We talked to Majid Abdi, founder of Homekit, about innovation in smart homes, and this is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Majid Abdi: I am fine and healthy. Even though I was among the first people who were infected, I recovered from the COVID-19 disease around July 2020. My wife and our kids are also fine but a bit confused about their day-to-day activities that are affected by the current situation.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Homekit.
Majid Abdi: In March 2018, my wife and I registered Homekit with Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates. Homekit has implemented a digital voice assistant for entertainment, productivity, and the news, as well as voice control systems for the lights, air conditioning, TVs, and curtains in these spaces, as well as improving the capabilities of phone systems to allow handsfree calling to receptions, housekeeping teams, and more. However, Homekit believes it can go even further, automating guest management systems that are currently handled by staff by using voice-enabled services for checking in and out, ordering meals, and carrying out the myriad of customer-facing roles in a hotel.
Currently, Homekit is dedicating its efforts to providing excellence in its automation and voice control services for VIP patient suites in Abu Dhabi’s biggest hospitals and will be integrating technology already established in hotel rooms and patient suites across Abu Dhabi.
How does Homekit innovate?
Majid Abdi: Homekit Limited is an automation company specializing in cost-effective wireless home automation solutions supported by Z-Wave, ZigBee, LoRa, and WIFI. The Home of Innovation for Life, Homekit, brings advanced technology into the daily lives of its users to create comprehensive solutions that make life easier. Working primarily with clients in the hospitality industry, Homekit provides everything from voice-activated curtains to smart fire detection and alarm systems.
Although only a small team, the dynamic firm is leading the revolution towards smarter living, beginning with the design of its innovative Interactive Virtual Store, which employs voice interaction. Users can ask the Virtual Assistant to provide information such as the price and availability of a product, which the Assistant can respond to in a matter of seconds before fulfilling an order. Homekit’ s fresh new approach to online shopping is changing the way Marketing, Hospitality, and Facility Management will function in a digitally-enhanced future – but the firm’s visions for innovation expand much farther still.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Majid Abdi: Our financial result for the year 2020 has been highly disappointing, and the company suffered losses due to reduced revenue, payment delays, and postponement of projects.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Majid Abdi: In spite of the downturn in business, salaries were paid on time, and employees are looked after in all respect.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Majid Abdi: Homekit uses a cloud-based web development service that allows users to create HTML5 websites and mobile sites through the use of online drag and drop tools. We use the add social plug-ins, e-commerce, online marketing, contact forms, e-mail marketing, and community forums that are provided with this web development service. The online orders and contact form trigger an automated e-mail that informs the customer and our team. We assign the task to one of the concerned staff and fulfill the requirement.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Majid Abdi: Although we have not received any government grants until now, the local authority that issues our trade license is willing to offer us a special discount due to the current situation. Homekit is currently seeking funding to support its visions for expansion and development, which will ultimately lead to a brighter, more technologically advanced future.
Your final thoughts?
Majid Abdi: Powered by innovative solutions, Homekit continues to be the central hub for automated solutions designed for smarter living.
However, the outlook for the year 2021 still remains bleak, though some positive signs are in the pipeline, which might lead to economic recovery during the third or fourth quarter. For this reason, Homekit should focus on cost reduction until the situation is back to normal.
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