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Play with fire by your own rules

Company and the product:
IFIRES  full cycle of services in the field of fire protection

go against the trend, there will always be 10% of consumers who do not want what the market dictates

At the 2015 Open Innovation conference, we were asked: what about a trigger for fire extinguishing cylinders?

— We produce ourselves.
— Well you assemble the cylinder, but where do you get LRD?
— Yes we produce it ourselves.
— It can’t be.
— Why?
— Too good quality.

Sergey Lektorovich, the founder and the general director of the IFIRES, tells a story after which he first thought about international expansion. His distrustful talk partner was the manager of the leading European company for the production of air defense systems in Europe - Rotarex. Then I thought: “Well, since this is“ too good a quality ”for you, then you will soon know more about us,” Sergey laughs.

Lektorovich is a man of a difficult fate. As a teenager, he was the leader of a well-known youth street group. When he got older, he went into politics and even headed the local branch of the party. But finally he found himself in the field where he could act at his full force - in business.

He founded the company IFIRES to distribute locally produced fire extinguishing devices. But after a few years he thought: why are we spending money on marketing someone else's, but not our own product? At that time, no one in the country produced small-sized gas fire extinguishing modules. Lektorovich moved his office, opened production plant and collected a team of former engineers from the country's largest automotive enterprises.

“Where is fire fighting equipment usually produced? In the defense industry. But the potential of the automotive cluster has not been used by anyone before us. It's very powerful though. There are unique specialists who can make a rocket, not just LRD”, - Lektorovich says.

The domestic market for fire systems has always been, to put it mildly, conservative. The key players on it are former inspectors who either run the business themselves, relying on their relations, or work hiring side specialists. As a result, real fire safety industry in the country has become a fake. Paranoia develops when you are long talking with Lektorovich, because when he gets into a particular room, he first of all begins convincing you why, if something happened, no one would get out here alive.

But in its strategy of conquering first the domestic and then the foreign market, IFIRES stubbornly goes against the trend.

«Now the major trend which is growing all over the world - to reduce production costs as much as possible, most often to the quality detriment, in order to make money on service and consumables,” says Sergey. - This applies to food, clothing, and the automotive industry - everything. But this is precisely where our chance of expansion lies. We sell our systems at a high price. We figure out how to make the highest quality product, how to maximize the needs and wishes of consumers, how to create something that did not exist before us - this creates additional value and cannot be cheap. There is always a core segment (I estimate it at 10-20% of the market), which chooses the best, chooses exceptional reliability and premium quality, putting price at the second place. We act basing on the Apple principles: let us have a small market share, but the largest profit margin».

The main product of IFIRES is the Zarya gas fire extinguishing system, suspended modules with liquefied gas of various volumes.

For a layman, this thing looks like a container for the intergalactic transport of alien intelligence. Outside, it is painted with the same Italian paint that is used at the Ferrari plant, inside it is treated with a special anti-corrosion nano-composition. But the main competitive advantage of IFIRES is an IT-platform that allows not only to effectively sell and service, but also to completely control the quality of the product in real time. Imagine the ecosystem, the same as Apple uses with the electronic ID for each product, but just replace the iPhones with Zarya systems, and you get what the Lektorovich team built. This is especially impressive for foreign partners: even in the West, no one has ever done anything like this.