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Interview with Wim De Vos, co-founder at Genesis Technologies

The co-founder of the residential technology company spoke to Installation about the current state of the European CI market, future plans for the business and Hi-Tech Couture.

Genesis Technologies is one of Europe’s leading suppliers of premium customer installaiton brands and solutions. The company is pioneering the concept of Hi-Tech Couture – something which its co-found Wim De Vos discussess within his interview with Installaiton.

What, in your view, is the outlook for the CI industry across Europe and the major challenges that the sector faces? In my view, the European CI sector is one of the few markets that is set for tremendous growth in the years ahead. The potential customers are definitely there now and will grow every day as the concept of the intelligent home and the home with entertainment on-board becomes better known, understood, valued and accepted. The products which can deliver on these customer aspirations certainly exist. Ironically, though, for a market which is all about integration and beautiful aesthetics, home technology tends to be offered in quite a fragmented way in general and is not presented to customers as attractively as it could be. The CI channel is now well-developed, growing and evolving but currently lacks real scaleability. It’s a matter of ambition for some dealers to think beyond the day-to-day sales of boxes and cables, and realise the potential of what they really could achieve for their customers, and their own business. A few companies have already cracked the code. They’re delivering fantastic systems at all price levels, are outgrowing the competition and are well-set for long-term success. So, I would say, that even though the potential is huge, and way beyond current levels of demand, our own industry is, to a large extent, the biggest hurdle to expansion. If the industry can rise to this challenge, then exponential growth will be the reward. What is Hi-Tech Couture? How do we present what our industry can offer in a more attractive and engaging way to customers? Well, I think we should first understand what it is that our customers are seeking to buy. Irrespective of the budget for any project which can vary from 5000 euros to millions, the client – that’s the guy many of us stereotype or even forget about altogether in our business analysis – demands technology at home, on his yacht, on his private plane that is amazing, beautiful, easy to use, precious and bespoke in one way or another. If you call it a luxury lifestyle, then everyone thinks we are talking mega-budgets. If it’s just about the technology, then people assume it will be difficult to understand and too complex to use. That is why we describe what our industry can provide as Hi-Tech Couture. Aspirational, beautiful technology that’s precisely tailored to the needs of every customer. When you think it through, this is exactly what customers want. Every integrator is offering Hi-Tech Couture to his or her clients, and telling this story is key if dealers wish to remain successful. Genesis Technologies is working in close co-operation with its business partners to be an integral part of delivering Hi-Tech Couture to customers across Europe and beyond.You’ve recently opened a Design and Xperience Centre in Marbella. What is the thinking behind these Centres? When I was still an integrator I found the biggest barrier to market growth was a lack of awareness on the part of the customer. Clients did not know what technology was out there, how it could perform and how it could be integrated to provide a Hi-Tech Couture solution. Often, I came across people who had purchased something they thought or had been told was the best on the market, but it rarely was. It was not their fault they had simply not experienced the best. But this is what differentiates us from other industries, such as yachts, cars, watches, clothes, real estate and holidays where people can pretty much experience what is out there on every level. So, we have started to build Design and Xperience Centres in all the territories where we operate. Already, we have opened Centres in Antwerp, Geneva and London and they are proving very popular. These Centres offer clients the chance to visit us with their integrator, architect or interior designer and really experience what is out there in an integrated way. It brings to life what we offer as an industry. We can then work with our dealers to design the very best tailor-made system for them. Our dealers simply say it makes great business sense as they can focus on the customer wants and desires with our full support in this relationship, which in turn, allows them to become a better company. You’ve also just announced a new partnership with CineVersum. How does this fit within the Genesis Technologies brand portfolio? If you understand the concept of Hi-Tech Couture and you know that CineVersum are acknowledged as ´The Projector Jewellers´ then there is, probably, little more to add. CineVersum are focused on providing class-leading projectors exclusively for the custom installation market. Using our technical expertise and support services, we can help dealers integrate these products effectively to create stunning home cinemas and media rooms for customers who demand the very best. Thanks to CineVersum we can now offer projection systems, including 3D at a very affordable price level. The fact that we have a complete and exclusive TV and projector motorised mounting offering as well will be a great help. Some dealers even consider us as a one stop shop. CineVersum fits the bill for the client, for our business partners and, thus, for Genesis Technologies. Exclusivity on all levels, beauty all round and a personal touch. What extra value can Genesis Technologies add?

I think this is almost better to ask some of our dealers, or as we know them, Integration Partners. But I would say every single one of our dealers is focused on making his customer happier, delivering better Hi-Tech Couture, or becoming more profitable by working with us. Ideally, it is a bit of all three. For some, it is the fact that they can use our Design and Xperience Centres to increase the likelihood and average size of a project sale; for other dealers, it is our training and support programmes; and, another set of dealers will appreciate the custom products, designs and project management we provide. Whilst the added-value we can offer may vary, what remains consistent is our commitment to give them what makes their business more successful and more scaleable. What’s next for the Genesis Technologies business?

Following the opening last week of our Marbella Design and Xperience Centre, we are busy planning two more Design and Xperience Centres in Paris and Casablanca, which are scheduled for completion later this year. We are also building Design and Xperience Centers to open elsewhere in the world, including the Middle East in early 2013. We remain committed to working with our Integration Partners, and simply delivering more and more amazing systems with them in the years ahead.