Masterkool, a Thai brand evaporative fan, cooperated with technology mentor “ITAP – NSTDA” creating an innovative product to meet user’s requirement. The evaporative fan, the latest contribution for humidity and fungus solution for wood building, harvested more than 100 million baht driving “Masterkool” to be 1 of 5 entrepreneurs won the “Conqueror of Innovative Peak” prize from National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) awarded to companies who developed their technology levels as prototype unlocking business restrictions by technology/innovation including sustainably developing potential and strength of SMEs.
Masterkool’s Cooling Innovation
Masterkool has been recognized as a professional in the cooling market, especially the misting fan. Masterkool is one of operators being supported by Industrial Technology Assistance Program (iTAP) since 2006. The company’s latest research is the improvement of the weak point of the misting fan as consumers concerned about water vapor that caused humidity and affected health and about fungus problems that caused damages to houses or furniture.
“We worked with our experts inventing an evaporating fan making cooling air without vapor. Humidity sensor ensures customers that while using it would not have excessive humidity. It is successful than expected. We targeted revenue for this product at 20-30 million baht, but it has sold over 100 million baht.” said Nopchai Weeraman, Managing Director of Masterkool International Public Company Limited.
Masterkool is a role model of Thai private sector that drive their own business by innovation, so their product is unique and advanced than similar products in the market. “We are selling in a market with many competitors. We may lose if we just sell similar products as others. So, innovation is the key word. All projects must be completed into products and done actual marketing.”
A strong point of iTAP is that the way they work is uncomplicated and they quite understand doing business, so they can collaborate with the private sector with understanding. Meantime, Masterkool also commit to develop our products with a clear solution.
However, the company have a limit budget on research. In 2015, 5 million baht was spent for responding a core policy in releasing 1-2 new product model yearly. Old products of the company were improved and new products were also developed with iTAP’s cooperation. In 2016, new products include 2 models of small evaporative fans. Moreover, other product lines with Ozone technology are planned for expansion and expected to release to the market in 2017.
ITAP aim to strengthen the SMEs by science technology and innovation. By supporting technology consulting fees, the operators can fully access knowledge suitable for their business development. Lately there are 7,000 SMEs joined the program, 80% of them are successful, resulting in generating employment and investment totaling more than 6,000 million baht.
Cooperation Makes the Difference
The year 2006 was the first time that Masterkool searched for an innovative mentor, which was iTAP or Industrial Technology Assistance Program by Technology Development Agency (NSTDA). “iTAP filled the gap of the company. We needed to develop innovation and researches but we still lacked of a deep understanding of technology. So, our developing cooperation started from problems of misting fan that was the very high cost of the high-pressure pump. We would like to have an expert help us in developing a high-pressure pump at a lower cost but with an equivalent or a better performance.” said Nopchai.
It was sure that the first program of a Thai private sector intending to create an innovation was not on a bed of roses. Nopchai spent over three years of his dedication collaborating with the expert and developed a centrifugal force misting fan to the market.
When finding that iTAP was the required solution, later, when there was a new challenge to develop a new product, Masterkool joined the iTAP for serveral ongoing projects, resulting in 3 new models of ozone vegetable cleaner. Moreover, ERP management system also helped when the business expanding continuously. Currently, there is one more project of developing 2 new models of a product, which is under development.