Andreas Schilling, Head of Sales, Management Team, OVD Kinegram AG
Can you tell us a little about your company?
OVD Kinegram is all about protecting identities. With around 240 highly knowledgeable people, we are devoted to physical and digital solutions for the protection and integrity of identities – both of individuals as well as of documents and other physical objects. Most notably, we provide security features based on our secret KINEGRAM technology.
A KURZ company based in Zug/Switzerland, we have been spearheading the industry for over 35 years, with more than 500 active projects (passports, ID cards, visa, driver licenses and more) in over 120 countries. KINEGRAM solutions in the EU Visa, the Spanish Passport, the US Green Card, the Taiwanese Passport are but a few of our important long-term references.
What was/is your biggest challenge selling your products and services in times of COVID-19 ?
The biggest challenge brought about by this pandemic was surely to cope simultaneously with both the sudden and sharp alterations in the short-term business for travel documents (PP, Visa), as well as the challenge to maintain a close relationship to our customers without being able to engage in physical meetings and conferences. Aside from that, we were confronted with multiple logistical challenges.
We were able to deal with all this very effectively by increasing the scope of digitization in our workflows on all levels, both internally and externally, and in a very short time frame. Very importantly, this allowed us to maintain a timely supply of products to our customers at all times during the pandemic. We have consistently used this crisis as a chance and expect to emerge from it stronger than before.
Do you think your market has changed in the past year, and if so how?
Yes, our relevant markets have certainly changed looking back just one year: international travel had been on the rise for a long time, with even higher forecasts for the years to come.
The major and sudden slump of worldwide travel with the start of the pandemic caused much lower needs for travel documents such as passports and visas, and consequently, lower demands for security features such as the KINEGRAM which protects many high-end travel documents.This in turn made 'non-travel related documents' all the more important for our short-term business.
Another change, respectively trend, in the market that was ongoing but accelerated by the pandemic was the shift towards digital products and services. In this regard, it is interesting to note that this does not mean a replacement of physical documents with digital counterparts, but instead, it refers to solutions which provide added value and functionality.
You will be exhibiting at Intergraf Currency+Identity Online (24-26 March 2021). What can participants look forward to seeing on your virtual exhibition space?
We are getting ready to showcase new exciting solutions for the protection of documents on our virtual exhibition space. To name just one example, our Full Data Protection (FDP) for polycarbonate data pages and polycarbonate cards is a feature well suited for both human inspection and optical machine authentication (OMA).
But it doesn’t stop there – going further into the digital realm, the solution is also compatible with optical phone authentication (OPA). OMA and OPA are novel functionalities of DOVIDs that are rapidly gaining importance and allow both the KINEGRAM and the documents to be prepared for new, contemporary use cases such as the Digital Travel Credential and e-KYC for remote customer onboarding.
And of course, we look forward to direct conversations and exchange with our customers in order to explain our solutions and discuss about specific projects.