Syed Ahmed, Founder/CEO of SAVORTEX® tells us about new smart solutions for post-Covid.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Syed Ahmed: All good, thanks.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded SAVORTEX®.
Syed Ahmed: I grew up in a tough neighborhood in the East end of London, Tower Hamlets. I’m proud of my roots, having been born to hard-working Bangladeshi parents.
From as early as I can remember, I wanted to provide the best future possible for my family, myself, create a positive commercial and social impact globally, and help impoverished individuals and communities thrive. Fast track many years, I’m proud of a family full of female entrepreneurs and CEOs of thriving businesses. I founded SAVORTEX® and adDryer®, a disruptive multi-award-winning IoT (internet of things) Smart Healthcare technology and media company. We have formed partnerships with technology giants such as Intel® and ARM® taking the business into key international markets.
With hundreds of projects deployed worldwide to brands like Gatwick Airport, Shell, Rolls Royce, L’Oréal, and MITIE, and raised in excess of £2m to support the global expansion, achieving a multi-million-pound market valuation.
How does SAVORTEX® innovate?
Syed Ahmed: We bring IoT (internet of things) and programmatic media to the traditional hygiene sector and transform these products’ benefits and value for the built environment. For example, our internet-connected, smart hand sanitizers have the ability to discreetly and remotely inform users to sanitize their hands if they haven’t, or in extreme cases, not let them into a high-risk zone if they have not sanitized. This protects both the user and all occupiers in a building, making the safest, smartest, and most sustainable workplaces.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Syed Ahmed: Yes, Covid has affected most businesses and globally. The business-to-business sector has been heavily impacted. The current economic cost sits at $480bn from loss of commercial activity, i.e. closed buildings. So it is more important than ever for innovators such as SAVORTEX® to bring new hygiene management technologies to market that take out the guesswork and make buildings and their occupants safer.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Syed Ahmed: Unfortunately, circumstances meant we did have to lose some members of staff. However, we are now scaling the company quickly with the launch of the Smart Hand Sanitizer, which has allowed us to welcome key individuals to the team. The core of SAVORTEX® is our team, who each bring unique skills to drive our solutions forward.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Syed Ahmed: We kept in close contact with all our customers and partnerships throughout the pandemic and various lockdowns. We involved them in developing our new smart solution; further, we have recently received Innovate UK funding and collaborated with the University of Leeds and Sheffield to commercialize our Smart hand sanitizer solution. Currently, we are onboarding multi-site corporate clients on free trials to demonstrate that data-driven hand hygiene is critical in stopping the spread of harmful viruses at work. If your readers are influencers in a corporate organization, please register your interest here.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Syed Ahmed: The greatest benefit of the Innovate UK funding (mentioned above) is that it has enabled us to offer a solution to help other companies significantly impacted by Covid-19 to re-open safely.
Your final thoughts?
Syed Ahmed: As the only health-tech disruptor in hand-hygiene management, SAVORTEX® presents vital solutions for businesses to open safely in a pandemic. Which understandably has attracted a high level of interest from both the corporate sector and healthcare. We are currently raising capital to scale the company to meet demand. As we grow, we will continue to innovate with sophisticated healthcare technologies to positively impact communities, businesses, and the environment.