Technology Solutions Impacting Our Lives: Interview with the CEO of Cemtrex, Saagar Govil.
When it comes to staying ahead of the curve, having a tech-savvy partner by your side can make all the difference. From electronics manufacturing, advanced security to cutting-edge AI-based analytics, Cemtrex has been providing life changing technology solutions and has become that reliable partner for businesses, helping them navigate through technological advancements every step of the way. In this interview with TechBullion, CEO of Cemtrex, Saagar Govil shares some of the technology solutions by the company and shows how Cemtrex became one of the leading technology partners for companies around the globe.
What does Cemtrex do and what is your mission and focus as a company?
Cemtrex is an emerging growth company that owns and operates multiple businesses. We’ve grown for almost two decades by building businesses from technology to manufacturing. Currently we have two companies in our portfolio, an AI-based security technology company – Vicon and an industrial services company, Advanced Industrial services.
Please tell us more about yourself?
My name is Saagar Govil and I am the Chairman and CEO of Cemtrex Inc. (Nasdaq: CETX). Cemtrex started out as a family business in the 2000s and I joined when we were a small 5 person company. In those days we were a small environmental systems integrator and I saw limited opportunity in that market, so I led us in a different direction, and we grew through M&A over the years. We made our first acquisition in 2013, we listed on Nasdaq in 2015, and reached $100 million in sales in 2017. Over the last couple of years, we restructured the company to focus on new opportunities we see over the coming decade – Vicon and AIS.
Tell me more about Vicon. Could you enlighten us more on the specific solutions you provide, who it is for and what inspires them?
Vicon is a global leader in advanced security and surveillance technology to safeguard schools, borders, cities, and businesses. For over 55 years, the Company has been delivering mission critical, end to end security which includes intelligent cameras, the video management software, and the storage solutions. At Vicon, we work with border protection, hospitals, courthouses, prisons, universities, municipalities, schools, high rise residential, and businesses. Today we’re focused on bringing to market the next generation of security which will be driven by AI.
How will AI impact Security? / What’s the benefit of AI?
Up until now, humans have been able to see better than computers. But now, with advancements in technology computers can see better than humans and you’re seeing that with autonomous cars and such. As a result, the system can detect threats, intruders, weapons, faster and in real time better than any human could before. Additionally, with the advent of large language models (LLMs) we see opportunity for facilities like schools who don’t have security command centers to be able to leverage these AI tools to better execute deterrents and responses during threats to drive better outcomes.
Cemtrex’s AIS provides large scale Industries services, please tell us more about these services, who is it for and how does it work?
AIS is leading provider of industrial contracting services for over 30 years. We specialize in providing services like rigging, millwrighting, piping, electrical contracting for leading manufacturers like Georgia Pacific, PPG, Johnson Controls. We support these companies every day in their manufacturing plant to do equipment installation, maintenance, and large-scale projects. This is an exciting time in the industry as companies look to expand their manufacturing facilities here in the US as well as the on-going investment into US infrastructure; both are driving growth in industrial and manufacturing companies.
It seems Cemtrex has had a productive history since 2004, what are you most excited about with respect to Cemtrex’s future?
One of the biggest things we are working on in our Vicon brand is the future of security and in particular with respect to schools. Over 90% of K-12 has security cameras in place and yet the number of shootings continues to go up. Clearly what they have in place is not enough. We also think clear backpacks and arming teachers are not the answer. We don’t want to turn going to school to feel like going through TSA at the airport or entering a prison. We think this is an important problem to solve and we think leveraging tools like AI and the cloud, we can deliver a truly unique and compelling solution. We’re really excited to unveil to the market our vision of what the future of security can be.
Could you tell us more about your team of innovators and technologists behind the Cemtrex ecosystem?
At the company we have built a large team of experienced industry veterans who have experience in building great companies. Many of our core management team have developed software themselves at various points in their career and we believe that true competitiveness in our security business, Vicon, comes from continuing to differentiate as much as possible on the software side. Having an experienced team who understands true agile development and how to scale software correctly is a critical advantage for us as we continue to focus on building winning products in the market.
What makes you special or different in the market?
At Vicon we stand out in the market by delivering an open architecture, single pane of glass, end-to-end solution in the market focused on total cost of ownership. Our platform is extremely rugged, has AI capabilities, and designed for many of the most challenging of security environments. At AIS we deliver turnkey industrial contracting services through our broad skill set and capabilities that comes from years of dedicated experience from our talented team, our extensive equipment list that is versatile enough to handle varying types of project requirements, and our 39 years of reputation in the industry for dependability, reliability, and professionalism.
Cemtrex (NASDAQ:CETX) is providing continued and growing value for shareholders, could you give us an update of the CETX market and how investors can benefit?
Cemtrex has made dramatic improvements in its business over the course of the last 6 months and that was most exemplified in our most recent quarter. The second quarter of fiscal year 2023 was highlighted by a return to operating profit. Sales execution by Vicon with multiple large orders, resulted in revenue growth of 37% year over year. Revenue for our Industrial services segment, AIS, increased 23% during the quarter mainly due to increased demand for our services. In combination with operational improvements, the quarter led to a gross margin improvement of 1360 basis points to 46%. We continue to expect increases in our gross margin over the next couple of quarters as we make further enhancements in Vicon’s business. Overall operating income for the quarter increased to $0.4 million compared to an operating loss of $2.9 million, a year ago. We think the future is really bright for our company and that we can drive attractive profitable growth for our shareholders over the next several years.