ADTEL Inc. is on the lookout for its next big thing.
The company, whose name is a portmanteau of “advanced” and “telecommunications,” is eyeing emerging new technologies in a bid to move on from its telco roots while ensuring its future readiness. After all, Adtel aims to “enhance the value of stakeholders through its exceptional technology solutions in the Philippines.”
“Technology is evolving so the challenge is spotting emerging technologies in order to sustain our longevity,” says Adtel president Andrew Ramos. “Right now, we’re looking at smart technologies. We feel that it’s something we have to be engaged in.”
Armand Batalla, vice president for Sales, adds: “We have several businesses that have gone and were replaced by new technologies. That’s why we’re doing a lot of business development— the departments and businesses within Adtel are looking for new technologies specific to the areas where they are.” Batalla’s SKY direct-to-home (DTH) team and the Channel Distribution department led by director Erwyn Alcomendras are at the forefront of this push.
Batalla’s SKY direct-to-home (DTH) team and the Channel Distribution department led by director Erwyn Alcomendras are at the forefront of this push.
A chunk of Adtel’s business is under the umbrella of the Channel Distribution group. These include the Baron Super Antenna, which the company puts together in its four manufacturing facilities across Luzon, and ABS-CBN TVplus, for which it serves as distributor.
The company is also banking on several additional ventures, specifically in smart lighting systems, smart locks and water purifiers, to further beef up its Channel Distribution portfolio, says Alcomendras.
The iDual smart lighting system has LED lights whose colors can be adjusted—from daylight to night, or depending on the mood or occasion— through remote control.
Another new product is the Igloo smart lock that allows the homeowner to send a code that visitors can use to enter his or her residence for a specified period or for one-time use. It alerts the owner when the authorized people enter the home. The Igloo, which is recommended for condo dwellers, is seen to become standard in high-end condos for better security and control, notes Alcomendras.
Meanwhile, the Kent Gold Plus and Kent Crystal water purifiers are added to tap water to purify it while retaining beneficial minerals. The Kent range also includes a wall-mounted purifier with a digital display as well as a model that can be placed under the sink so the water is automatically filtered before it comes out of the tap.
“We have a huge potential to maximize our nationwide network of close to 5,000 retail stores, long-term partnerships with dealers/retailers to distribute new, higher-margin products as technology evolves,” Alcomendras says.
Three years ago, SKYcable approached Adtel with an offer for the latter to serve as the exclusive importer and distributor of the components for its new venture.
The SKYdirect DTH service allows SKY to offer their content through satellite instead of cable, Batalla explains.
“We are the importer of the satellite dish, satellite box and cables. SKY is the one providing the DTH service, while we take care of the importation of the equipment for that service from SKY.”
According to Batalla, one challenge his team has encountered is figuring out the fastest way to deliver the equipment to SKY’s 39 distributors all over the country.
“That’s why we set up warehouses in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. It’s strategic for us to put up warehouses in those areas because it’s going to be faster in terms of delivering the equipment. The distributors then sell it to the end-users,” notes Batalla.
Eventually, the team looks to add to their existing service centers in Luzon and the Visayas for “faster turnaround of after-sales of the equipment.
As one of the key contributors to Adtel’s performance, Batalla hopes to be able to sustain his department’s momentum and continue being the exclusive importer and distributor of SKY DTH equipment.
“The DTH industry is very, very competitive. The battle really is more on the quality of content that different DTH operators are offering the market,” observes Batalla. “In terms of quality of content SKYdirect still has the advantage because of the content of ABS-CBN.
“Our vision is to support SKY for them to be able to reach their target in terms of subscriber base. That’s basically our target also—five million subscribers in five years,” notes the Sales head.
The Baron Antenna, which catapulted Adtel into the public’s consciousness more than a decade ago, remains one of the company’s major products.
Ramos attributes the Baron’s long shelf life to its superior quality, especially vis-à-vis copycats. The current lineup includes the Baron Super Antenna for urban areas, the Kapamilya Gitnang Luzon or KGL for mountainous areas and the Baron Extended Range or BXR long-range antenna. The newest Baron Antenna, the Baron Receiver Link or BRL Antenna, was developed by Adtel for use with the ABSCBN TVplus box.
“People noticed that the low-quality antenna lasted for just less than a year, so they learned their lesson: ‘Let’s not buy the low quality, let’s buy the Baron Antenna.’”
The country’s steadily increasing population also help keep sales of the Baron Antenna robust.
“That’s why our main product is really the Baron Antenna. It is the longest sustaining business that we have,” Ramos says.