say that we expect both our bottomline and our topline to double in the coming two years. This is largely attributed to the initial response that we have received on select introduction of Micro VBB to automotive manufacturers and mobile service providers both in India as well as across the globe.
Comment on your collaboration with Girvan Institute of Technology.
Micro Technologist's innovative proprietary IT technologies have been the drivers in establishing a collaboration with Girvan. This Collaboration will help to protect the technologies being developed by Micro Technologies as well as to complement the intellectual property portfolio with new technologies which will lead to a aggressive growth of the company in the immediate future and for international expansion. Through the alliance with Girvan we hope to attract large enterprises in the developed economies of the world to our fold."
You have spoken about aggressive expansion plans? Could you give some details as to how you plan to achieve this growth?
Our aggressive expansion plans are two fold:
Firstly, to expand the production base of our existing MICROVBB CLASSIC version so as to reduce the cost of the product and make more accessible to common man. Also lot of R&D work has already been done for newer and more robust features for MICROVBB which has to be fine tuned and capitalized. Also a lot R&D work is in process for lot more ideas which would make MICROVBB one of its kind worldwide. This envisages funds for which we would be approaching foe Venture Capital funding. Secondly, the other major part of the expansion plans include completion of our Micro Infotech Park in Vashi and have corporate office in major metros and abroad. MT have already applied for term loan limit for these purposes
What are your capex plans for the coming year? How would they be funded?
We are in discussions with VCs, Banks and other Financial Institutions and there has been very good response to our requirements of up to Rs.5 Crores which is required for expansion.
Are you planning any further strategic tie-ups or acquisitions in the near future?
Yes we are. Airtel tie-up has been part of the same process. Similarly we are also planning for alliance with OEM's for MICROVBB. Discussions are on with some of major Vehicle manufacturer's for the same. Acquisitions will be considered only if they compliment our line of business.
What role are you playing in e-governance solutions? Which are the states that avail of your services?
In the process of evolving from a application software based company to product based company, we started of by introducing our Web based E-governance solutions such as Micro Office Desk System (ODS). Micro Personal Management system(PMS) and Micro Access Control System(ACS) etc. Some of these solutions are already installed in places like BARC, MSEB Mantralaya, DAE etc.
Do you plan to enter any other segments? Give details?
Our main focus has always been IT-based solutions. We emerged form E-governance solutions for large corporate houses which was further enhanced with Geographical Information Systems. Subsequently we have been successful in providing robust Web based security systems and also embedded software based security systems which are applicable in all walks if life from houses to storage houses to banks to defense and aircraft sector. Our Micro Lifeline has its verticals in banks, insurance, hospitals, B-schools etc. Hence, our foray into any other segment would be need based.
Your stock has been rising in the bourses? Any major developments in recent times?
We have been spending a large part of the last two years in R&D work the results of which have started coming in recently with one of a kind security based systems and web based solutions. Concrete efforts have been put to have them certified by international bodies so as make them acceptable world wide.
Are the promoters planning any placement or stake sale? Have institutions been talking to you lately?
We have no immediate plans. Any decision on this will depend on the finalization of other modes of funding such as VC and term loan. No, institutions are not in talks with us at the moment.
What is your message to your shareholders?
Our major part of our achievement today and our growth as an innovative IT technologies based company has been with kind support of our shareholders. We hope that they would continue to support us the same way in the crucial juncture where all the efforts put in the last few years having started reaping dividends.
We would like to be one of the largest IT and Security product company in India and among the respected IT products developers internationally. We would like to bring India on the global map for Patented IT products.
Trust us, Support us and we will emerge as one of the leading IT company in the world. Rest assured our Shareholders will always take the top priority.
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