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An Exclusive Interview with Gautam Paul, Sales Director, IAI

Gautam-PaulIAI, a standalone brand part of the HID Global, since 2015 and has been at the forefront of secure document personalisation for many years, providing unique and advanced systems for a broad spectrum of industrial users. IAI has gained an excellent reputation for the design and supply of industrial production systems where laser, optics, precision mechanics and control software play key roles. During an interaction with Nitisha from BISinfotech; Gautam Paul, Sales Director, IAI talks about identity documents safety feature and its latest trends.

Kindly explain IAI and its special offerings.

For over 20 years, IAI industrial systems has been at the forefront of ID1 & ID3 document personalisation, supplying innovative and sophisticated technologies to over 40 countries across the globe. Annually, over 25 million ID documents are personalised using IAI equipment, a number which is set to double in the coming years.

Our dedicated focus on research, experts and industry experience has led IAI, to become a leader in design as well as delivery of industrial production systems including lasers, optics, precision mechanics, and control software. By closely mapping onto and adapting to dynamic market needs, we are able to ensure long-term value to all customers.

Our offerings include:

  • Personalisation technologies:
  1. Laser engraving
  2. Inkjet printing
  3. Laser perforating
  • Security Document solutions:
  • Passport personalisation
  • BookMaster®
  • Card personalisation: CardMaster®
  • Security features;
  1. ImagePerf® & ImagePerf®/REV
  2. NumberPerf®
  3. Laser Colour Inkjet (LCI)
  4. Third Party

What are the latest trends you are focusing on in identity documents safety features?

From the latest levels of protection and productivity for passports and ID cards to novel manufacturing processes and technologies, some of our recent developments in identity document security include:

  • Migration from PVC/PET G to using Polycarbonate material for ID documents and using laser for personalization. We have seen this same trend for Driving Licenses in India where we see tenders in some Indian States moving towards Polycarbonate material with laser engraving.
  • Migration from Machine Readable passport to e-Passports. India has also announced the move to enhance the security of the passport by upgrading to an e-passport.
  • Moving from completely decentralized issuance to regional issuance. This retains the flexibility of having a regional presence but enhances security by not having blank documents in multiple locations.
  • Moving from grayscale personalisation to color on polycarbonate. Apart from aesthetics, the document is further secured by using a combination of laser engraving and drop-on-demand inkjet which adds an extra barrier for counterfeiters.
  • Digital ID documents are being provided alongside physical documents

How are your identity documents protected against fraud?

The security of a document is enhanced by using multiple security features in combination instead of relying on a single feature. The concept is that counterfeiters would be required to compromise multiple features and personalisation techniques to be successful.

Some of the key areas we focus on:

  • Forensically identical documents. This is a similar concept to bank notes, where every currency note is identical, making it easy for authorities and users to spot any anomalies. All our equipment (including desktop to high volume issuance) is calibrated for each project to a unique setting, which provides forensically identical documents. IAI’s in-house design of laser and inkjet systems provide us with a higher degree of control on the calibration and output quality.
  • We work with the majority of System Integrators for the development of security features and integration into our equipment. We support the largest number of security features in the industry offering end users a wide variety of features to choose from.
  • In-built audit functions, restricted access to users, and software protection keeps accountability of all personalisation done from IAI equipment preventing any misuse.

Features of the ImagePerf®/REV technology.

Governments issuing and verifying travel docs as well as IDs need trusted and first line security features which are easy to verify and difficult to counterfeit. ImagePerf® is a high-level, personalised security feature that perfectly meets those criteria.

ImagePerf® is a perforated repetition of the holder’s photograph. Special laser technology is used to create minute holes right through the document’s substrate. The holes are arranged to form an image that becomes clearly visible to the naked eye when the document is held to the light. The holes are so small that they do not interfere with the design of the document.

ImagePerf®/REV goes a step further and connects the holder’s photograph applied on the front side of the card/data page to a secondary photo applied on the REVERSE side of the card/data page. This feature protects against manipulation of the main photograph especially when attacked from the REVERSE side of the card/data page.

Highlights:

  • Used in over 25 national documents with a proven track record
  • High-level first-line security feature that is simple to inspect
  • Personalised indefinitely and safeguards against forgery
  • Front and back sides of the document are protected
  • It does not interfere with the design of the document
  • Validates the document’s integrity

Kindly explain your role and plans for IAI.

As Director of Sales for IAI, I am responsible for leading the IAI sales team in all regions. My role involves supporting our Regional Sales teams for projects in their region and close interaction with strategic partners while achieving growth in sales, revenue and market share for IAI.

My plans are to maintain our position as market leaders in the ID Personalisation manufacturing industry and create a customer centric experience for our users. I am particularly interested in providing workshops to Governments to share our experiences from delivering over 40 of the world’s largest ID projects so that they can also benefit from our learnings.

What are your marketing strategies for the future growth of the company?

IAI’s main focus has always been engineering development and manufacturing state-of-art equipment which is customised to our client’s requirements. Word of mouth and references have been the pillars of IAI’s success.

In many instances, Governments invite IAI to present our solutions and learn more about how to improve the quality, durability, and security while making the solutions cost effective. It is also notable that IAI’s has the best retention statistics in the industry for customers with a large volume of repeat purchases.

Is there any other plan to enhance your business in some other countries also? Elaborate.

Majority of IAI customers are Governments that focus on quality equipment that requires a high level of customisation to suit their unique requirements. We have an even distribution of equipment across all continents as Governments are moving to adopt the latest trends in technology.

Kindly highlight challenges in the security industry and how one can cope up with such  situations?

 We see the following main challenges in the industry:

  • Long lead times: For most projects the Governments go through several years of investigation to find the ideal solution. During this period there could be changes to the administration and key stakeholders which increases the complexity of the project. IAI works closely with end users and partners through a long period of time to conclude on the most suitable solution.
  • There are several technology providers (document, chip, OS, PKI, security features, etc.) involved in a project that could make integration a challenge. It is advisable for Governments to choose vendors with a proven track record. IAI has a working relationship with most technology providers to help make integration seamless.
  • Complex tender process is required for security projects. Our experience with being awarded a large number of projects help overcome this challenge and best prepare the necessary documentation.
  • Funding for several projects is a key challenge. IAI’s track record of high uptime, industrial design enabling 24/7 production and low cost of maintenance helps System Integrators recover their investments in a timely manner.

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Nitisha Dubey

I am a Journalist with a post graduate degree in Journalism & Mass Communication. I love reading non-fiction books, exploring different destinations and varieties of cuisines. Biographies and historical movies are few favourites.

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