Interviews Najave II

Interview: Mariela Madjarova, CEO, Teletek Electronics

I am extremely happy that my and our team’s year-long efforts are successful year after year. In the past 7 years, our average revenue growth is 18%. We are operational in over 85 markets. It can be done only with the dedicated work of all employees. Currently, Teletek Electronics work with more than 190 highly motivated and qualified specialists.

 a&s Adria: Ms. Madjarova, please present yourself to our readers: your education, business experience, what department and area are you in charge of within Teletek?

Madjarova: I am Mariela Madjarova, Chief Executive Officer of Teletek Electronics and I have been managing the company for more than 11 years. I graduated in Chemical Engineering at the University of Chemical Technology and Metallurgy in Sofia and a number of additional qualifications: Marketing and Finance in Japan, Marketing and practice in the UK, and the MBA in Entrepreneurship at the New Bulgarian University. When I started working for Teletek Electronics 29 years ago, I was the only salesperson in a small company in the security sector. Over the years, I have passed through various positions in the company, which I think has made me an excellently prepared candidate for the position of Executive Director.

a&s Adria: For 30 years now, Teletek Electronics is manufacturing a complete range of alarm and fire alarm equipment. What were the most important milestones on your way to success? In stats, how many employees do you have now, how many products did you produce, and in how many countries do you sell them?

Madjarova: We have come a long way in these 30 years – from a small local company with several products to an internationally known manufacturer of intruder and fire alarm solutions! It was and still is a real challenge for a Bulgarian company to answer to fast-developing technologies, to keep constant high quality and win and keep its position on the world market.

I am extremely happy that my and our team’s year-long efforts are successful year after year. In the past 7 years, our average revenue growth is 18%. We are operational in over 85 markets. It can be done only with the dedicated work of all employees. Currently, Teletek Electronics work with more than 190 highly motivated and qualified specialists. We are proud of our own R&D department – experienced hardware, firmware, and test engineers work on the company’s new developments. As result, we have more than 650 own developed products – intruder & fire alarm devices. This is how we succeed in answering the constantly growing needs of our customers and preserving our serious positions in this dynamic market. We continue to invest in new developments and innovations of existing products and solutions.

a&s Adria: How has your company dealt with the effects of the pandemic during these two years? What did you have to undertake to keep your business going and employees safe?

Madjarova: We have succeeded and we continue to succeed in this situation! Of course, it was extremely difficult to find the balance between company and business results and our team’s health and safety. We had to implement quickly a completely different organization of working and production processes. For us, the pandemic had a positive impact – the team became more motivated and I am proud to say that in the last 2 years we have managed to develop a number of new products.

a&s Adria: Many producers and vendors are reporting a global shortage of micro-chips and problems with the transport of electronic parts, as well as an increase in pricing of energy and components. How do you, as a producer settled in Bulgaria, deal with these issues? Are you forced to postpone deliveries and increase the price of your products?

Madjarova: The situation is more than critical. We use over 4000 different components. There are between 200 and 500 parts in each of our products and if one is missing, the product cannot be produced. At the same time, one component cannot be replaced by another that you manage to find on the market – each one is specific, the software has been written for it and in order to change it, new development must be made. We are currently processing several products because we cannot find the necessary components in any way. We have an increase in costs by over 20% – mostly because of the components, but also because of the price of electricity, fuels, transport, but we can not pass it on to customers. Everything made of plastic or metal has risen permanently, and we use them in almost all products. The situation is quite absurd at the moment.

a&s Adria: Do you think that problems with manufacturing and transport from Asia will cause buyers to turn more to closer, European manufacturers such as yourself? Do you see this as an opportunity for Teletek to gain more market share?

Madjarova: I believe that more and more buyers will prefer proven and certified European manufacturers, not only because of the problem with the production and deliveries but mainly of the quality of the devices and systems. If a single device does not work properly or cause false alarms, it significantly increases the cost of replacement, maintenance, and seriously affects the image of the installer’s company. More and more installers and system integrators prefer reliable solutions from proven manufacturers. I think this is an opportunity not for Teletek only but for every company with high-quality products.

a&s Adria: What products from both intrusion detection and fire alarm product range would you select as the most sold ones and why is that?

Madjarova: Our addressable fire alarm systems – Simpo and Iris are the best sellers. Flexible, intelligent, EN54 certificated, the systems include a wide range of devices and have enhanced integration and networking capabilities to meet the needs of small to larger buildings and installations. For intruder alarm range is our Eclipse series with its wired and hybrid solutions. The additional option for work on a time schedule is great for offices and warehouses as it allows autonomous management of the system following a work schedule set in advance.

a&s Adria: Last year you marketed IRIS8 as the “most powerful and sophisticated intelligent addressable fire alarm panel in Teletek Electronics portfolio”. What features make it your flagship product?

Madjarova: IRIS8 is an expandable addressable fire alarm control panel. Intelligent and technically advanced, it has enhanced integration and networking capabilities to meet the current and future needs of small to larger buildings and installations. The initial purpose of iRIS8 is to be used for fire alarm warning but due to its flexible design, it can be modified to carry out many other functions like control and indication applications, with direct integration into intelligent buildings through MODBUS protocol. The available configuration varies from 1 to 8 detection loops. iRIS8 can network up to 64 panels, making it ideal for the largest sites including schools, hospitals, multi-site retail/supermarkets, critical infrastructure, and major commercial and industrial facilities. iRIS8 supports two protocols for communication in order to provide a vast range of devices and cope with the most demanding projects. Combined with the modular structure and the networking features there is no project which can’t be realized with iRIS8.

a&s Adria: You also had some improvements in the latest IRIS/Simpo versions?

Madjarova: We are constantly working on improvements for Simpo and Iris. The latest versions have an addition of Mimic panel, serial connection of Evac panels, support of ESPA444 protocol, “Class Change” is now with the selectable tone, “Silence Sounder” can now be performed by zones using inputs, similar to Evac cycle the panel now have Alarm cycle (for voice evacuation purpose).

a&s Adria: “There is a transformation of the intruder alarm system from a traditional signaling device, to a much more interactive system,” said Omdia analyst, Anna Sliwon-Stewart. The development of enhanced connectivity options, from 2G to 4G and even 5G, alongside the integration of disparate systems, has enabled intruder alarm systems to be more than simply a security necessity. There is an increased demand for security systems to interact with each other across access control, video surveillance, and intruder devices (for instance, alarm triggering corresponding video footage). Do you offer or work on this new generation of intruder alarm systems?

Madjarova: Currently we are testing a new protocol for our Eclipse series and new wireless series PAX which we are planning to launch within H1 2022. Both series in combination with Observer software that allows the integration of third-party video cameras and video verification by both an intruder and fire alarms will be the best solution for any medium to large site. We continue to develop a brand new wireless solution, a new mobile application, and cloud-based services.

a&s Adria: In November, you have released the Home ProTTEct mobile application. What is it intended for and what are its major features?

Madjarova: Home ProTTEct is a mobile application for management and monitoring of all the intruder alarm systems manufactured by Teletek Electronics: ECLIPSE and BRAVO series. The application is simple, user-friendly, and native, developed for both Android and iOS, in accordance with the latest requirements of both platforms. The main features of the Home ProTTEct are Remote System control – user can Arm and Disarm his system/s remotely; Multi-system control – the application can manage multiple systems; System status indication – the user can see the last event and the alarm status in the system list of the application; System sharing– a user can share his system by generating a QR code through the Home ProTTEct app, so another user can add this system as well;  Partial arming – the user can also set the system in two different partial arm states – Stay or Sleep Arm; Detector management – the user can manage(enable/disable) the detectors/zones of the system when needed; Push notifications in case of any event in the system; Alarm snooze algorithm, etc. The application supports two methods for adding a new system – Manual – by entering your user credentials manually and by scanning a QR code – the code is generated by the Ajax SP Server (Cloud). We continue to work on the development of the application and we will add new features by the end of 2022.

a&s Adria: You also offer a range of other software. What are they used for?

Madjarova: We have several software solutions:

  • ProsTE, a software package for programming of Teletek Electronics intruder and fire alarm panels. The software allows fast and user-friendly programming.
  • Observer – software for local monitoring of Teletek Electronics addressable Fire Alarm Systems – Iris, Iris Pro, and Simpo and Intruder Alarm Systems – Eclipse and Bravo. The software also allows remote access, administration, and video verification of the connected systems.
  • Guard View is centralized monitoring software compatible with all popular alarm receivers and support communication formats like DSC SurGard, Electronics Line, SIA/ Contact ID, LARS, KP Electronics, FSK, Enigma, and others. This software is dedicated to the security companies that provide services like monitoring security systems.

a&s Adria: What European and international standards are your products in compliance with? And what is the scope of those certificates?

Madjarova: We stand out with the high and consistent quality of our products. They meet the EN54 and EN50131 standards and are audited every year by authorized laboratories. We offer not just a range of products, but complete solutions – from alarm systems for the home to high-technology integrated systems for large buildings. Teletek Electronics’ products fully comply with the European and International Standards. As proof of its high manufacturing quality, the Company was also awarded ISO 9001:2015, issued by the authorized body SGS.

a&s Adria: Teletek has many successful projects across a lot of vertical markets. Can you present some of your most complex and representative case studies in the last couple of years?

Madjarova: We are proud that over a million buildings worldwide are protected by our systems. Our technology is used in places like the Parliament of Moldova, City hall of Lisbon, Piraeus Banк- headquarter and branches in Greece; Lufthansa Technik Sofia base, the building of the Defense Ministry and the NATO’s headquarters in Sofia, The Maakri – Kvartal complex in Estonia’s capital Tallinn, Vila Galé Hotels – Portugal; Regalia Gold Hotel – Nha Trang, Vietnam, etc.

a&s Adria: What global trends will define the fire alarm and intrusion detection industry in years ahead and what can we expect from Teletek when it comes to new technologies and opening new markets and offices?

Madjarova: We live in the era of fast-developing high technologies, particularly in the field of electronics. One of the most important technological trends is the integration of all security systems (intruder alarm systems, fire alarm systems, access control, video surveillance, etc.) and the potential for connecting with other building systems in order to give the customer a single system for simplified management of several subsystems. Other trends are moving towards hybrid and wireless solutions, mobile connectivity, communication modules, automatization, Internet of Things. Security systems integration, smart home, and home automation are hot topics, they allow the customer to manage with their mobile phone the alarm and other systems in the home, such as the heating, the electricity, the lightning. We continue to develop high-performance products and solutions, combining our profound technological experience, strong production capacity with the latest trends, and the energy and passion of our people.

a&s Adria: Your opinion on the Adriatic region security market, are there enough projects and investments to recover the market from the pandemic? What are your plans for Southeast Europe?

Madjarova: Adriatic Region is a fast-changing market with stable growth in the field of security technologies. Until recently, the region was highly price-oriented and the price was a leading factor in choosing a security system. With the entry of foreign investors and large investment projects in construction, the market is changing. Factors such as quality, reliability, certification, the manufacturer are leading in choosing a system. The entry of more complex and intelligent systems on the Adriatic market requires training and development of knowledge of installers and technicians. Part of our policy in the region is to help our partners and their clients with training and qualifications. I believe the investments in the construction business, along with expertise, experience, and knowledge of the installers, will lead to steady growth in the security market over the next few years.

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