Founded by former Financial Controller Karim Samani (pictured below), the company specializes in professional disinfection of IT devices using high quality antibacterial products.
In three years, the company has built up a loyal customer base of companies that want to give their technology new life, while improving employee health and well-being and reducing employee absenteeism.
During 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic presented the young company with a number of challenges and opportunities.
Faced with office closures and the rise in homework, Karim approached the GC Business Growth Hub to improve its digital marketing, communications, branding and customer retention strategy.
Hubben’s innovation team has helped TechDisinfect restart its website, improve its social media presence and implement a new Customer Relationship Management system.
The support has secured the company new business, helped it retain existing customers and increased sales and earnings. It has also secured existing jobs and helped the company recruit new employees.
TechDisinfect is now ready for growth as office workers return to work after the pandemic.
The Trafford company seems to be cleaning up as workers return to the office
Urmston-based TechDisinfect is on a mission to make our workplaces cleaner, safer, healthier and more productive.
The company was founded by Karim Samani in 2019 and employs a team of specialists who use high quality antibacterial products to professionally clean and disinfect office IT equipment. Its own branded products are laboratory tested (EN 14476) to effectively kill Coronavirus, MERS-CoV, Norovirus and other pathogens.
Covid-19 has raised awareness of the importance of workplace hygiene as part of infection prevention and control. But with more employees working from home, the pandemic also posed challenges for TechDisinfect’s business model.
Karim, a former chief financial officer for Blue Chip companies, including Ford and ITV, spoke to Hub about the impact of unhygienic IT devices on his own health – and how this inspired him to set up the company.
He explains why he is optimistic about the company’s growth ambitions after the pandemic thanks to support from Hub, which has already helped the company increase sales and hire new employees …
‘Unhygienic IT equipment made me sick – I knew something needed to change’
Before setting up TechDisinfect, I traveled the world as a successful financial controller, often ‘hotdesking’ in various offices.
I began to notice how dirty the IT equipment often was. So much work would go into cleaning office floors, carpets, kitchens and toilets, but the equipment we spend eight hours a day working on was forgotten.
I overturned keyboards and all sorts of ugly things would show up: hair, food, dust. And of course, those are just the things you can see. There are also all kinds of hidden bacteria and pathogens lurking in our technology that can make us sick, harm our well-being and also harm the performance and productivity of the workplace.
I myself became quite ill and developed long-term allergy problems which I still have to take antihistamines for daily.
This was the bulb moment for me when I realized that there was a need for a professional company to disinfect IT equipment.
And then TechDisinfect was born …
The first year or so was about getting the company up and running and trying to bring the concept to market. We were also successful in getting TechDisinfect registered as a trademark.
We also commissioned laboratory research to get solid evidence of what drugs and pathogens lurked in our technology. The results confirmed our suspicions with everything from food crumbs, dust and hair to maggots and dead flies uncovered. At the microscopic level, the list of bacteria was also watering the eyes, including Norovirus, Salmonella, Listeria, Swine Flu and more.
We started to see the business pick up speed. Then Covid hit, and of course everything changed.
The Covid crisis: a challenge and an opportunity
Covid-19 has undoubtedly raised awareness of the importance of good workplace hygiene and infection control. But lockdowns have also meant a massive reduction in the number of people physically working in offices.
We first adapted and provided ‘pop-up’ cleaning services to properly disinfect IT equipment before staff took them home. But some of our customers also went bankrupt, so there were real challenges.
Never one to let a crisis go to waste, I contacted the GC Business Growth hub to see if we could use the time to review where we were as a business, a year after starting up. The priority was to improve our approach to branding and marketing, improve our overall digital presence and introduce a better customer relationship management system.
The hub has helped us transform all these aspects of our business and we were able to secure a £ 25,000 corporate loan from GC Business Finance to implement the changes.
The Hub innovation team has transformed our digital strategy
The team at Hub immediately understood what needed to be done and set about helping us improve our entire digital strategy, including marketing and branding.
It’s crucial that we’ve given the TechDisinfect site a much-needed overhaul. It is now much more professional with a striking video on the home screen showing the disinfection process in action.
The new website is focused on ensuring a hassle-free customer journey – ensuring that we keep users engaged through all the key points of contact, right up to the call to action. We’ve improved all the content, including an impressive animated video that really shows our product range.
We have also increased our play on social media – with better content, a more visible presence and a growing and engaged audience. You should see all the comments and likes on my LinkedIn posts now!
New branding, including staff uniforms and packaging, has also helped customers understand who we are and what our offerings are.
A new and improved CRM system was the last piece of the puzzle. This has been crucial in gaining new customers and retaining them.
Thanks to the innovation team, we are ready for the recovery after Covid
Despite the difficulties caused by Covid, our business has not only survived but thrived over the last 18 months since we sought help from Hub.
Although we lost some business, we are now in a much better position to take advantage of the reopening of the economy for the rest of 2021 and beyond. I think we will still see homework, but I am convinced that the workers will start returning to the office.
Now with our improved digital strategy in place, I’m sure this will lead to more new business opportunities for TechDisinfect.
During the pandemic, we diversified our business and launched WellbeingandErgonomics, which is part of TechDisinfect. The new business delivers ergonomic, sustainable, agile and smart workstation solutions from an individual to a large company. Expands the idea of well-being beyond just IT disinfection.
There is great synergy between the two companies and there should be opportunities for each to support each other. Hub also played a crucial role in digital innovation for the new company.
Hub support has delivered tangible business benefits
We have been able to attribute concrete benefits to the support we have received from Hub, such as an increase in new business inquiries of 13.8% over 12 months and an increase in website traffic (up 37% over a year)
Then there are the two jobs we have secured along with the four we have created – and I’m sure our workforce will expand in the coming months.
Despite the financial challenges associated with Covid-19, we have also seen sales and earnings increase – up 45% and 15% respectively. In addition, we have secured 15 new business customers, including schools, offices / call centers and production companies.
Ambitious plans to get the most out of market opportunities
The Covid-19 pandemic showed how insecure life can be. But as an entrepreneur, one has to be optimistic, and I hope we are now turned around.
These are exciting times for TechDisinfect and WellbeingandErgonomics. We have ambitious plans to develop the business using a franchise model and to develop our own brand product range.
There is a market there for the products and services we offer – and thanks to help from Hub, we are now in a much better position to take advantage of these opportunities.
To book your risk assessment, health and safety advice and services. You can contact TechDisinfect via their website https://techdisinfect.co.uk or contact them directly on 0161 726 5007.
If you are an Greater Manchester SME with the ambition, capacity and drive to grow, Hub’s specialists in Digital Innovation Advisors are here for you. They help you identify the key things needed to become digitally innovative, and guide you on your digital transformation journey.
Find out more