Let’s get started by rewinding to the beginning of the year! In January, we announced our ambitions to further expand in China and how our partner, Wiser, would help us with this. Shortly after, our efforts in India paid off as we got a USD 1 million shipment request from an Indian OEM later on identified as ACPL. Meanwhile, the Indian authorities also communicated the generational upgrade of India’s national Aadhaar program. In short, all current so called ”L0 devices” would need to be upgraded to the next security level, the so-called ”L1 level”.
If you have followed us, you already know this announcement has been important to us all throughout 2023. Implementation of the generational upgrade initially moved slowly, but several tenders in combination with banks and other large players beginning to accept L1 devices on the second half of 2023 increased the speed. All L0 devices must be replaced by the end of June 2024, thus this is a generational upgrade which creates strong momentum for NEXT.
I look forward to giving you a more detailed update in conjunction with our Q4 report, but for now, let’s move on and take a look at our other markets as well.
In China, being one of our most important markets, we continued working with our partners to promote both our technology and local team. Security remains a strong market driver and being one of the world’s most secure fingerprint sensors, the interest for our FAP20 kept increasing. At the end of the year, we congratulated ourselves as we made great progress in one of our breakthrough contracts in Asia.
As a rather small player on a large, global market – sales and marketing is crucial. Thus, we have initiated projects to further strengthen the knowledge of NEXT and what our brand stand for, but perhaps most of all we have also focused on explaining our technology. Prior to being appointed CEO of NEXT, I was Head of Marketing and Sales here and I was aware we had more work to do.
We have a unique technology – but for the world and our customers to understand the perks of using it, we have to explain it in a way that is easy to understand as well. We will continue to address this challenge in 2024.
NEXT is also a listed company and we invest a lot of time and effort to ensure our news is published in accordance with applicable rules and regulations, but also to provide as much context as we can to our news. A lot of times, we cannot give you all the details – how should we solve that? There is not always an easy solution, but step by step we aim to provide more information, more context and to give you the background of the news as well. We believe this is the best way to get to know our operations and understand the implications of what we publish.
During 2023, we also published several deeper pieces of blog post to further explain our technology and how our value-chain work.
In October I was appointed new CEO of NEXT. So far, it has been immensely fun! It has been especially rewarding to travel and get to meet all of my colleagues and our customers face to face.
With updated knowledge of our operations and goals it also became clear to me that we needed to enlarge our management team. In the previous turnaround of the company, NEXT was downsized as part of the process. However, reaching profitability demands more of us. We have now extended our team and are ready to take on the challenges ahead of us.
Part of the biometric industry’s charm lies in its many paradoxes. On a day-to-day basis, the pace is rapid. In case you cannot keep up with it – you are out. Yet again, decision processes can also be slow, technical integrations tricky and sales cycles long, which demands both patience, know-how and cash flow. Luckily, we not only have a great and fast-moving team, we’re also in good shape and suited to, as one of my colleagues would say, finish the marathon.
NEXT is well positioned to reach its targets and after a well-deserved Christmas holiday, we look forward to kicking of a new and exciting year! 2024 is coming. Are you interested in conducting business with us? Me and my colleagues are just one email or Linkedin DM away, so don’t hesitate to reach out.
I wish you A Happy New Year!
Chief Executive Officer at NEXT