22 June 2006
A Breath Of Fresh Air(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 07,2006)
Ecozone (HK) Ltd
With increasing emphasis today on clean air, what better time for Ecozone (HK) Ltd to be marketing its air-purification systems that, it says, create a "forest-like atmosphere" indoors.
They are used, says the firm, in the home, the workplace, hotels, restaurants, pubs and bars, shopping centres, hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, health clubs, schools, karaoke lounges and even in cars.
"Most people are so accustomed to breathing polluted air that they have almost forgotten what fresh air is like," points out general manager Peter Law.
"Our system eliminates dust and smells in the air, and has a built-in, low-concentrate ozone generator that kills bacteria, viruses and dust mites. It completely cleanses the air so that you get that feel-good sensation that comes from inhaling pure, clean air," claims Law.
Ecozone's home and office air-purifier Desk Top model looks like a loudspeaker from a hi-fi set. However, instead of generating good vibes it silently purifies an enclosed area of up to 100 square metres.
Other models work from the ceiling or are wall-mounted, each serving up to 50 square metres, while a mini-purifier for cars looks like a cute, tiny radio but gulps away the smells caused by cigarette smoke and other interior odours.
"When we produced our prototypes, we gave a batch to a marketing company and asked for a pragmatic appraisal from a spectrum of likely users," explains Law.
"The feedback was invaluable - the first priority was safety, especially involving curious children likely to stick a finger into the purifier, which works through a fan. The grille emitting the purified air was then redesigned to ensure that couldn't happen. Also, we added an automatic power cut-off in case the air filter at the back of the machine was inadvertently detached."
Other changes included re-shaping the purifiers to their present attractive configurations, and concentrating on three main colours: an elegant hardwood pattern for lounge-rooms and dining rooms, plus a metallic, grey or silver finish for trendy buyers.
"However, the real beauty of our purifiers is the technology," advises Law. "The ozone acts almost 3,000-times faster than chlorine as a bactericide, but our machines have a sensor to control output to within 0.04ppm as required by US and European safety standards. Plus, our system incorporates the use of radio waves to thoroughly disperse the bacteria-killing ozone throughout the premises. All fully patented of course."
Ecozone has its own R&D team that works together with technology partners to maintain leading-edge technology and innovation. "Our goal is to provide value-added services to our customers while at the same time strengthening our competitive position and operating results through technological advancement," Law says.
Ecozone's biggest market at present is Thailand, where another partner has aggressively marketed the firm's purifiers in hotels and entertainment premises previously clogged with many years' accumulation of cigarette smoke.
In Japan, the purifier for cars is especially popular - eliminating not only the odour of cigarettes but also countering the cloying scent of seasonal flowers that look much nicer than they smell.
"We've only been in the business for a year or so," says Law, "and these are early days. However, we're sure we have a winning line and have already sent samples to the US and Europe, where we expect to tie up dealership arrangements in the coming months."
Some of these overseas contacts resulted from buyers and sharp-eyed businessmen being attracted to the firm's booth at trade fairs like April's Houseware Fair staged by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council.
In the meantime, Ecozone is building a strong base in Asia. Apart from Thailand and Japan, it has a promising toe-hold in Malaysia and Singapore and now is also looking at Australia and New Zealand.
Law says Ecozone's products comply with the ISO 14001 environment management system and the ISO 9001 quality management system that "help to guarantee our product safety and reliability."
Ecozone certainly has a refreshing way of attracting new business.
WRITTEN BY GEOFFREY SOMERS
Ecozone (HK) Ltd